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Glossary

A B C D E F G I K M P R S T V W Y

Alternating current: Current whose direction (polarity) changes constantly. In solar power systems, it is generated by an inverter.

Antireflex layer:

Azimuth:

Bypass diodes: The yield of a photovoltaic system comprising modules connected in a series can be reduced even if only one of its modules is shaded. Bypass diodes conduct electricity past the shaded module or short-circuit this area to prevent a reduction in yield. Bypass diodes are generally located in the connection socket.

Cell: A cell converts light energy into direct current using the photovoltaic effect.

CO2: The chemical symbol for carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide forms when fossil fuels such as oil, gas, coal and uranium are burned. Solar power systems do not generate any CO2 emissions.

Direct current: Direct current is electric current that does not change direction. This is the type of current generated by batteries and solar cells.

Economic efficiency:

EEG: The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) promotes the expansion of electricity and heat generation from renewable energies. Grid operators are obligated to pay a certain amount for every kilowatt hour (kWh) produced, e.g. from solar power. The amount of the compensation depends on whether the power is fed in into the public grid or whether it is consumed directly. The determined rate decreases annually by a certain percentage (degression).

Efficiency: Ratio of useful energy or energy produced to energy consumed. It describes how efficiently energy is converted, for example how effectively sunlight is converted into electric current, and how efficiently energy is transferred, for example how well direct current is converted into alternating current.

Grid connection: Connecting a photovoltaic system to the power grid using an inverter.

Inverter: Inverters, such as the Convert 10T, convert direct current into grid-compatible alternating current.

Kilowatt (kW): Measure of the electric power of solar power systems (1 kW=1000 W).

Kilowatt hour (kWh): A kilowatt hour is a unit of energy. If, for example, you switch on a lamp with a 100 Watt bulb, the lamp uses one kilowatt hour of electricity in 10 hours.

Kilowatt-peak (kWp): Measure of the rated power, the electric power produced by a module or system, under standard test conditions (STC). Used for standardization and comparing different solar modules.

Maximum power point (MPP): Describes the point at which the greatest power is delivered, in other words, when the product of the maximum current and voltage is at its greatest.

Megawatt (MW): One MW equals 1000 KW. KW

Module:

Monocrystalline: Atoms in monocrystalline silicon have a regular structure and are arranged in a perfectly homogeneous pattern. This is reflected in the even outer color.

MPP tracking: An MPP tracker regulates the electric power output to ensure a solar power system always operates at its maximum power point (MPP). The MPP tracker varies the point at which the product of current and power is optimized by making small changes to the voltage and adjusts the input voltage value to increase power.

Photovoltaics (PV):

Polycrystalline: Polycrystalline cells have an irregular silicon structure. They are easier and less expensive to produce but are less efficient than monocrystalline cells.

Renewable Energy Source Act: See EEG

Roof-integrated modules: Roof-integrated modules are PV systems that are built into the roof; they are part of the roof itself.

Roof-mounted modules: Unlike roof-integrated modules, roof-mounted modules are installed on top of the existing roof covering.

Roof pitch: The roof pitch is the angle of the roof to the ground and is measured in degrees. Whether a roof is considered a flat roof or steep roof depends on its pitch.

Shading: Occurs when objects are located between photovoltaic modules and the sun. Even partial or occasional shading can reduce yield and should therefore be avoided.

Silicon: Silicon is a chemical element and semimetal. In solar cells, it works as a semiconductor. Silicon oxide can be processed to create monocrystalline, polycrystalline or amorphous silicon.

Solar cell: See cell

Solar module: See module

Solar power system: A solar power system consists of multiple solar modules, one or more inverters, and an appropriate mounting system.

Stand-alone system: Stand-alone systems are not connected to large grids and therefore need energy storage to make the power available when the sun is not shining.

String: Solar cells connected in a series using strip solders

Three-phase technology:

Tracking system: A tracking system follows the path of the sun, ensuring that the PV generator is always oriented at the optimum angle. Systems are tracked along a single axis (horizontal) or two axes (horizontal and vertical).

Value-added chain: The solar value-added chain covers the entire solar power plant production process from extracting silicon from sand and manufacturing and coating wafers to the production of complete modules.

Wafer: Very thin round or rectangular silicon disks that are used to produce solar cells.

Yield: The yield is the amount of energy a PV system produces over a specified time, usually a day, month or year.