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Ten Basic Solar Power Terms Every Homeowner Should Know

January 20, 2022

More and more homeowners across the United States are switching to solar power. Not only are solar panels environmentally friendly, but they also offer unbeatable energy efficiency.

When it comes to understanding solar energy, it helps to contact a solar company in Charlotte. PES Solar has over 20 years of experience helping homeowners understand the many benefits of solar energy. Below is a list of common solar power terms that every homeowner should know.

1.  Alternative Energy

Not all forms of energy generation are environmentally friendly. Alternative energy refers to energy generated in environmentally friendly ways. Examples of alternative energy sources include:

  • Solar
  • Biomass
  • Wind
  • Geothermal
  • Hydroelectric

2.  Array

An array is a collection of solar panels wired together. Generally, the more panels you install—and the larger your array—the more energy you can generate for your home.3.

3.  Balance of System (BOS)

The balance of system, or BOS, refers to the non-panel parts of a solar system. BOS components include:

  • Hardware
  • Wiring
  • Inverters
  • Monitoring system

4.  Electrical/Utility Grid

The grid consists of electrical power-generating stations that carry electricity from a supplier to the consumer. Using high-voltage transmission lines, the electrical grid transfers power from a power plant to the demand center while distribution lines connect each customer to the grid.

5.  Inverter

Most homes and businesses rely on AC electricity, or alternating current electricity, to power devices. Solar power, on the other hand, generates DC electricity, or direct current electricity.

Inverters transfer the DC electricity from solar panels to create AC electricity for your home.

6.  Kilowatt-hour (kWh)

Among the essential solar power terms to know is kilowatt-hour—the standard measurement of electrical power. Homeowners can expect to see their power bills based on this measurement as it states the amount of power used during a single hour.

7.  Micro-inverter

On the backside of each solar panel is a micro-inverter. A micro-inverter is an innovative piece of smart grid technology that optimizes energy production for each solar panel. As a result, solar systems can perform at maximum efficiency without the risk of slowing down should a single panel underperform.

8.  Net Metering

Excess energy produced by a solar power system is sent to an electrical grid. The electrical grid then redistributes the energy through a process called “back feeding.”

Net metering measures the amount of energy sent and received from the grid. Companies use this record to credit or charge customers according to their energy usage and local rates.

9.  Photovoltaics (PV)

Photovoltaics technology is the key to turning sunshine into electrical power. PV technology uses semiconductors to capture sunlight and convert it to electricity for your home.

10.  Solar Panel Efficiency

Efficiency is one of the most common solar power terms and refers to the percentage of sunlight that solar panels use to create electricity. Most panels offer between 20 and 25% efficiency.

PES Solar can help you learn why you should get solar panels and how they can improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Solar power is an excellent and reliable energy source for any type of home. Let PES Solar in Charlotte show you the many benefits of solar panels by calling (800) 650-6519.