Glossary: Common Solar Terms and Their Meanings – Energy Matters

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AC Coupled AC coupled refers to connecting solar panels or batteries to the existing AC grid through an inverter, allowing for flexible energy management and potential grid independence but often requiring additional equipment and expertise compared to DC (direct current) coupled systems. Read more > AC (Alternating Current) Alternating Current: An electric current that periodically reverses direction, typically used in household electricity and most commercial applications. ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) The Australian Renewable Energy Agency: A government agency tasked with improving the competitiveness and increasing the supply of renewable energy in Australia. It provides funding, support, and initiatives to advance renewable energy technologies and projects across the country. Read more > Battery Inverter A battery inverter is a device that manages the charging and discharging of batteries in a battery storage system. It converts the direct current (DC) electricity from batteries into alternating current (AC) electricity for use in homes, businesses, or the electricity grid, and vice versa. BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) A BEV, or Battery Electric Vehicle, is a type of electric vehicle that is powered solely by electricity stored in rechargeable batteries. Unlike hybrid vehicles, BEVs do not have an internal combustion engine and rely entirely on electric motors for propulsion. They produce zero tailpipe emissions and offer environmental benefits by reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Read more > Bifacial Solar Panel A bifacial solar panel is a type of solar panel that can generate electricity from sunlight hitting both the front and back surfaces of the panel. These panels typically have transparent back sheets or glass, allowing sunlight to pass through and be absorbed by the solar cells on both sides. Bifacial solar panels can increase energy production by capturing reflected sunlight from the ground or nearby surfaces, making them particularly suitable for installations with reflective surfaces like snow, sand, or white roofs. Read more > BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics) Building Integrated Photovoltaics: Solar panels or photovoltaic materials that are incorporated directly into the design of a building, such as solar roof tiles or solar windows, serving as both building elements and energy generators. Read more > Blackout A blackout refers to a complete loss of electrical power over a wide area, typically caused by a failure in the electricity grid. During a blackout, all electrical appliances and equipment reliant on grid power cease to function until power is restored. Read more > Bulk-Buy Solar Bulk-buy solar refers to a purchasing arrangement in which a group of individuals or organisations collectively buy solar energy systems or equipment in large quantities. By purchasing in bulk, participants can often negotiate discounted prices or other incentives from suppliers or installers, making solar energy more affordable and accessible to a wider audience. This approach is commonly used in community initiatives or group purchasing programs aimed at promoting the adoption of solar power. Capacity The capacity of a solar system refers to its maximum power output under optimal conditions, typically measured in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW). It indicates the system’s potential to generate electricity from sunlight. CEC (Clean Energy Council) The Clean Energy Council: An industry association in Australia representing businesses operating in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. It advocates for policies supportive of clean energy, provides industry accreditation, and promotes best practices in renewable energy development and deployment. Read more > Charge Controller A charge controller is a device used in solar power systems to regulate the voltage and current from solar panels to batteries. It ensures that batteries are charged safely and efficiently by preventing overcharging and over-discharging, as well as regulating the flow of electricity based on the state of charge of the batteries. Charge controllers are essential for prolonging the lifespan of batteries and maximising the performance of solar energy systems. Read more > Commercial Solar Commercial Solar: Solar energy systems installed on commercial properties, like businesses and government buildings, to generate electricity for on-site use or sale to the grid. Read more > Community Solar Community solar, also known as shared solar or solar gardens, refers to a solar power installation that is collectively owned by multiple individuals or organisations within a community. Participants in a community solar project typically subscribe to a portion of the solar energy output generated by the system and receive credits or reduced electricity bills based on their share of the output. Community solar projects enable individuals who may not have suitable rooftops or the ability to install solar panels on their properties to access the benefits of solar energy. Read more > DC Coupled DC coupled refers to connecting a home battery directly to the DC (direct current) output of solar panels, offering higher efficiency and potential cost savings compared to the more common AC (alternating current) coupling method, but with regulatory limitations and less widespread adoption. Read more > DC (Direct Current) Direct Current: An electric current that flows consistently in one direction, commonly used in batteries, electronic devices, and some specialized applications such as certain types of electric motors. DNSP (Distribution Network Service Provider) Distribution Network Service Provider: A company responsible for operating and maintaining the infrastructure that delivers electricity from the high-voltage transmission network to homes, businesses, and other end-users. They manage the distribution network, including poles, wires, substations, and transformers, ensuring reliable electricity supply to consumers within their designated service areas. Read more > Efficiency Efficiency in renewable energy refers to the ratio of usable energy output to the total energy input from a renewable energy system, typically expressed as a percentage. It measures how effectively the system converts available renewable resources (such as sunlight, wind, or water) into usable electricity or heat. Electricity Grid The electricity grid, also known as the power grid or electric grid, is a network of interconnected power generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure that delivers electricity from power plants to consumers. It enables the reliable and efficient transfer of electricity over long distances, ensuring a stable supply of power to homes, businesses, and industries. Energy Retailer An energy retailer is a company that sells electricity and/or gas to consumers, procuring it from generators or wholesalers and offering it to customers through various pricing plans and services. EV (Electric Vehicle) EV, short for Electric Vehicle, is a type of vehicle that is powered by one or more electric motors, using electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries or obtained from an external power source such as charging stations. EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions and are considered more environmentally friendly compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. Read more > EV Charger An EV charger is a device used to supply electrical power to recharge the batteries of electric vehicles (EVs). It is typically connected to a power source, such as the electrical grid, and provides the necessary electrical current and voltage to charge the EV’s battery pack. EV chargers come in various types and charging speeds, ranging from slow chargers for home use to fast chargers for public charging stations. Read more > FiT (Feed-in Tariff) Feed-in Tariff: A financial incentive offered by governments or utilities to encourage the adoption of renewable energy generation, where individuals or businesses are paid for the electricity they generate and feed back into the grid from renewable sources such as solar panels or wind turbines. Read more > Grid-connected solar PV system Grid-connected solar PV system: A solar power setup linked to the electricity grid. It generates electricity from sunlight using photovoltaic panels and feeds excess power into the grid when production exceeds demand. This setup allows users to draw electricity from the grid when needed and receive credits or payments for surplus electricity exported to the grid. Read more > Gross metering Gross metering is a billing arrangement for solar energy systems where all the electricity generated by the system is sent to the grid, and the system owner is paid for the total energy produced, regardless of whether it is consumed on-site or exported to the grid. In gross metering, the electricity consumed from the grid is separately metered and billed to the customer. This contrasts with net metering, where only the excess energy exported to the grid is credited, and the customer is billed for the net energy consumed from the grid. GW (Gigawatt) Gigawatt: A unit of power equal to one billion watts, often used to measure the capacity of large-scale electricity generation facilities or the total power output of a region’s energy infrastructure. GWh (Gigawatt-hour) Gigawatt-hour: A unit of energy equal to one billion watt-hours, commonly used to measure large-scale electricity consumption or production over a specific period, typically one hour. Heat Pump Airconditioner A heat pump air conditioner is a type of heating and cooling system that uses a heat pump to transfer heat between indoor and outdoor environments. During the warmer months, it works like a traditional air conditioner, extracting heat from indoors and transferring it outside to cool the indoor space. In colder months, the heat pump reverses the process, extracting heat from outdoor air (even in cold temperatures) and transferring it indoors to warm the space. Heat pump air conditioners are energy-efficient alternatives to traditional heating and cooling systems, as they use electricity to move heat rather than generating it directly. Heat Pump Hot Water Heat pump hot water systems use a heat pump to extract heat from the surrounding air and transfer it to water for heating. They work similarly to air conditioners but in reverse, using electricity to move heat rather than generating it directly. Heat pump hot water systems are energy-efficient alternatives to traditional electric or gas water heaters, as they can provide hot water using less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are suitable for residential and commercial applications and can be particularly effective in moderate to warm climates. HPBC (Hybrid Passivated Back Contact) Hybrid Passivated Back Contact (HPBC) is a solar panel technology that combines both passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) and back contact solar cell designs. This configuration maximizes the efficiency of solar panels by reducing recombination losses and improving electrical conductivity, resulting in higher power output and performance. Hybrid Inverter A hybrid inverter is a device that combines the functions of a solar inverter and a battery inverter/charger. It manages both the conversion of DC electricity from solar panels to AC electricity for use in a building or grid and the charging and discharging of batteries, allowing for energy storage and grid independence. Hybrid Vehicle A hybrid vehicle is a type of vehicle that combines two or more distinct power sources, typically an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. These vehicles can operate using either power source independently or in combination, allowing for increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions compared to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. Hydro (Hydro Power) Hydro typically refers to hydroelectric power, which is electricity generated by harnessing the energy of flowing or falling water. This energy is usually captured by damming rivers to create reservoirs, where water is stored and released as needed to drive turbines connected to generators. Hydroelectric power is a renewable energy source and is one of the oldest and most widely used forms of electricity generation worldwide. Hydrogen Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant element in the universe. In its molecular form, hydrogen is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas. It is highly reactive and can combine with other elements to form compounds. Hydrogen is used in various industries, including the production of ammonia, petroleum refining, and as a potential clean energy carrier in hydrogen fuel cells. Industrial Solar Industrial solar refers to solar energy systems installed on large-scale industrial facilities, such as manufacturing plants, warehouses, and distribution centers, to generate electricity for on-site use or for sale to the grid. kW (Kilowatt) Kilowatt: A unit of power equal to one thousand watts, commonly used to measure the rate at which energy is consumed or produced. kWh (Kilowatt-hour) Kilowatt-hour: A unit of energy equivalent to the consumption or production of one kilowatt of power for one hour, commonly used to measure electricity usage or generation. LED Lights LED lights, or Light Emitting Diode lights, are energy-efficient lighting fixtures that use light-emitting diodes to produce light. They consume significantly less energy than traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs and have a longer lifespan. LED lights are available in various colors, brightness levels, and designs, making them suitable for a wide range of indoor and outdoor lighting applications. They are increasingly popular due to their energy savings, durability, and environmental benefits. Lithium-ion Lithium-ion (Li-ion) is a type of rechargeable battery technology commonly used in electronic devices, electric vehicles, and renewable energy storage systems. Li-ion batteries are lightweight and have high energy density, providing a long-lasting power source. They consist of lithium ions moving between the positive and negative electrodes during charge and discharge cycles. Li-ion batteries are known for their stability, low self-discharge rate, and ability to be recharged numerous times, making them popular for a wide range of applications. Load A load refers to the amount of power consumed by electrical devices or appliances connected to an electrical system. It represents the demand for electricity at any given time and is measured in units such as watts (W) or kilowatts (kW). Loads can be categorised as either resistive (e.g., incandescent bulbs, electric heaters) or reactive (e.g., motors, transformers), depending on how they consume electrical energy. Understanding the load is crucial for sizing electrical systems, ensuring reliability, and managing energy consumption effectively. Meter A meter is a device used to measure the amount of electricity consumed by a customer or generated by a power source. Meters typically measure electrical energy in units such as kilowatt-hours (kWh) and are installed at the point where electricity enters or leaves a building or facility. There are different types of meters, including electromechanical meters (analog meters) and digital meters (smart meters), each with its own method of measuring and displaying electrical usage. Meters are essential for billing purposes, monitoring energy consumption, and managing electrical distribution networks. Microinverter A microinverter is a small device installed on each individual solar panel in a photovoltaic (PV) system. Unlike string inverters, which are connected to multiple solar panels, microinverters convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by each solar panel directly into alternating current (AC) electricity. This decentralized approach allows for better performance monitoring, higher energy harvest, and increased system flexibility, especially in installations with shading or varying panel orientations. Module A solar module, also known as a solar panel, is a device that converts sunlight into electricity using photovoltaic cells. Multiple photovoltaic cells are interconnected and encapsulated within a frame to form a solar module. These modules are the building blocks of solar arrays and are commonly used in residential, commercial, and industrial solar energy systems. Monocrystalline Solar Panel A monocrystalline solar panel is a type of solar panel made from a single crystal structure, typically silicon. These panels are known for their high efficiency and sleek appearance due to the uniform color of the cells. They are commonly used in residential and commercial solar installations where space efficiency and maximum power output are desired. Mounting System A mounting system for solar panels is a structure or framework used to securely install solar panels onto rooftops, ground surfaces, or other structures. It provides stability and support for the solar panels, ensuring proper orientation and angle to maximize sunlight exposure for optimal energy generation. Mounting systems vary in design depending on the installation location, roof type, and environmental conditions. MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) Maximum Power Point Tracking: A technology used in solar charge controllers and inverters to optimise the efficiency of solar photovoltaic systems. MPPT continuously adjusts the operating voltage and current of the solar panels to ensure that they operate at their maximum power point, maximizing the amount of energy harvested from the sunlight. MW (Megawatt) Megawatt: A unit of power equal to one million watts, commonly used to measure the capacity of large-scale electricity generation plants or the consumption of electrical devices. MWh (Megawatt-hour) Megawatt-hour: A unit of energy equivalent to one million watt-hours, commonly used to measure the amount of electricity consumed or produced over a specific period. N-type N-type cells utilise semiconductor materials with n-type (negative-type) conductivity. These solar cells are typically made of crystalline silicon, where the silicon is doped with elements such as phosphorus to create n-type conductivity. N-type cells are widely used in photovoltaic panels alongside p-type cells. They offer advantages such as higher efficiency and lower sensitivity to certain types of impurities compared to p-type cells. Net Metering Net metering is a billing mechanism used for grid-connected solar energy systems that allows customers to offset their electricity bills with the excess electricity they generate and export to the grid. Under net metering, a bi-directional meter measures both the electricity consumed from the grid and the electricity generated by the solar panels. The customer is billed only for the net electricity consumed (i.e., the difference between electricity consumed and electricity generated). If the solar system generates more electricity than is consumed, the excess is typically credited to future bills or compensated at a retail rate. Net metering policies vary by location and utility provider. Off-grid solar PV system Off-grid solar PV system: A standalone solar power setup that operates independently of the electricity grid. It generates electricity from sunlight using photovoltaic panels and stores excess energy in batteries for use when solar generation is insufficient. These systems are typically used in remote areas or locations where connecting to the grid is impractical or cost-prohibitive. Off-Peak Off-peak refers to periods of low electricity demand within a given time frame, such as a day or a year. During off-peak times, electricity consumption is typically lower compared to peak periods. Off-peak periods may occur during nighttime hours when residential, commercial, and industrial activities are reduced, or during seasons with lower energy usage, such as mild weather conditions. Utilities often offer discounted electricity rates for usage during off-peak hours to encourage consumers to shift their electricity consumption away from peak times, helping to balance grid demand and reduce strain on the electrical system. P-type cells P-type solar cells utilise semiconductor materials with a p-type (positive-type) conductivity. These solar cells are typically made of crystalline silicon, where the silicon is doped with elements such as boron to create p-type conductivity. P-type solar cells are widely used in photovoltaic panels due to their efficiency, stability, and reliability in converting sunlight into electricity. Peak Peak refers to the period of highest demand for electricity within a given time frame, such as a day or a year. During peak periods, electricity consumption is at its highest, often due to increased demand from residential, commercial, and industrial users. Utilities typically experience peak demand during certain times of the day, such as early evening when people return home from work and use electrical appliances, or during hot summer days when air conditioning systems are running at full capacity. Managing peak demand is important for ensuring grid reliability and preventing power outages or disruptions. PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell) Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell: A solar cell technology that improves efficiency by reducing the recombination of electrons and holes at the rear surface, enhancing the cell’s light absorption and conversion capabilities. Polycrystalline Solar Panel A polycrystalline solar panel is a type of solar panel made from multiple silicon crystals that are melted together. These panels are known for their lower production costs compared to monocrystalline panels, although they generally have slightly lower efficiency. Polycrystalline solar panels are widely used in residential and commercial solar installations due to their affordability and relatively good performance in various weather conditions. Portable Battery Storage Portable battery storage refers to compact and mobile devices used to store electrical energy for later use. These devices typically utilise rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and are designed for convenient transportation and use in various applications, such as camping, outdoor activities, emergency preparedness, or powering small electronic devices on the go. Portable battery storage units often feature multiple output ports, including USB, DC, and AC, allowing users to charge or power a variety of devices wherever they are. Portable Solar Panel A portable solar panel is a lightweight and compact solar panel designed for easy transport and setup in various outdoor or off-grid environments. These panels typically feature folding or rollable designs, making them convenient for camping, hiking, boating, RVs, and other outdoor activities. Portable solar panels are equipped with built-in charge controllers and often come with integrated USB or DC outputs for charging small electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, or portable power banks. Power Optimiser A power optimiser is an electronic device used in photovoltaic (PV) systems to maximise the energy harvest from each solar panel. It works by individually optimising the power output of each panel and mitigating the effects of shading, panel mismatch, and other factors that can reduce overall system efficiency. Power optimisers are typically installed at the back of each solar panel and are often used in conjunction with string inverters or microinverters to enhance the performance of solar energy systems. PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is a legal contract between an electricity generator and a power purchaser. It outlines terms of the sale, including price, quantity, and duration, for the electricity generated. PV (Photovoltaic) Photovoltaic: Relating to the generation of electricity from sunlight through the use of solar cells or panels that convert light energy directly into electrical energy. Renewable Energy Renewable energy refers to energy derived from natural resources that are replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable Energy Target (RET) The Renewable Energy Target (RET) is a government policy that sets a mandated percentage or amount of energy that must be sourced from renewable sources by a certain date, aiming to increase the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix. Residential Solar Residential solar refers to solar energy systems installed on residential properties, such as homes or apartments, to generate electricity for on-site use. These systems typically consist of solar panels installed on rooftops or ground-mounted arrays, along with inverters and other necessary equipment to convert sunlight into usable electricity. Residential solar systems can help homeowners reduce their reliance on grid electricity, lower energy bills, and decrease their carbon footprint. SAA (Solar Accreditation Australia) Solar Accreditation Australia is an organisation responsible for accrediting solar installers and designers in Australia. It ensures that professionals meet specific standards of competency and quality in the installation and design of solar PV systems. SEC (Smart Energy Council) The Smart Energy Council: An Australian industry association focused on advancing the adoption of renewable energy and smart energy technologies. It advocates for policies supportive of clean energy, provides industry representation, and promotes innovation and collaboration within the renewable energy sector. Silicon Silicon is a key material used in the production of solar cells for solar panels. It is a semiconductor material that has the ability to convert sunlight into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. Silicon solar cells typically consist of thin wafers of silicon, which are doped with impurities to create positive and negative charge carriers. When sunlight hits the solar cell, it excites electrons in the silicon, creating an electric current. Silicon is abundant and widely available, making it the most commonly used material for solar cell production. Smart Meter A smart meter is a digital device used to measure and record electricity consumption in real-time. Unlike traditional analog meters, smart meters can communicate remotely with utility companies, allowing for automated meter reading and providing detailed information about energy usage patterns. Smart meters enable utilities to monitor electricity consumption more accurately, implement time-of-use pricing, remotely connect or disconnect service, and detect power outages more quickly. They also empower consumers to monitor their energy usage in real-time and make informed decisions to reduce energy costs and environmental impact. Solar Array A solar array refers to a collection of solar panels or modules arranged in an organised pattern to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. Solar arrays can vary in size from small rooftop installations on residential buildings to large-scale ground-mounted arrays used in utility-scale solar farms. The term “solar array” is often used to describe the entire solar panel installation, including the panels themselves, mounting structures, wiring, and other components necessary for the system to function. Solar arrays are a key component of solar energy systems and are used to generate clean and renewable electricity from sunlight. Solar Battery A solar battery is a rechargeable battery designed for storing electricity generated by solar panels. It stores excess energy produced during periods of high sunlight for later use when sunlight is unavailable, such as at night or during cloudy weather. Solar batteries enable greater self-consumption of solar energy and can provide backup power in case of grid outages. Solar cells Solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells, are semiconductor devices that convert sunlight directly into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. When sunlight strikes the surface of a solar cell, it excites electrons, creating an electric current. Solar cells are the building blocks of solar panels and are used to harness solar energy for various applications, including electricity generation. Solar Farm A solar farm is a large-scale installation of solar panels designed to generate electricity from sunlight. These farms can cover several acres of land and consist of hundreds or even thousands of solar panels arranged in arrays. Solar farms contribute significantly to renewable energy production by harnessing solar power on a utility scale, providing electricity to the grid for residential, commercial, or industrial use. Solar Hot Water Solar hot water systems use solar collectors, typically mounted on rooftops, to absorb heat from sunlight and transfer it to water for heating. These systems usually include a storage tank to hold the heated water for later use. Solar hot water systems can be passive or active, with active systems using pumps or controls to circulate water through the collectors and storage tank. They are renewable and environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional electric or gas water heaters, helping to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with water heating. Solar Hydronics Solar hydronics refers to a system that combines solar thermal collectors with a hydronic heating system to provide space heating or hot water heating. In these systems, solar collectors absorb heat from sunlight and transfer it to a fluid, typically water or a mixture of water and antifreeze, circulating through the system. The heated fluid is then used to provide warmth through radiant floor heating, baseboard radiators, or heat exchangers for domestic hot water. Solar hydronics systems can be an energy-efficient and sustainable option for heating residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Solar Installer A solar installer is a professional or company that designs, installs, and maintains solar energy systems. Solar Inverter A solar inverter is a device that converts the direct current (DC) electricity produced by solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity suitable for use in homes, businesses, or the electricity grid. Solar Panel A solar panel is a device comprised of multiple solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. It generates direct current (DC) electricity when exposed to sunlight, typically mounted on rooftops or in solar arrays to capture solar energy for various applications, including powering homes, businesses, and off-grid installations. Solar Panel Orientation Solar panel orientation refers to the direction in which solar panels are installed relative to the sun’s path, typically optimised for maximum sunlight exposure to maximise energy production. Solar Power Solar power refers to the conversion of sunlight into electricity through the use of photovoltaic cells or solar panels. It is a renewable energy source that harnesses the abundant energy from the sun to generate electricity for various applications, such as residential, commercial, and industrial use. Solar Tile Solar tiles, also known as solar roof tiles or solar shingles, are roofing materials that incorporate solar cells to generate electricity from sunlight. These tiles are designed to blend in seamlessly with traditional roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles or clay tiles, while harnessing solar energy to produce electricity for homes or buildings. Solar tiles offer an aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional solar panels and can be integrated into new construction or installed as replacements for existing roofing materials. Split Array A split array in the context of solar energy refers to a configuration where the solar panels are divided into multiple groups or sections, each connected to a separate inverter, power optimizer, or string. This setup allows for more flexibility in optimising the performance of the solar system, particularly in installations with shading or complex roof orientations. By dividing the solar array into smaller sections, each with its own power electronics, the overall system efficiency can be improved, as shading or performance issues affecting one section do not necessarily impact the entire array. Split arrays are commonly used in residential and commercial solar installations to maximise energy production and minimise losses due to shading or other factors. SRES SRES stands for Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. It’s an Australian government initiative that provides financial incentives to households, small businesses, and community groups to install small-scale renewable energy systems such as solar panels, wind turbines, and solar water heaters. STC (Small-scale technology certificates) Small-scale technology certificates: Tradable certificates in Australia that represent the renewable energy generation of eligible small-scale renewable energy systems, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and solar water heaters. They are used to incentivise and support the deployment of small-scale renewable energy systems by providing a financial benefit to system owners or installers. String inverter A string inverter is a type of solar inverter used in photovoltaic (PV) systems to convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by multiple solar panels connected in series (or “strings”) into alternating current (AC) electricity for use in homes or to feed into the electricity grid. String inverters are commonly used in residential and commercial solar installations and are known for their simplicity and cost-effectiveness. Switchboard A switchboard is a device used in electrical systems to control and distribute electricity to various circuits and electrical loads within a building or facility. It typically consists of one or more panels containing switches, circuit breakers, fuses, and other protective devices that allow for the manual control and isolation of electrical circuits. Switchboards are installed at the point where electricity enters a building from the utility grid and serve as a central distribution point for routing power to different areas or equipment. They play a crucial role in ensuring the safe and efficient operation of electrical systems by protecting against overloads, short circuits, and other electrical faults. Thin Film Solar Panel A thin-film solar panel is a type of solar panel that uses thin layers of semiconductor materials, such as amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), to generate electricity from sunlight. These panels are lightweight, flexible, and less expensive to manufacture compared to traditional crystalline silicon panels. Thin-film solar panels are commonly used in applications where weight, flexibility, or aesthetics are important, such as building-integrated photovoltaics, portable solar chargers, or large-scale solar farms. Voltage Voltage in solar refers to the electrical potential difference generated by a solar panel when exposed to sunlight. It’s the force that drives electrons through a circuit, creating an electric current. The voltage output of a solar panel depends on factors such as sunlight intensity, temperature, and the characteristics of the solar cells within the panel. W (Watt) A watt (W) is a unit of power in the International System of Units (SI), representing the rate at which energy is transferred or used. It is equivalent to one joule per second. Wh (Watt-hour) A watt-hour (Wh) is a unit of energy equivalent to the amount of energy expended by a one-watt device operating for one hour. It’s commonly used to measure electricity consumption or production over time. Wind Farm A wind farm is a collection of wind turbines installed in a specific area to generate electricity from wind energy. Wind farms are typically located in areas with consistent and strong wind patterns, such as coastal regions or open plains. The turbines in a wind farm are connected to an electricity grid, and the electricity they produce is distributed to consumers for various uses, contributing to renewable energy production and reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Wind Turbine A wind turbine is a device that converts the kinetic energy from wind into mechanical power, which can then be used to generate electricity. It typically consists of blades mounted on a rotor, which spins as wind blows over them. The spinning rotor drives a generator, producing electricity. Wind turbines are commonly used in wind farms, where multiple turbines are arranged in clusters to harness wind energy on a large scale for electricity generation.

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