Solar Terminology 101 Part 2

Jessica PirroMarch 17, 2020 1681 1

When it comes to solar panel installations, half of the battle is going to learning the language. You can’t read about solar panels and solar power systems if you have no idea what it means. Here’s some solar power lingo translated to for you!

Solar Terminology 101 Part 2

Solar Battery

A solar battery is infiltrating the solar power industry. More and more homeowners are opting to get install a solar battery alongside their solar power system. A solar battery is going to be a specially constructed case that contains potential chemical energy. When a chemical reaction does occur the electricity is then generated and can be used to do work. With a disposable solar battery, the chemical reaction isn’t going to be easily reversed, so if you are interested in a solar battery, avoid disposable ones. With a rechargeable solar battery, the chemical reaction can be reversed when you supply electrical energy.

Solar Battery Capacity

The total amount of solar power that a solar battery can provide before it is going to be completely discharged. The solar battery capacity is often going to be higher than the usable solar battery capacity because a lot of the different kinds of solar batteries are going to be damaged if they are completely discharged.

Charge Controller

This is going to regulate the solar power that is being sent into the solar battery, and it protects the solar battery charge during the off-hours. A charge controller is going to be needed because a solar battery may be damaged by a fluctuating charge, which may happen if the solar battery was directly connected to the solar power system.

The Disconnect Switch

The is a name that is fancy for an off switch. It’s going to be very important to know where this switch is, just in case there is an issue with the solar panel installation, you can shut it off if there is an issue.


The solar industry is going to refer to a solar power system that includes a solar battery to store excess solar energy as a solar-plus-storage. This is just going to be another time to refer to a solar battery.

Energy Audit

An energy audit is an audit that is an assessment that is going to evaluate just how much energy is going to be consumed in a home and will identify the different ways you can make your home more energy-efficient. An energy audit can help homeowners recognize the different patterns or problems that over time, might waste energy and money. Most of the audits are going to change or correct any identified issues.

Renewable Energy

When you are researching solar power, you are going to come across renewable energy. Renewable energy is the energy that is generated from sources that are going to naturally renew themselves. The different kinds of renewable energy include sunlight, wind, geothermal heat or tidal movement.

Solar Power Canopies

These are going to be solar panel installations that are raised above the ground on structures that leave the land that is underneath usable for another purpose, like solar carports such as parking lots.

Solar Cell

This is a single light-capturing unit that is in a PV solar panel; solar cells are going to be made up of silicon, like semiconductors. They are going to be constructed with a positive later as well as a negative later, with together will create an electric field.

Solar Power Monitoring

This is going to be a specialized software that is used to track and manage energy generation and usage, billing, carbon offsets and more. Solar power monitoring can be accessed through a mobile device, home computer or a remote operations center.

The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE)

This is going to be a per-unit cost of energy from a solar power system. LCOE is going to be calculated by dividing the out-of-pocket cost for the solar power system by the estimated total amount of energy the solar power system is going to produce over its lifetime.

Power Purchase Agreement

This is going be a contract that you sign with a solar company to have a solar power system installed on your rooftop. With a solar PPA, you are going to agree to pay the solar company a per kilowatt-hour rate for the solar power system that is generated by the solar panels.

Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC)

For each unit of electricity that a solar power system is going to generate, which is an associated SREC that is also created. In certain states, you can sell your SRECs for additional revenue.

Kilowatt/Kilowatt Hours

A kilowatt (kW) is going to be a measure of power - the demand at any given time. A Kilowatt-hour (kWh) is going to be a measure of energy, which is the consumption of power over some time. A kWh is going to be the power demand (kW) multiplied by the total amount of time the power is being used (in hours). if a 30-watt bulb is running for 24 hours, 720 watt-hours or .72 kWh is consumed (this is going to be 30 watts time 24 hours).

The average household consumes about 30 kWh per day. If your solar panels receive five hours of peak sunlight a day, you need 6 kW if output to cover 100% of your energy use. Typical solar panels can produce between 250 and 270 watts of peak power during the most ideal conditions, which means that you are going to need around 24 solar panels to make up a 6kW solar panel installation.

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