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Definitions (6)


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off grid

An off grid system is a solar panel electricity generation system which is not connected to the mains power distribution grid. It is completely independent of the mains grid, so to provide power during darkness such solar panel systems need a secondary power store (such as batteries) or a generator.
kmarlow - 6 March 2017


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solar gain

Solar gain (known also as solar heat gain or passive solar gain) refers to the temperature increase in a space, object, or structure caused by solar radiation. The amount of solar gain increases with the strength of the Sun, and with the ability of any intervening material to transmit or resist the radiation.

Objects struck by Sunlight absorb the short-wave radiation from the light and re-radiate the heat at longer infrared wavelengths. Where there is a material or substance between the Sun and the objects struck that is more transparent to the shorter wavelengths than the longer, then when the Sun is shining the net result is an increase in temperature - hence solar gain.
kmarlow - 6 March 2017


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pv module

A PV module is basically a solar photovoltaic module used in converting Sun light into electrical energy. They are usually manufactured as a sealed unit with a given output voltage and wattage rating. They are often grouped together to create a larger total power output.
kmarlow - 6 March 2017


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solar power system

A Solar Power System is a system which creates power (typically in the form of electricity) from the Sun.

Solar power is most often harvested using a set of Solar Panels or Cells. These are then linked to an inverter which converts the electricity to a level suitable for feeding into the mains supply. In a residential context its usual for the power to be consumed first on site and they any excess is 'fed into' to the electricity grid for a tariff (feed in tariff).
kmarlow - 6 March 2017


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smart meter

A smart meter is a form of electricity consumption meter that is able to measure your electricity usage in multiple time bands and is computer based. Also they will usually support 'feed in' measurement of locally generated electricity back into the electrical supply grid; i.e. any spare electricity generated by solar panels.
kmarlow - 6 March 2017


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solar energy

Electromagnetic energy transmitted from the sun (solar radiation). The amount that reaches the earth is equal to one billionth of total solar energy generated, or the equivalent of about 420 trillion kilowatt-hours.

Solar energy is the major driver of Earth's environment. About one 1kw per hour per meter square makes it way to the ground. Changes in solar energy over extended periods contributes to environmental shifts (Ice Ages).
kmarlow - 6 March 2017