Solar Library of Terms
Welcome to our comprehensive library of essential terms used in both residential and commercial solar industries. By familiarizing yourself with these key concepts, you will gain a better understanding of solar technology and be better equipped to make informed decisions about adopting solar solutions for your home or business.
Photovoltaic (PV): The process by which sunlight is converted into electricity using solar cells, commonly found in solar panels.
Solar Panel: A device comprised of multiple solar cells that capture sunlight and convert it into usable electricity.
Inverter: A critical component of a solar PV system that converts direct current (DC) produced by solar panels into alternating current (AC) compatible with standard electrical appliances.
Net Metering: A billing arrangement that allows solar system owners to sell excess electricity back to the grid, resulting in potential credits or reduced utility bills.
Solar Array: A collection of interconnected solar panels that work together to generate electricity.
Kilowatt (kW): A unit of power measurement, representing 1,000 watts, commonly used to denote the capacity of solar systems.
Kilowatt-Hour (kWh): A unit of energy measurement, representing the consumption or production of 1 kilowatt of power over one hour.
Solar Efficiency: The percentage of sunlight a solar panel can convert into electricity. Higher-efficiency panels generate more electricity with the same amount of sunlight.
Racking System: The framework or mounting structure that securely holds solar panels in place on rooftops or the ground.
Solar Incentives: Financial or tax-based rewards provided by governments or utilities to encourage solar adoption and investment.
Off-Grid: A solar system that operates independently from the utility grid, relying solely on stored energy in batteries.
Grid-Tied: A solar system connected to the utility grid, allowing for the exchange of electricity between the solar system and the grid.
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA): A contract between a solar system provider and a customer, outlining the sale of solar electricity at a fixed rate, often lower than standard utility rates.
Solar Lease: A financial arrangement wherein a solar company owns and maintains the solar system on a customer’s property, and the customer pays a monthly lease or rental fee for its use.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs): Tradable certificates representing the environmental benefits of solar energy generation, often used to meet renewable energy goals.
Inclination/Azimuth: The angle and direction at which solar panels are tilted and oriented, respectively, to maximize sunlight absorption.
String Inverter: A type of inverter that connects multiple solar panels in a series (string) to convert DC to AC power.
Microinverter: A type of inverter installed on individual solar panels, enabling independent DC to AC conversion for each panel.
Battery Storage: Energy storage technology is used to store excess electricity produced by solar panels for later use, typically during cloudy periods or at night.
Degradation: The gradual decrease in solar panel efficiency over time due to exposure to environmental factors.
We hope this library of terms empowers you to confidently explore solar solutions for your residential or commercial needs. Understanding these essential concepts will enable you to make well-informed decisions and embark on a sustainable and economically beneficial solar journey.
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