Starting out on your Solar journey can be difficult. Research can lead to dead ends due to lack of understanding key terms, our All-star team are here to help you through this process. This list below contains all the key terms you require to understand a generic PV Solar system. Our Solar Glossary will breakdown all the key terms you need to know. Where it is different is we speak to you in your language not in engineering terms, which you will find helpful.
Whether you find yourself researching parts required, looking at various types of systems or just curious to know what the abbreviations mean, this list will assist you in understating those tricky key terms.
The ratio of light reflected from a surface.
This is the electricity that we use within our own homes.
The way in which the Solar Panels are connected together on the roof of your home and are connected together to provide a single electrical output.
An inverter designed for use with batteries.
This is the number of times a battery can be fully discharged before it becomes so degraded it can only operate at 80% of its original capacity. The average is approximately 10 years.
The software and electronics that control how a battery charges and discharges.
An increasingly popular option for Australian homes. A solar Battery stores excess electricity generated by the Solar PV system to use during peak times.
A busbar is a metal plate placed within a solar panel that conducts the freed electrons within the solar cell. Typically look for solar panels with 5 BusBar technology as they are more efficient.
The basic unit of a PV/ photovoltaic panel. In other terms Solar Panels are made up of either 60 or 72 cells that generate electricity.
Clouds, dust, extensive rain – natural components that can impact the efficiency of your solar panels.
This is the current that the solar panels generate from the sun. However, this electricity needs to be converted to Alternating Current (AC) before we can use it in our homes. This is why Solar PV Systems need inverters. They are responsible for this conversion of electrical current.
Solar radiance that hits the earth’s surface directly.
The complete electric current including all capacitors.
Power output divided by the electrical power consumed. For solar panels you want them to have high efficiency which means they will generate more energy.
Usable source of power or electricity powered by fossil fuel, coal, electricity or solar radiation.
Equivalent to 1,000,000,000 Watts.
Solar radiation energy measured on a given surface area in a given time.
A device that converts DC electricity into AC electricity.
This is a box in which wires connect. A small one can be found on the back of solar panels.
A Kilowatt is the standard measurement of solar, especially when you are looking at buying solar for your home. In Australia the average sized system that was installed in 2018 was 6.6kW. 1 Kilowatt = 1,000 watts.
This is a method inverters use to get the most power out of solar panels. Older inverters, and currently some small ones, only have one Maximum Power Point Tracker. This means all the panels connected to the inverter need to be facing the same direction and if there is shading, suffer from the same amount, to prevent losses in output.
1 Megawatt = 1,000,000 watts and is another measure used heavily in the solar industry, normally associated with larger solar project such as solar farms.
The total connected solar cells also known as a panel.
Monocrystalline panels are created from one large, single silicon crystal, rating it as most efficient solar technology available, and is fantastic option to consider for your home.
A system that is self sufficient without any need for electricity generated from the grid.
The highest demand for electricity within a period. Normally in Australia this is during morning and evening times.
The time of day when the sunrays are at their strongest, typically in the middle of the day.
PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Technology) refers to a method of increasing panel efficiency by placing a reflective mirror-like surface behind the solar cell, allowing photons which may have escaped absorption to be reflected into the cell.
The technology and research that applies to energy created by solar radiation.
The efficiency of power produced by a solar system, considering factors such as: temperature, efficiency rate varying from day to day.
Also known as a Solar PV system. It is a system which uses solar cells and converts light into electricity. Consists of solar panels, an inverter and racking.
Solar cells produced from solidified silicon, creating silicon crystals. Polycrystalline cells are said to be less efficient than monocrystalline cells, however still a great and cost effective option when looking at solar for your own home.
The system in which protects and holds your PV system to your roof, it is to protect your solar panels from wind pressures from various angles over the duration of having a PV system.
Energy/Light from the sun; also referred to as Solar Radiance.
A PV/Photovoltaic system run on its own, not connected to the utility grid.
These certificates are created when a rooftop solar system or other small-scale renewable energy system is installed. They are part of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target which is designed to increase the amount of renewable energy generation in the country.
Power/ energy which is solely derived from the sun.
A very important thing to now as it will directly affect the efficiency of your panels and the amount of sun rays they typically receive each day. In Australia the best orientation is north facing.
The position in which you place your PV system on the roof of your property which maximizes the amount of sunlight exposure it receives.
Distribution of energy produced by the sun in wavelengths.
An inverter that has one or more strings of solar panels attached to it. It converts direct current from the solar panels into alternating current that is used in our homes and business or exported to the grid. They are by far the most common type of inverter in Australia.
The interconnected network for spreading and distributing electricity.
Tier 1 panels are considered by banks to be reliable and long-lasting enough for them to provide finance for solar projects that use them.
Also called a slice or substrate, is a thin slice of semiconductor material, such as crystalline silicon, used in electronics for the fabrication of integrated circuits and in photovoltaics for conventional, wafer-based solar cells.
A warranty is a guarantee by the product manufacturer or installer to the customer that the product will continue to function at a satisfactory level. A breach of a warranty will usually result in a full or partial refund equal to the price of the original product.
The unit of electric power in one unit of time. This is the basis of how all solar is measured.