Solar Photovoltaic

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Solar Photovoltaic


Photovoltaic systems (PV) – also known as solar arrays – convert sunlight into electrical energy. An array is composed of photovoltaic modules, mounted on a roof, carport, or ground structure, that produce direct current (DC). An inverter is then used to convert this DC to alternating current (AC). Afterward, the AC will run to a switchgear and, if necessary, be combined with the power from other inverters. A transformer is often used to step up the voltage to match distribution voltage for grid interconnection.

PV systems are comprised of five main pieces of equipment: modules, racking, inverters, overcurrent protection, and monitoring systems.

USAF Relevance

Unlike traditional generators, PV systems can operate in grid-connected mode and provide value through regular monthly electric bill savings to system owners. Due to the systems being used regularly, it is more likely they will be operational when called upon in an emergency. Furthermore, although generators require regular maintenance and a constant fuel supply to continue functioning, PV can provide power for an extended period, assuming there is enough solar resource.

Potential Sites

Multiple (Examples: Arnold AFB, Eglin AFB, JB Andrews, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Offutt AFB, Tyndall AFB)