Alternating current (AC) - The type of electricity that flows through the electricity network and powers the appliances in your home
Array – a group of solar modules connected together. There may be one or more arrays in a solar power system
Amorphous solar panel – a solar panel that is not comprised of crystalline silicon.
Azimuth- The horizontal angle between true north and the horizontal projection of a line between the observer and a point of interest eg. the sun
Balance of Systems – all of the other components in a solar power system besides the solar modules and the inverter
Base load- The amount of energy the grid must supply at all times to meet consumer demand
Battery- a back up device to store excess solar electricity that can be used out of daylight production hours
CCEW – certificate of compliance for electrical work. Must be supplied to the owner of a solar power system by the installation electrician to say the work meets Australian and network regulations
Cell- The basic photovoltaic unit that produces electricity from light
Direct current DC- a type of electrical current. It must be converted to AC current before it is useable
Diode- helps electricity move around shaded areas of a solar module
Grid – The network of cables and equipment that moves electricity to homes and businesses.
Grid connected – a solar power system that is able to send power to the grid
Gross meter- an electricity meter that measures all the generation from a solar power system.
Gross FiT – a gross feed in tariff is where a price is paid by the network for every bit of power generated by a solar power system
Ground mount – a solar power system that is installed on framing on the ground, as opposed to a roof.
Inverter – An electrical component that converts DC electricity into AC electricity
Isolator – a switch that allows us to remove the flow of electricity to components in the solar power system
Kilowatt – one thousand watts
Kilowatt hour – is a unit of energy and relates to 1000 Watts acting over a period of one hour
Mega watt- one million watts
Meridian – An imaginary line encircling a globular body at right angles to its equator and passing through its poles.
Module – a collection of solar cells electrically connected together and packaged within a frame. Also called a solar panel
Mono-crystalline – a semi conductor consisting of a single crystal
Multi-crystalline – a semi conductor made from many small crystals
Net FiT – a payment made for only for excess solar power that is sent to the grid, after being available for use at the premises
Net meter – an electricity meter that spins forwards and backwards and can register the generation of a solar power system and the electrical consumption of a property
Panel - a collection of solar cells electrically connected together and packaged within a frame. Also called a module
Photon – a packet of light energy
Poly-crystalline – see multi-crystalline
PV- Photovoltaic . The word comes from “photo”, meaning light, and “voltaic”, that refers to volts or electricity. So photovoltaic, is something that makes electricity from light.
Semiconductor – a special class of materials that have electrical properties and conduct some electrical current
Silicon – a semi conductor that is the most common material used to make solar cells
Smart meter – an electricity meter, that is able to perform functions, besides measuring an accumulating total. Can measure TOU data, consumption and production data, and be remotely read.
Solar noon – The time in the day when the sun reaches its highest point
Stand alone solar system – a solar power system that is not connected to the grid and may use batteries to store electricity that is excess to requirements
String – A group of solar modules connected in series
Thin film panel – a solar panel that uses a very thin layer of a semi conductor, deposited on a backing material.
Tilt – The angle between a solar panel and a horizontal plane such as the horizon. The best tilt angle allows the panel to absorb the most sunlight with between 10 and 40 giving good year-round performance
Time of use metering (TOU) – Where the day is divided up into three different time bands, peak, off peak and shoulder, and different rates are charged for power purchased during the different times.
Tracking system – a system that can be adjusted either manually or mechanically to follow the sun and increase the solar panels exposure to the light.
Watt- a unit of power equal to amps x volts