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The form of electricity used in American homes and businesses. Homes are typically 120 and 240 volt, and businesses typically use 208, 217, or 480 volts.
A fancy name for all of the solar panels in your system, plus the wiring that connects them to each other and your property’s electrical system.
The photovoltaic thingamabob in your solar panels that converts sunlight into electricity.
The form of electricity produced by solar panels. It must be converted into AC electricity to be used in your home or business.
The percentage of the sun’s energy hitting the panel that is converted to electricity — typically about 15%.
The network of utility power lines that brings electricity to your property. Your solar energy system connects to the grid to allow net metering.
This refers to two things in the solar world: (1) Unit of measure for the amount of electricity consumed.Your electric bill states how many kilowatt-hours you used in the last month. (2) Unit of measure for the amount of electricity produced by your solar array. The meter we install with your solar system tells you how many kilowatt-hours your panels produced.
A piece of equipment that converts electricity from DC to AC. These are installed underneath each solar panel.
The ability to create credits with your electric company for solar power you generate. To do this, you need a net meter. Net meters, unlike traditional utility meters, have the ability to count up or down so they can register both electricity used at your property and electricity generated at your property. The state’s investor-owned utilities must offer net metering. Municipal utilities are not obligated to offer net metering, but they may do so voluntarily.
The original, more confusing, and harder to say name for solar electric panels.
Energy that comes from a source that renews itself or is infinite in supply. Includes solar electric and solar thermal (hot water), wind, hydro power, tidal power, biomass and geothermal.
The piece of equipment that captures the sun for you and converts it into electricity. A collection of solar cells makes up a panel or module. We use these terms interchangeably. A bunch of panels together makes up your array.
Another name for solar hot water.
A piece of equipment that converts electricity from DC to AC. We usually install this in your garage or basement.
A unit of measure for power. Solar arrays are rated in watts (or kilowatts). This rating is the peak amount of power the array can produce at any instant. Watts produced or used over time is energy.