Renewable Energy Common Terminology



Alternating Current (AC): Electric current that reverses direction periodically.

Ampere (Amp): is the unit of electric current.


Battery Bank: is an array of batteries that stores renewable energy in a solar power system.


Charge Controllers: regulate the charge from the solar pv or wind system to the battery storage.


Direct Current (DC): is the flow in one direction only of electric charge carriers.


Energy: is a difficult question to answer simply. There are several forms of energy found in different things, that also takes many forms. According to Physicists who study force, motion and energy; “energy is the ability to do work, and work is moving something against a force, such as gravity”. (View Detailed Info)



Grid Power: is a network of power lines that distributes and transports electricity over a region.

Grid-Tie Inverters with Battery Backup: have a built-in battery charger for replenishing the energy to the battery bank when grid power is available or are supplemented from a renewable energy system.

Grid-Tie Inverters: converts direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) electricity and feeds it into an electrical grid system.

Grid-Tie Systems: also called On-Grid or Tied to Grid, is a semi-independent electrical generation system with no battery bank that sends the excess of renewable energy generated electricity back into the main utility grid.


Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT): have the main rotor shaft and electrical generator at the top of a tower, and usually have three-bladed that must point into the wind.

Hybrid systems: consist of two or more renewable energy products such as solar PV panels, wind generators, Hydro generators, etc.

Hydro generators: produce electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water.


Inverters: is an electrical power converter that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).



Kilowatt (kW): One kilowatt is equal to 1000 watts of electricity (View “Watt”).



Monocrystalline Solar PV: are high performance solar cells that can achieve 17% efficiency.



Off-Grid Systems: not being connected to a grid, referring to not being connected to the main commercial or national power transmission grid in electricity.


Polycrystalline solar PV: are less performance solar cells that can achieve 10% efficiency.

Pure Sine Wave Inverters: produce almost perfect sine wave output, similar to the utility supplied grid power. This type is used in grid-tie inverters.


Quasi-sine (square) Wave Inverters: are suitable for most standard appliances, but may not work well with some electronics.


Racking System: is a mechanical structure that attaches solar panels to the roof.

Renewable Energy: is energy produced without the use of fossil fuels, that comes either directly or indirectly from the sun for generating electricity.

Renewable energy hybrid systems: consist of two or more renewable energy products such as solar PV panels, wind generators, Hydro generators, etc.


Solar Cell: also called photovoltaic cell, is an electrical device made of silicon and other materials that generates electricity from the conversion of the energy of light.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels: also called solar modules, are packaged large collections of photovoltaic cells that can produce and supply electricity.




Vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT): have the main rotor shaft arranged vertically and the turbine does not need to be pointed into the wind to be effective.


Watt (W): is the unit of power.

Wind generators (Turbines): is a device that generates mechanical energy (wind power) from the wind into energy power.