Glossary for Solar 101

Get the most out of your solar system by familiarizing yourself with these terms:

  • Photovoltaics (PV)

The conversion of light energy into usable electricity. A photovoltaic system uses solar panels (modules) made up of cells to generate electric power.

  • Conversion efficiency

The percentage of solar energy that reaches a module (solar panel) that is then converted into electrical power.

  • Energy Payback

An estimate of how long it will take for you to break even on your investment.

  • Grid Connected

A solar system that is connected to the grid so it can send excess power there for later use.

  • Inverter

The device that converts direct current (DC) power from your solar system into alternating current (AC) power that your home can then use.

  • Net Metering

Sending excess electricity back through the electricity meter to the utility company, helping you reduce your bill or even make money from your solar installation.

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