AC-Alternating current. Electrical energy which reverses
its direction at regular intervals.
AC Daily Power Budget- The daily amount of watts your AC
AC Inverter and Battery Power Allowance- Running an inverter
draws a small amount of power from your battery. So does keeping
power stored. The inverter and battery allowance in your power calculations
help make certain enough power will be produced to keep your battery
from running in the red.
Adjusted Total Daily Power Budget- A total daily power
budget may be changed to meet certain situations. For instance,
if you spend only weekends at a house, then your adjusted total
daily power budget will be lower. Adding a generator to your system
also reduces your total daily power budget. The adjusted daily power
budget provides the figure that determines the size of you solar
electric power system.
Ampere or amp- Electric current is measured in amperes
Amp Hours The number of amps used or produced in a given
hour equals the number of hours. Batteries are rated in amp hours.
Array A group of solar electric modules connected together
in a power system.
Battery Bank A group of batteries wired together to store
power in a solar electric system. Allows you to use the stored power
at night, on cloudy days or to run more power than the array can
produce at one time.
Centrifugal (Water Pumping) Rotating outward, away from
the center, as in centrifugal force.
Controller _ Simply put, the controller regulates the current
from solar charger to your battery bank.
Current The rate of flow of an electric charge. Current
is measured in amps.
DC Direct current. Electrical energy flowing in one direction
and of substantially constant value.
DC Daily Power Budget The number of watts your DC appliances
Fall (Water Pump/Hydro Sections) The vertical descent
of water, usually measured in vertical feet. Also called "head".
Flow Rate Speed at which water moves.
GPM Gallons per minute.
Ground Mount A piece of equipment upon which solar modules
Head See "Fall".
Hertz or HZ The frequency of electrical current described
in cycles per second. Appliances in the U.S. use 60 HZ. Appliances
in other countries generally use 50 HZ.
Hydroelectricity Electricity created by water power.
Hydrometer An instrument used to measure state-of-charge
(voltage) of a battery.
Inverter An Appliance used to convert independent DC
power into standard household AC current.
Kilowatt or KW a thousand watts. (See Watts.)
LED Light emitting diode. These lights are often used
to indicate low power on modern electronic equipment.
Line Loss Voltage drop over the length of electric line
wire. Line loss robs your system of power when wire is too small
for the load being run through the line or when voltage is too low
for the distance the power must travel.
Load The lights or appliances run by your electrical
MA Milliamps, 1000 MA = 1 amp.
Module Modular solar electric charger; used interchangeably
with solar electric panel.
Parallel Wiring A system of wiring, for solar electric
modules of batteries, which increases amperage. Parallel wiring
is "+ to +" (positive to positive) and " to " (negative to negative).
Photovoltaic Converting light into electricity. Photo
means "light" voltaic means "electric". Often referred to as "PV"
for short. More commonly referred to as "solar electric".
PSI Pounds per square inch.
Self-Regulating Some modules have a special circuitry
which keeps the battery from overcharging. This means that no controller
is needed when the self-regulating module is properly matched to
battery storage capacity.
Series Wiring A system of wiring, for solar electric
modules or batteries, which increases voltage. Series wiring is
+ to (positive to negative).
Single-Crystal Silicon Many solar chargers use single-crystal
solar cells as they are the most efficient cell on the market. Pure
silicon is grown into crystalline ingots which are cut into thin
slices to make solar electric cells. These cells are then soldered
together to meet the chargers voltage and current requirements.
Solar Cell The smallest basic solar electric device which
generates electricity when exposed to light. Solar Electric The
preferred term used to describe something which uses sunlight to
produce electricity. "Photovoltaic" is the more technical term.
Thin Film Silicon The tiny solar chargers found in calculators
and wristwatches are solar thin-film. Thin-film solar chargers are
made by spreading a micro-thin layer of silicon on glass and creating
the voltage and current circuits using laser technology. Thin-film
chargers are produced in sizes from the microscopic calculator chip,
up to the 1x4 power module.
Total Daily Power Budget In a DC system, the daily amount
of watts your DC appliances use, plus the battery power allowance.
In a DC and AC system, the daily amount of watts DC and AC appliances
use, plus battery and inverter power allowances.
Voltage or Volts Voltage is the rating of the amount
of electrical pressure that causes electricity to flow in the power
line. If electricity were water, voltage would measure the amount
of pressure at the faucet.
Watts A watt is a measurement of total electrical power.
Volts x amps = watts.
Watt Hour The quantity of electrical energy used or produced
when one watt is used for one hour.