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What is Renewable Energy? Solar Industry Buzzwords Defined.


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Every industry has its own language. Buzzwords, terms, and jargon make understanding technology difficult for industry outsiders. The renewable energy and solar industries are no different. From energy-specific terms to technology terms, we've layed out an introduction to some of those buzzwords defined.

Published in: Technology, Business

What is Renewable Energy? Solar Industry Buzzwords Defined.

  1. 1. What is Renewable Energy? Solar IndustryBuzzwords Defined.
  2. 2. Solar Energy BuzzwordsEvery industry has its own language.Batting a thousand. Cover all your bases. Knock it out of the park. Leftfield. Whole new ball game.These are all terms that originated in professional baseball and as slangor jargon. But you’ve probably used them when not playing baseball oreven talking about baseball.Sports jargon easily assimilates itself into our everyday language,including business speak. And chances are, you can think of other termsand metaphors that were once purely technical language, but are nowwidely understood words and terms used in the public discourse.Just like other industries, solar energy has its own jargon, buzzwords,and terms that can be unfamiliar to those outside the energy industry.In this presentation, our goal is to start defining those, making it easier foryou to learn and talk about your solar-energy system.
  3. 3. Solar Energy BuzzwordsSolar Energyn. (Physics / General Physics) energy obtained from solar power1. The radiant energy emitted by the Sun.2. Energy derived from the Sun’s radiation. Passive solar energy can be exploitedthrough architectural design, as by positioning windows to allow sunlight to enterand help heat a space. Active solar energy involves the conversion of sunlight toelectrical energy, especially in solar (photovoltaic) cells.3. Also referred to as solar power, clean energy.
  4. 4. Solar Energy BuzzwordsRenewable Energyn. any energy resource that is naturally regenerated over a short time scale and derived directly fromthe sun, indirectly from the sun, or from other natural movements and mechanisms of theenvironment (such as geothermal and tidal energy). Renewable energy does not include energyresources derived from fossil fuels, waste products from fossil sources, or waste products frominorganic sources.1. Any naturally occurring, theoretically inexhaustible source of energy, asbiomass, solar, wind, tidal, wave, and hydroelectric power, that is not derivedfrom fossil or nuclear fuel.2. energy from sources that are not easily depleted.3. Also referred to as clean energy, alternative energy, sustainable energy, greenenergy.
  5. 5. Solar Energy BuzzwordsSolar Cellsn. (Physics / General Physics) A semiconductor device that converts the energy of sunlight intoelectric energy.1. A photovoltaic cell that converts light directly into energy.2. A photovoltaic cell designed to convert sunlight into electrical energy, typicallyconsisting of layers or sheets of specially prepared silicon. Electrons, displacedthrough the photoelectric effect by the Sun’s radiant energy in one layer, flowacross a junction to the other layer, creating a voltage across the layers that canprovide power to an external circuit.3. Also referred to as photovoltaic cell, electric cell.Photonn. (Physics / General Physics) A particle of light that acts as an individual unit of energy.
  6. 6. Solar Energy BuzzwordsSolar Modulen. A number of individual solar cells connected together in an environmentally protected housingproducing a standard voltage and power. Multiple modules can be assembled into an array forincreased power and/or voltage.1. A solar photovoltaic device composed of groups of individual solar cellsconnected in a series, in parallel, or in series-parallel combinations to produce astandard output.2. Also referred to as a module, panel, or solar panel.
  7. 7. Solar Energy BuzzwordsSolar Energy Systemn. A group of solar photovoltaic modules connected together to increase voltage and/or power to thelevel required for a given system.1. Also referred to as a solar power system, solar array, photovoltaic system orphotovoltaic array.
  8. 8. Solar Energy BuzzwordsKilowatt (kW)n. A standard of unit of electrical power equal to 1000 watts.Kilowatt Hour (kWh)n. 1000 watts produced or consumed for a period of 1 hour.A typical solar-energy system is 25 kilowatts, and in Missouri, will produce approximately 32,000kilowatt hours of solar electricity a year.Wattn. The unit of electric power in a circuit. One watt equals one ampere under an electrical pressure ofone volt.
  9. 9. Solar Energy BuzzwordsAlternating Current (AC)n. Electric current in which the current changes direction 120 times per second. Is the commoncurrent used.Invertern. An essential part of a solar-energy system. An electronic device that converts solar electricity fromDC to AC, allowing for its use in modern buildings.Direct Current (DC)n. Electric current in which the flow of electrons is in one direction only.Solar panels produce DC current electricity.
  10. 10. Solar Energy BuzzwordsVoltageThere are three main properties that allow electricity to work: voltage, amps, and resistance. Whenworking together inside a circuit, these properties allow electricity to move from place to place – aprocess that begins when an atom’s electrons are stimulated, and made to move in a current or flow.In order for electricity to flow in a current, there must be some sort of force or pressure pushing theelectrons along: called electromotive force, or voltage. A circuit carries this electrical current betweenthe source to the load.Amperage (amps, or current)These electrical sources possess both positive and negative terminals, using the negative terminal topush electrons back from the load to the positive terminal on the source. That force, then, that isapplied by the source determines the amount of voltage running through the circuit.The amperage is determined by the number of electrons flowing through.Resistancen. A material’s opposition to the flow of electric current; measured in ohms.
  11. 11. Solar Energy BuzzwordsNet Meteringn. A system in which solar panels or other renewable energy generators are connected to a public-utility power grid and surplus power is transferred onto the grid, allowing customers to offset the costof power drawn from the utility.1. Origin: surplus energy, measured by an electric meter, is netted from theamount passing from the utility to the customer.Grid Tied Systemn. An independent electrical power system that is connected to the utility grid so that power can besupplied by the grid when needed and fed back into the grid during excess power production.
  12. 12. Solar Energy BuzzwordsOff-Peak Demandn. The times during a 24 hour period of low electricity demand. Opposite of peak demand.Peak Sun Hoursn. The equivalent number of hours per day when solar radiation averages 1 kilowatt per squaremeter. For example, 5 peak sun hours means that the energy received during total daylight hoursequals the energy that would have been received had the solar radiation for 5 hours been 1 kilowattper square meter.
  13. 13. Solar Energy BuzzwordsSpeaking the Solar LanguageHopefully you now have an introductory understanding of some of the industry buzzwords you’veheard thrown around.Think we left something out?Let us know in the comments and we’ll work on a definition for you.Enjoy this presentation?Find more like it and other posts on our blog:Or join our conversation on solar and clean energy:
  14. 14. Brightergy, one of the nation’s fastest-growing full-service solardevelopment and finance firms, offers turn-key solar design,installation, monitoring, and inhouse financing services.Our extensive experience includes hundreds of projects completedfor clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies and utilities tononprofits and mid-sized businesses.We make it simple, rewarding, and profitable to do the right thing.
  15. 15. Our PurposeWe make it simple, rewarding, and profitable to do the right thing.• Manage every aspect of each project – we are as scalable as theprojects we do• Focus on the financials and economics to allow entities to adopt solaras a viable energy source• Energy is the lifeblood of commerce – now you can save onsomething you have to have to do business• Investing in solar results in sustainable profits