Solar panels, or solar modules as they are called in the industry, are the most basic component of a solar photovoltaic system. Each solar module is a sealed system independent from the other modules in a given group. A group of solar modules connected together is called an "array".
Nearly all modern solar systems include an inverter. The inverter is an electronic component that inverts the direct current (DC) created by the array to alternating current (AC) at the voltage and frequency used in your home and/or business.
Array mounting systems are very important, especially here in the Rocky Mountain region. An array can be mounted on the ground, on a roof, or even on a vehicle. Regardless of location, the mounting system must be designed to withstand worst case scenario wind and snow loads for the entire useful life of the system. With a modern solar system this could be as much as 50 years.
Even top-of-the-line solar modules and inverters will not produce reliably unless the correct attention is paid to these "balance of system" components; it is literally the plumbing through which the power flows.