With energy prices on the rise, it’s no wonder that so many people are switching to solar energy. But before you make the decision to upgrade to solar, you should become familiar with a variety of pertinent solar terms. In order to understand the full benefits of solar power and how your new system will work, here’s a quick introduction to a few of the most important solar terms.
- Solar cell – Cells are the simplest aspect of the photovoltaic powerhouse. Each module contains multiple solar cells.
- Photovoltaic – Often shortened to PV, photovoltaic cells convert solar light into usable energy.
- PV module – These are the smallest integrated groups components within solar cells that can turn sunlight into energy.
- Solar array – An array is a group of modules that work with one another to generate electrical output for your house.
- Irradiance – This is a measurement of electrical power in order to inform you of how much solar energy is beaming down on a particular PV module over a given time.
- Peak sun hours – When sunlight is bright and radiant, the irradiance can exceed 1,000 watts per meter squared. When the irradiance passes this threshold for three hours, a home has enjoyed peak sunlight for three hours that day.
- Solar cell efficiency – Because some sunlight will be reflected or lost, no solar cell is 100 percent efficient. Cell efficiency is a measurement of the percentage of sun that can be converted into usable power.
- Net metering – The general idea of net metering is that if a household’s solar energy system produces a surplus of energy, that energy will be fed back into the grid (your local utility’s main power supply) and users will receive a credit for the energy surplus (the credit limit is usually capped at a certain wattage).
To talk to an HVAC professional about going solar, or for other information on matters related to home comfort, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving residents of the greater Kansas City area since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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