AC power (Alternating Current): an electrical current whose magnitude and direction varies continuously and sinusoidally. AC is the form in which electricity is delivered to businesses and residences. It can be thought of as “standard” electrical power.
Annual Solar Savings: the amount of money saved by avoidance of electrical utility costs. Since solar will drastically reduce, and in many cases virtually eliminate the electric bill, the savings can be substantial.
DC power (Direct Current): an electrical current whose magnitude and direction stay constant. The photovoltaic cells on solar panels capture energy from sunlight in the form of DC. In order to power your home, this current must be converted to AC by an inverter.
Electrical Current: the flow of charged electrons through a circuit. Depending upon its behavior, an electrical current can be alternating or direct (AC or DC).
Electric Panel: an electrical distribution board that houses electrical circuit breakers. It is the main point at which electricity is distributed throughout a building. It is otherwise known as a breaker box. The circuit breakers can be turned on or off, thus restricting or permitting the flow of electrical current to electrical outlets.
Inverter: a device that converts DC power captured by the photovoltaic cells on solar panels into AC power that can be used to power your home. This device is an integral part of a solar system. Large solar systems may have more than one inverter.
kW (kilowatt): a measurement of power based on the Watt. The Watt is the standard unit used to measure power. A kilowatt is one thousand watts. A typical household requires a solar power system that produces between 3-5 kW.
Solar Energy: electromagnetic energy transmitted from the sun. In order to power buildings, this energy must be captured and converted to AC electrical power.
Solar Panel: a group of solar cells arranged into a panel that can be installed onto a flat surface. The panel captures sunlight and converts it into DC power.
Utility Grid: the infrastructure that delivers electric power to homes and businesses. The utility grid is owned and managed by electric utility companies.
Utility Meter: a device that measures the flow of electricity between a site that uses electricity and the electric utility company.