Glossary of Terms

Photovoltaic Panel (PV):

Solar cells, also known as photovoltaic (PV) cells, convert sunlight directly into electricity. PV is named after the PV effect which is the process of converting light (photons) into electricity (voltage).


KiloWatt-Hour is a unit of measurement used to derive the amount of energy consumed over a given time period (i.e. this month my house used 1100 KWH’s).


A device that converts Direct current (DC) into Alternating current (AC).

The electrical power grid:

An interconnected network for electricity from suppliers to consumers. It consists of generating stations that produce electrical power, high voltage transmission lines that carry power from distant sources to demand centers, and distribution lines that connect individual customers.

Grid-Tied Solar PV System:

Is when your solar energy system is connected into an existing site which is tied to the power grid. Any excess energy that is not consumed while the sun is shining will flow back into the grid and a credit is received. This type of system does not require any batteries.

Off-Grid Solar PV System:

Also known as a standalone photovoltaic system is when your system is not connected to the power grid. Typically located in a remote area where there is no existing electrical infrastructure. This type of system usually includes a battery storage system and a backup generator.