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Solar Glossary

Pink Energy’s A-to-Z solar energy glossary is here to help you understand technical terms and industry jargon related to solar panels, electricity and solar power generation.

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  • Alternating Current (AC)

    An efficient form of electrical current that reverses its direction many times in regular intervals and is the type of electricity used to safely power in-home appliances.
  • Annual Solar Savings

    Energy savings throughout the year as attributed to a solar panel system relative to the annual cost of grid power.
  • Breaker Box

    The main point of distribution for electrical current where electricity is then sent throughout the home for everyday use.
  • Building A Movement™

    Pink Energy has a mission of changing the way Americans think about solar power. Solar energy offers Americans an opportunity to reduce their carbon footprints through owning their own renewable power. Together, we can positively impact the environment.
  • Carbon Footprint

    The total amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by an individual, organization, service, event, place or product.
  • Charge

    The process of storing electrical energy in a battery.
  • Current

    The flow of electricity in a conductor.
  • Direct Current (DC)

    A form of electrical current that flows in only one direction and cannot be used to power a home.
  • Electricity

    Energy resulting from the flow of charged particles (electrons or ions) that can be used to heat, cool and light a space.
  • Electrons

    The part of an atom with a negative charge. Electrons moving in a conductor is what creates an electric current.
  • Energy

    In physics, energy is defined by ability to do work. It can come in many forms but the total amount of energy always remains constant.
  • Energy Efficiency

    A term used to describe the reduction of wasted energy by using a lesser amount of energy to perform the same task.
  • Generac® Backup Battery

    A battery used to store any unused power from your solar panels for later use. Backup batteries can be used to power parts of your home during power outages or at night, when solar panels are not producing energy.
  • Greenhouse Gas

    A natural or synthetic gas that is responsible for trapping heat and warming the globe. The most common greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane.
  • Grid

    A connected system of energy distribution over a large area typically through a utility company.
  • Grid Dependence

    Total reliance on a utility company’s power supply for your home’s electricity needs. Installing a solar panel system can potentially lessen your grid dependence by providing you with a supplementary power source.
  • Grid Failure

    Also known as a power outage, grid failure is the loss of an electricity network supply to a user; when electricity cannot be transmitted at its correct frequency, grid failure occurs.
  • Ground-mounted Solar Panel

    An alternative solar energy system for homeowners with limited roof space or older roofing material. These solar panels can be placed wherever permitted on your property and are usually held by metal framing at a fixed, predetermined angle to receive the most sunlight.
  • Irradiance

    The amount of solar radiation that strikes a surface.
  • Modular

    A term used to describe the various patterns solar panels can be arranged in to meet your aesthetic wishes. There is no fixed way in which solar panels will produce the most energy.
  • Monocrystalline Solar Panel

    A type of highly efficient, high output solar panel made of a singular crystal that allows electrons to more freely move and create electrical current.
  • Net Metering

    A process through which excess solar electricity produced by a solar panel system can be sent back to the grid in exchange for credit on future electric bills. Not all utility companies offer net metering.
  • Offset

    Solar panels can compensate for the total amount of electricity your home uses. The more electricity your solar panel system creates, the more your system can offset your grid power needs.
  • Peak Sun Hours

    The number of hours in a day that sunlight averages 1,000 watts of energy per square meter. This high intensity sunlight occurs at midday and is best captured by solar panels directly facing the sun.
  • Photon

    The basic unit of light. When photons are released from the sun and come into contact with the electrical field of a photovoltaic cell, electricity is created.
  • Photovoltaic (PV) Cell

    The smallest semiconductor within a solar panel that transforms sunlight into electrical current.
  • Power

    The amount of electrical energy available to do work. It is measured in horsepower, watts, or Btu per hour.
  • Pink Energy Value Pack

    A solar panel system, a Generac® battery and SMARTPWR360°™ package bundled into one investment to help solar customers reduce their carbon footprint and increase their home’s energy efficiency.
  • PV Link

    Devices that act as connectors and lines of communication between solar panels, as well as between the solar panel system and the inverter.
  • Rooftop Solar Panel

    A solar panel mounted atop a home’s roof. Generally, most solar panel systems are mounted on the rooftops of homes and businesses.
  • Semiconductor

    Materials that have an ability to conduct an electric current.
  • Silicon

    An element that makes a great semiconductor material for photovoltaic devices.
  • SMARTPWR360°™

    A full suite of 9 additional energy-efficient solutions designed to optimize your home’s energy consumption and further boost your potential savings, exclusively offered by Pink Energy.
  • Solar Cell

    A term used interchangeably with photovoltaic cell to describe the smallest unit within a solar panel that transforms sunlight into electrical current.
  • Solar Energy

    A renewable form of energy that produces power from sunlight.
  • Solar Installation

    The process of developing and attaching a custom solar panel system to your home. At Pink Energy, this solar installation process includes three steps: a qualifying conversation with a solar specialist, an in-home assessment of your rooftop and energy needs, and installation day.
  • Solar Inverter

    Converts the direct current power from your solar panels into usable, alternating current power for your home.
  • Solar Panel

    A device made up of interlinked photovoltaic cells used to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity.
  • Solar Panel Warranty

    A protection guarantee issued to solar panel customers to cover potential issues like manufacturing defects and early wear and tear.
  • Solar Tax Credit

    A tax incentive allowing homeowners and commercial business owners to deduct a percentage of the cost of installing a solar electricity system from their federal taxes. Through 2022, this opportunity for savings applies to newly installed residential and commercial solar systems at a rate of 26%.
  • Thermal Energy

    The energy within a system responsible for its temperature. Thermal energy is created when rising temperatures cause atoms to rapidly move and collide.
  • Tier-1

    A term used by BloombergNEF to describe PV module manufacturers based on their bankability. The list includes only manufacturers who own productions facilities and sell under their own brands. This term says less about the quality of the solar panel itself and more about the strength and reputation of the manufacturer. Pink Energy uses tier-1 solar panels.
  • Watt

    The unit of power that measures electrical flow.