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An alphabetical list of many of the industry and technology terms you are likely to come across when installing a solar PV system. The glossary also defines terms that are used in roofing and electrical work as well as in solar PV manufacturing.

Definition of: Abutment

In building; an abutment is a wall that rises above the slope of the roof that separates different sections of the roof.

Definition of: Agricultural Land

In property; agricultural land is farmland with no attached buildings or residences, often referred to as ‘bareland’.

Definition of: Airbrick.

In building; an airbrick is a brick designed with holes through it so as to provide ventilation.

Definition of: Alternating Current (AC)

In electrics; alternating current is a type of electrical current, the direction of which is reversed at regular intervals or cycles. In the United Kingdom, the standard is 100 reversals or 50 cycles per second, Hertz (50). Electricity transmission networks use AC because voltage can be controlled with relative ease.

Definition of: Ambient Temperature

In electrics; ambient temperature is the temperature of the air or other medium where the solar and other electrical equipment is to be used.

Definition of: Amorphous Silicon

In solar PV Manaufacturing; amorphous silicon is a thin-film, silicon photovoltaic cell having no crystalline (regularly repeating) structure. Manufactured by deposition of layers of doped silicon on a substrate.

Definition of: Ampere (amp)

In electrics; an ampere (amp) is a unit of electrical current or rate of flow of electrons. One volt across one ohm of resistance causes a current flow of one ampere.

Definition of: Angle of Incidence

In solar system design; the angle of incidence is the angle that a ray of sun makes with a line perpendicular to the surface. For example, a surface that directly faces the sun has a solar angle of incidence of zero, but if the surface is parallel to the sun (for example, sunrise striking a horizontal rooftop), the angle of incidence is 90°. Generation from a cell is at its maximum when the angle of incidence is zero.

Definition of: Annual Solar Savings

In solar system design; annual solar savings refers to the energy savings attributable to a building's solar feature relative to the energy requirements of an equivalent non-solar building.

Definition of: Antireflection Coating

In solar PV manufacturing; an antireflection coating is a thin coating applied to a solar cell surface that reduces the light reflection and increases light transmission.

Definition of: Balustrade.

In building; a balustrade is a collective term for describing hand rails, baluster rails and sections of steps or balconies upon which they are mounted.

Definition of: Barge board.

In building; barge boards are timber boards fixed to the gable end of a roof to protect the roof timbers against the weather.

Definition of: Base slab.

In building; a base slab is the large foundation concrete slab underneath a home.

Definition of: Basic Insulation

In electrics; basic insulation is the insulation applied to live parts to provide basic protection and which does not neccessarily include insulation used for functional purposes.

Definition of: Basic Protection

In electrics; basic protection is the protection against electric shock under fault free conditions.

Definition of: Bat.

In building; a bat is a brick of half the normal length, used to complete a wall course bond.

Definition of: Batt.

In building; a batt is a slab of insulating material.

Definition of: Batten.

In building; a batten is a small section of timber, to which sheet materials, slates and tiles may be fixed.

Definition of: Block.

In building; a block is a section of masonry designed to make the construction of homes quicker and more efficient. Larger than a normal house brick.

Definition of: Blockwork.

In building; blockwork is a wall built from blocks, widely used by self build land enthusiasts and the home-building industry.

Definition of: Bolster.

In building; a bolster is a hardwood cap attached to the end of a wooden post to increase it capacity to bear loads.

Definition of: Bonding Conductor

In electrics; a bonding conductor is a protective conductor providing equipotential bonding.

Definition of: Brownfield Land

In property; brownfield land is land that is or was occupied by a permanent structure that has become vacant, underused or derelict and has redevelopment potential.

Definition of: Bunched

In electrics; cables are said to be bunched when two or more are contained within a single conduit, duct, ducting or trunking, if not enclosed, are not seperated from each other by a specific distance.

Definition of: Busbar Trunking System

In electrics; a busbar trunking system is a type tested assembly, in the form of an enclosed conductor system comprising of solid conductorss seperated by insulation material. The assembly may consisit of units such as:

Definition of: Butt.

In building; to butt is to push or otherwise fit together.

Definition of: Buttress.

In building; a buttress is an additional bracing wall, often set at right angles to the main wall. It is usually constructed from brick or stone, and tapers towards its summit.

Definition of: Cable bracket

In electrics; a cable bracket is a horizontal cable support system consisting of elements fixed at one end only, spaced at intervals along the length of the cable on which a cable rests.

Definition of: Cable channel

In electrics; a cable channel is an enclosure situated above or in the ground, ventilated or closed, and having dimensions which do not permit the access of persons but allow access to the conduits and/or cables throughout their length during and after installation. A cable channel may or may not form part of the building construction.

Definition of: Cable cleat

In electrics; a cable cleat is a component of a support system, which consists of elements spaced at intervals along the length of a cable or conduit which mechanically retains the cable or conduit.

Definition of: Cable coupler

In electrics; a cable coupler is a means of enabling the connection or disconnection at will of two flexible cables. It consists of a connector and a plug.

Definition of: Cable Ducting

In electrics: cable ducting is an enclosure of metal or insulating material, other than conduit or cable trunking, intended for the protection of cables which are drawn in after erection of the ducting.

Definition of: Cable ladder

In electrics; a cable ladder is a cable support consisting of a series of supporting elements rigidly fixed to main longitudinal supporting members.

Definition of: Cable tray

In electrics; a cable tray is a cable support consisting of a continuous base with raised edges and no covering. A cable tray may or may not be perforated.

Definition of: Cable trunking

In electrics; cable trunking is a closed enclosure normally of rectangular cross section, of which one side is removable or hinged, used for the protection of cables and for the accomodation of other electrical equipment.

Definition of: Cable tunnel

In electrics; a cable tunnel is a corridor containing supporting structures for cables and joints and/or other elements of wiring systems and whose dimensions allow persons to pass freely throughout the entire length.

Definition of: Cant.

In building; cant is the angle between two walls, which is greater or lesser than a right angle.

Definition of: Cantilever.

In building; a cantilever is a beam, which is fixed at one end.

Definition of: Capillary Action.

In building; capillary action is when fluids such as water get sucked into narrow spaces, such as the gaps between bricks, usually in porous material. This particularly can lead to rising damp.

Definition of: Carassing.

In building; carassing is the timber used in structural sections of a building - for example, roof rafters and floor joists.

Definition of: Cartridge fuse link

In electrics; a cartridge fuse link is a device comprising a fuse element or two or more fuse elements connected in parallel enclosed in a cartridge usually filled with arc-extinguishing medium and connected to terminations.

Definition of: Casement.

In building; a casement is a window hinged on one of its vertical edges.

Definition of: Cavity.

In building; a cavity is the gap between the external and internal walls of a house, often filled with insulating material such as expanded polystyrene

Definition of: Cavity tie.

In building; a cavity tie is a galvanised metal fixings used to bond the external and internal walls together.

Definition of: Ceiling binder.

In building; a ceiling binder is a tie running between the joists or trussed rafters.

Definition of: Central power supply system

In electrics; a central power supply system is a system supplying the required emergancy power to essential safety equipment.

Definition of: Chase.

In electrics; to chase is to cut a groove in brickwork or other material, so as to make it possible to embed a cable or pipe into it.

Definition of: Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)

In solar PV manufacturing; CVD is a method of depositing thin semiconductor films which is used to make certain types of photovoltaic cells. In this method, a substrate is exposed to vaporised compounds, which contain desirable constituents. A chemical reaction is initiated, at or near the substrate surface, to produce the desired material that then condenses on the substrate.

Definition of: Circuit

In electrics; a circuit is an assembly of electrical equipment supplied from the same origin and protected against overcurrent by the same protective device(s).

Definition of: Circuit-breaker

In electrics; a circuit-breaker is a device capable of making, carrying and breaking normal load currents and also making and automatically breaking, under pre-determined conditions, abnormal currents such as short-circuits currents. It is usually required to operate infrequently although some types are suitable for frequent operation.

Definition of: Circuit-breaker, linked

In elecrics; a tpe of circuit-breaker, the contacts of which are so arranged as to make or break all poles simultaneously or in a definite sequence.

Definition of: Circuit protective conductor (CPC)

In electrics; a circuit protective conductor is a protective conductor connecting exposed conductive parts of equipment to the main earthing terminal.

Definition of: Cladding.

In building; cladding is the outermost weatherproof material, fixed to a wall, designed to be decorative and/or functional.

Definition of: Class I equipment

In electrics; class I equipment is equipment in which protection against electric shock does not rely on basic insulation only, but which includes means for the connection of exposed conductive parts to a protective conductor in the fixed wiring of the installation.

Definition of: Class II equipment

In electrics; class II equipment is equipment in which protection against electric shock does not rely on basic insulation only, but in which additional safety precautions such as supplementary insulation are provided, there being no provision for the connection of exposed metalwork of the equipment to a protective conductor, and no reliance upon precautions to be taken in the fixed wiring of the installation.

Definition of: Class III equipment

In electrics; class III equipment is equipment in which protection against electric shock relies on supply at SELV and in which voltages higher than those of SELV are not generated.

Definition of: Common Parts.

In property; common parts refer to any part of a property shared with others. It is imperative to know your rights over the common parts.

Definition of: Conducting location with restricted movement

In electrics; a conducting location with restricted movement is a location comprised mainly of metallic or conductive surrounding parts, within which it is likely that a person will come into contact through a substantial portion of their body with the conductive surroundings parts and where the possibilty of preventing this contact is limited.

Definition of: Conduit

In electrics; conduit is a part of a closed wiring system for cables in electrical installations, allowing them to be drawn in and/or replaced, but not inserted laterally.

Definition of: Connector

In electrics; a connector is the part of a cable coupler or of an appliance coupler which is provided with female contacts and is intended to be attached to the end of a flexible cable remote from the supply.

Definition of: Conservation areas.

In property; a conservation area is an area of limited or no building development or demolition of property..

Definition of: Consumer unit

In electrics; a consumer unit is a particular type of distribution board comprising of type-tested co-ordinated assembly for the control and distribution of electrical energy, principally in domestic premises, incorporating manual means of double pole isolation on the incoming circuit(s) and an assembly of one or more fuses, circuit-breakers, residual current operated devices or signalling and other devices proven during the type-test of the assembly as suitable for such use.

Definition of: Conventional impulse withstand voltage

In electrics; conventional impulse withstand voltage is the peak value of an impulse test voltage at which insulation does not show any disruptive discharge when subjected to a specified number of applications of impulses of this value, under specified conditions.

Definition of: Cornice.

In building; a cornice is a decorative addition to the top of an external or internal wall.

Definition of: Course

In building; a course is a single layer of bricks or blocks.

Definition of: Coving.

In building; coving is a decorative moulding adjoining the top of an interior wall and the ceiling.

Definition of: Crystalline Silicon

In solar PV manufacturing; crystalline silicon is a type of solar photovoltaic cell made from either a slice of single-crystal silicon or polycrystalline silicon.

Definition of: Current at Maximum Power (Imp)

In electrics; Imp is the current at which maximum power is available from a solar photovoltaic (PV) panels / PV modules.

Definition of: Current carrying capacity of a conductor

In electrics; current carrying capacity of a conductor is the maximum current which can be carried by a conductor under specified conditions without its steady-state temperature exceeding a specified value.

Definition of: Current using equipment

In electrics; current using equipment is equipment which converts electrical energy into another form of energy, such as light, heat or motive power.

Definition of: Cutoff Voltage

In electrics; cutoff voltage is the voltage levels (activation) at which the charge controller disconnects a photovoltaic (PV) array from a battery or the load from a battery.

Definition of: Dado.

In building; dados are panels fixed to the lower half of internal walls.

Definition of: Dado rail.

In building; dado rails are decorative and/or functional rails, usually made from moulded timber, fitted traditionally to internal walls to protect them from damage by chairs.

Definition of: Damp-proof course.

In building; a damp-proof course is a waterproof membrane installed in walls and floors to pre- vent moisture causing damage by rising upwards through the structure. Also termed 'damp course' or 'DPC'.

Definition of: Design Current.

In electrics; design current (of a circuit) refers to the magnitude (rms value for a.c.) to be carried by the circuit in normal circumstances.

Definition of: Direct Current (DC)

In electrics; direct current (DC) is a type of electricity transmission and distribution by which electricity flows in one direction through the conductor, usually relatively low voltage and high current. To be used for typical 120 volt or 230 volt household appliances, DC must be converted to alternating current, its opposite.

Definition of: Disconnector.

In electrics; a disconnector is a mechanical device which, in the open position, complies with the requirements specified for the isolating function. Another term for an isolator.

Definition of: Distribution board

In electrics; a distribution board is an assembly containing switching or protective devices (e.g. fuses, circuit breakers, residual current devices) associated with one or more outgoing circuits fed from one or more incoming circuits, together with terminals for the neutral and circuit protective conductors. It may also include signalling and other control devices. Means of isolation may be included in the board or may be provided seperately.

Definition of: Distribution Circuit

In electrics; a distribution circuit is a circuit supplying a distribution board or switchgear. A distribution circuit may also connect the origin of an installation to an outlying building or seperate installation, when it is sometimes called a sub-main.

Definition of: Distributor

In electrics; a distributor is a person or company who delivers electricity to consumers using electrical lines and equipment that he/she owns or operates.

Definition of: Dopant

In solar PV manufacturing; dopant is a chemical element (impurity) added in small amounts to an otherwise pure semiconductor material to modify the electrical properties of the material. An n-dopant introduces more electrons. A p-dopant creates electron vacancies (holes).

Definition of: Dormer window.

In building; a dormer window is a window that protrudes from a pitched roof allowing the glass to be held in a vertical position.

Definition of: Double Insulation

In electrics; double insulation comprises of both basis and supplementary insulation.

Definition of: Dry joint.

In building; a dry joint is a brick or timber joint that is not bonded with mortar or adhesive.

Definition of: Dry lined.

In building; dry lined is an internal partition or cladding constructed usually with a timber frame and plasterboard.

Definition of: Dry Rot.

In building; dry rot is caused by a fungus and occurs when an open, potentially damp area is insufficiently ventilated.

Definition of: Ducting.

In electrics; ducting is a system of shafts or tubes designed to carry and protect cables or pipes.

Definition of: Dwarf wall.

In building; a dwarf wall is a low wall, for example one constructed to support joists under the ground floor.

Definition of: Easement.

In property; an easement is a legal right to use or cross over land owned by someone else.

Definition of: Eaves.

In building; eaves are the lowest section of a roof, overhanging a supporting wall.

Definition of: Electric Circuit

In electrics; an electric circuit is the path followed by electrons from a power source (generator or battery), through an electrical system, and returning to the source.

Definition of: Electric Current

In electrics; electric current is the flow of electrical energy (electricity) in a conductor, measured in amperes.

Definition of: Electrical grid

In electrics; an electrical grid is an integrated system of electricity distribution, usually covering a large area.

Definition of: Electricity

In electrics; electricity is the energy resulting from the flow of charge particles, such as electrons or ions.

Definition of: Electron

In electrics; an electron is an elementary particle of an atom with a negative electrical charge and a mass of 1/1837 of a proton; electrons surround the positively charged nucleus of an atom and determine the chemical properties of an atom. The movement of electrons in an electrical conductor constitutes an electric current.

Definition of: Electron Volt (eV)

In electrics; an electron volt is the amount of kinetic energy gained by an electron when accelerated through an electric potential difference of 1 Volt; equivalent to 1.603 x 10^-19; a unit of energy or work.

Definition of: Energy

In electrics; energy is the capability of doing work; different forms of energy can be converted to other forms, but the total amount of energy remains the same.

Definition of: Energy Audit

In solar system design; an energy audit is a survey that shows how much energy is used in a home or building, this helps both in finding ways to use less energy and in establishing how much energy to generate.

Definition of: English bond.

In building; an english bond is a particularly strong method of building walls by laying bricks together in staggered alternating courses using headers and stretchers.

Definition of: Equestrian Land

In property; equestrian land needs to be quality pasture with good hedging and a water supply in order to be considered suitable for horses and as a general rule, you should allocate approximately 1-2 acres per horse.

Definition of: Escutcheon.

In building; an escutcheon is a protective plate around a keyhole or door handle.

Definition of: Fascia.

In building; boards installed to a roof to protect the ends of trusses or rafters and on which gutters are attached.

Definition of: Finial.

In building; ornamental timber section added to the highest point of barge boards or hanging from stair newels on landings.

Definition of: Flange.

In building; a flat plate at the end of a pipe or beam, through which a bolted joint can be made.

Definition of: Flashing.

In building; waterproof material covering joints between walls and roofs, often shaped out of lead.

Definition of: Flat-Plate Photovoltaics (PV)

In electrics; a solar PV array, solar PV panel or module that consists of nonconcentrating elements. Flat-plate arrays, panels and modules use direct and diffuse sunlight.

Definition of: Floating coat.

In building; the first coat of thick plaster put on a wall to cover irregularities.

Definition of: Floor plate.

In building; a plate constructed from steel or timber bedded in mortar and designed to withstand heavy loads.

Definition of: Footings.

In building; the foundations of a structure.

Definition of: Footprint.

In building; the 'footprint' of the building refers to those parts within the external walls.

Definition of: Formwork.

In building; temporary boards used to keep wet mixtures, such as concrete, in a particular shape until it sets.

Definition of: Framed construction.

In building; a structure built with a strong skeleton frame made of timber or steel, against which a brick outer shell is added.

Definition of: Freehold.

In property; absolute ownership as opposed to leasehold. The property is held absolutely for ever. Ownership is of both the property and the land it stands on.

Definition of: Frequency

In electrics; the number of repetitions per unit time of a complete waveform, expressed in Hertz (Hz).

Definition of: Full structural survey.

In building; a full structural survey looks at all the main features of the property, including walls, roof, foundations, plumbing, joinery, electrical wiring, drains and garden.

Definition of: Gable.

In building; a gable is the triangular upper part of a wall at the end of a ridged roof.

Definition of: Gable end.

In building; a gable end is the gable shaped canopy over a door or window or a wall topped with a gable.

Definition of: Gigawatt (GW)

In electrics; a gigawatt is a unit of power equal to 1 billion Watts; 1 million kilowatts, or 1,000 megawatts.

Definition of: Grazing Land

In property; grazing land is farmland used for grazing animals. Different animals have different requirements. To produce good milk cows need lush pasture whilst horses need a loamy soil content to prevent water-logging as an effect of trampling from iron shoes.

Definition of: Green Belt Land

In property; green belt land is protected both by normal planning controls and an additional presumption against 'inappropriate development' within its boundaries.

Definition of: Greenfield Land

In property; greenfield land is a term used to describe a piece of undeveloped land, either currently used for agriculture or just left to nature.

Definition of: Grid-Connected System

In solar system design; a grid connected system is a solar electric or solar photovoltaic (PV) system in which the PV array acts like a central generating plant, supplying power to the grid.

Definition of: Hard landscaping.

In building; hard landscaping refers to elements including paths, driveways, garden walls and patios.

Definition of: Harmonic Content

In electrics; harmonic content is the number of frequencies in the output waveform in addition to the primary frequency (50 or 60 Hz.). Energy in these harmonic frequencies is lost and may cause excessive heating of the load.

Definition of: Header.

In building; a header is a brick or block laid across a wall to bond together its two sides. It also means the exposed end part of a brick.

Definition of: Herringbone strutting.

In building; herringbone strutting is the type of cross bracing used between floor joists to increase stiffness.

Definition of: Hip.

In building; the hip is the sharp edge of a roof from ridge to eaves where the two sides meet.

Definition of: Hipped roof.

In building; a hipped roof is a roof with sloping ends instead of vertical ones.

Definition of: Hole

In electrics; a hole is the vacancy where an electron would normally exist in a solid; behaves like a positively charged particle.

Definition of: Hybrid System

In solar system design; a hybrid system is a solar electric or photovoltaic system that includes other sources of electricity generation, such as wind or diesel generators.

Definition of: Incident Light

In solar system design; incident light is the light that shines onto the face of a solar cell, solar PV panel or solar PV module.

Definition of: Infill site.

In property; an infill site is the redevelopment of land that has adjacent buildings, for example along a row of terraced houses where one has been demolished or where a gap always existed.

Definition of: Inverter

In elecrics; an inverter is a a device that converts direct current electricity to alternating current either for stand-alone systems solar pv systems or to supply power to an electricity grid.

Definition of:Jamb.

In building; a jamb is a vertical side post of a window or doorway.

Definition of: Joint and Several.

In property; joint and several refers to two or more parties who render themselves liable to a joint action against all, as well as to a separate action against each, in cases where an agreement is not kept.

Definition of: Joist.

In building; a joist is a beam that supports a ceiling or floor.

Definition of: Joist hanger.

In building; a joist hanger is a fabricated metal slot installed in a wall to keep a joist securely in position.

Definition of: Joule

In electrics; a joule is a metric unit of energy or work; 1 joule per second equals 1 watt.

Definition of: Kite.

In building; a kite is a kite-shaped tread mostly used where stairs turn a comer.

Definition of: Kilowatt (kW)

In electrics; a kilowatt is a standard unit of electrical power equal to 1000 watts, or to the energy consumption at a rate of 1000 joules per second.

Definition of: Kilowatt-Hour (kWh)

In electrics; a kilowatt-hour is 1,000 thousand watts acting over a period of 1 hour. The kWh is a unit of energy. 1 kWh=3600 kJ.

Definition of: Lath.

In building; a lath is a long slender piece of economical timber.

Definition of: Lath and plaster.

In building; lath and plaster is old-fashioned method of plastering a wall or ceiling using slender timbers to construct a narrow gauge frame as a base for the wet plaster.

Definition of: Leaf.

In building; a leaf is the inner or outer wall of a cavity wall construction.

Definition of: Life

In electrics; life refers to the period during which an energy system is capable of operating above a specified performance level.

Definition of: Life-Cycle Cost

In solar system design; life-cycle cost is the estimated cost of owning and operating a solar photovoltaic (PV) system for the period of its useful life.

Definition of: Line-boards.

In building; line boards are timber boards laid on the ground and used to mark out the widths and position of inner and outer walls and the foundations (setting-out), prior to excavating.

Definition of: Lintel.

In building; a lintel is a horizontal section of timber, concrete or metal, installed to the top of a door- way or window opening, designed to support the structure above.

Definition of: Listed Building.

In property; a listed building must be at least 10 years old before it can be listed for architectural or historical reasons. Consent is required for any changes.

Definition of: Load

In electrics; load is the demand on an energy producing system; the energy consumption or requirement of a piece or group of equipment. Usually expressed in terms of amperes or watts.

Definition of: Load Circuit

In electrics; the load circuit is the wire, switches, fuses, etc. that connect the load to the power source.

Definition of: Load Current (A)

In electrics; the load current is the current required by an electrical device.

Definition of: Massing.

In building; massing refers to the outline of a dwelling's external shape and form.

Definition of: Megawatt (MW)

In electrics; a megawatt is 1,000 kilowatts, or 1 million watts; standard measure of electric power plant generating capacity.

Definition of: Megawatt-Hour

In electrics; a megawatt hour is 1,000 kilowatt-hours or 1 million watt-hours.

Definition of:Modularity

In solar system design; modularity is the use of multiple inverters connected in parallel to service different loads.

Definition of: MPAN

In elecrics; MPAN is the unique identifying number for the electricity meter at your property. The MPAN is commonly referred to as a "Supply Number" or "S" number, and it can be found on your electricity bill.

Definition of:MPRN

In building; your MPRN is the unique identifying number for the gas meter at your property. It's a ten digit number, commonly referred to as an "M" number, and can be found on your gas bill.

Definition of: Mullion.

In building; mullions are the vertical sections of material that divide a window frame into smaller lights.

Definition of:Multicrystalline

In solar PV Manufacturing; multicrystalline is a semiconductor (photovoltaic) material composed of variously oriented, small, individual crystals. Sometimes referred to as polycrystalline or semicrystalline.

Definition of:Multijunction Device

In solar PV manufacturing; a multijunction device is a high-efficiency photovoltaic device containing two or more cell junctions, each of which is optimized for a particular part of the solar spectrum.

Definition of: Newel

In building; a newel is the main post supporting the end of a balustrade.

Definition of: Nog

In building; a nog is a wooden peg.

Definition of: Noggings

In building; noggings are short cross-pieces of timber used to brace studs.

Definition of: Normal Operating Cell Temperature (NOCT)

In solar system design; NOCT is used as an easy estimate of the nominal operating temperature of a solar panel in its working environment. The estimated temperature of a photovoltaic (PV) panel when operating under 800 w/m2 irradiance, 20C ambient temperature and wind speed of 1 meter per second.

Definition of: Nose.

In building; the nose is the extending front edge of a staircase step.

Definition of: N-Type

In solar PV manufacturing; an N-type connector is a negative semiconductor material in which there are more electrons than holes; current is carried through it by the flow of electrons. This is then combined with a P-Type system to create a diode.

Definition of: Ohm

In electrics; an ohm is a measure of the electrical resistance of a material equal to the resistance of a circuit in which the potential difference of 1 volt produces a current of 1 ampere.

Definition of: Orientation

In solar system design; orientation is the placement of the solar cells with respect to the cardinal directions, N, S, E, W.

Definition of: Pane.

In building; a pane is a sheet of glass often framed with timber.

Definition of: Parallel Connection

In solar sytem design; parallel connection is the standard method of joining solar PV cells or photovoltaic (PV) panels / modules in smaller systems formed by connecting positive leads together and negative leads together; such a configuration increases the current, but not the voltage.

Definition of: Party wall.

In property; a party wall is a wall shared between two properties, such as is the case between semi-detached houses.

Definition of: Peak Demand/Load

In solar system design; peak demand/load is the maximum energy demand in a specified time period. e.g. The annual peak load might be winter, whilst the daily peak load might be 18.00 - 21.00.

Definition of: Peak Power Point

In solar PV manufacturing; the peak power point is a measurement of the operating point of a solar cell or photovoltaic (PV) panels / module where the product of the current value times the voltage value is at maximum.

Definition of: Peak Sun Hours

In solar system design; peak sun hours is the equivalent number of hours per day when solar irradiance averages 1,000 w/m2. For example, six peak sun hours means that the energy received during total daylight hours equals the energy that would have been received had the irradiance for six hours been 1,000 w/m2.

Definition of: Permitted Development Rights.

In property; permitted development rights are the things you can do to a property without planning permission. For example, extensions are allowed up to 15% of the size of the property.

Definition of: Phosphorous (P)

In solar PV manufacturing; phosphorous is a chemical element used as a dopant in making n-type semiconductor layers.

Definition of: Photon

In solar PV manufacturing; the photon is the elementary particle responsible for 'light energy' or electromagnetic phenomena. It is the carrier of electromagnetic radiation of all wavelengths, including in decreasing order of energy, gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet light, visible light, infrared light, microwaves, and radio waves.

Definition of: Photovoltaic(s) (PV)

In electrics; photovoltaics is the direct conversion of light into electricity.

Definition of: Photovoltaic (PV) Array

In electrics; a photovoltaic array is an interconnected system of PV panels that function as a single electricity-producing unit. The panels are assembled as a discrete structure, with common support or mounting. In smaller systems, an array can consist of a single solar panel.

Definition of: Photovoltaic (PV) Array Junction Box

In electrics; a photovoltaic array junction box is an enclosure where all PV strings of any PV array are electrically connected and where protection devices can be located if necessary.

Definition of: Photovoltaic (PV) Cell

In electrics; a photovoltaic cell is the smallest semiconductor element within a PV panel or PV module to perform the immediate conversion of light into electrical energy (direct current voltage and current). Also called a solar cell. Not to be confused with a solar thermal cell.

Definition of: Photovoltaic (PV) Conversion Efficiency

In solar PV manufacturing; photovoltaic conversion efficiency is the ratio of the electric power produced by a photovoltaic device to the power of the sunlight incident on the device. Different cells have different efficiencies, but come at different costs.

Definition of: Photovoltaic (PV) Device

In electrics; a photovoltaic device is a solid-state electrical device that converts light directly into direct current electricity. Solar photovoltaic devices are made of various semiconductor materials including silicon, cadmium sulfide, cadmium telluride, and gallium arsenide, and in single crystalline, multicrystalline, or amorphous forms.

Definition of: Photovoltaic (PV) Effect

In solar PV manufacturing; the photovoltaic effect is the phenomenon that occurs when photons, the "particles" in a beam of light, knock electrons loose from the atoms they strike. When this property of light is combined with the properties of semiconductors, electrons flow in one direction across a junction, setting up a voltage. With the addition of circuitry, current will flow and electrical power will be available.

Definition of: Photovoltaic (PV) Generator

In electrics; a photovoltaic generator refers to the total of all PV strings of a PV power supply system, which are electrically interconnected.

Definition of: Photovoltaic (PV) Module

In electrics; a photovoltaic module is the planar assembly of solar cells and ancillary parts intended to generate direct current power under unconcentrated sunlight. The structural (load carrying) member of a module can either be the top layer (superstrate) or the back layer (substrate).

Definition of: Photovoltaic (PV) Panel

In electrics; the term photovoltaic panel is often used interchangeably with PV module. More accurately used to refer to a physically connected collection of modules (i.e. a laminated string of modules used to achieve a required voltage and current).

Definition of: Photovoltaic (PV) String

In electrics; a photovoltaic string is a circuit in which PV panels are connected in series, in order for a PV array to generate the required output current and voltage.

Definition of: Photovoltaic (PV) System

In electrics; a photovoltaic system is a complete set of components for converting sunlight into electricity by the photovoltaic process, including the array and balance of system components.

Definition of: Photovoltaic-Thermal (PV/T) System

In solar system design; a photovoltaic-thermal system is a photovoltaic system that, in addition to converting sunlight into electricity, collects the residual heat energy and delivers both heat and electricity in usable form.

Definition of: Pile.

In building; a pile is a deep foundation. These are formed by creating a hole deep enough to locate solid sub-soil. The hole is usually filled with concrete and reinforced or a section of solid steel is installed

Definition of: Pink land.

In property; pink land is land with a 'residential use class'. The term is used largely by local authority planners and originates from the ink colour used to identify residential development areas on maps and plans.

Definition of: Pitch.

In building; the pitch is the angle or slope of a roof or staircase.

Definition of: Planning permission.

In property; planning permission is the authority granted by the local council for land to be developed or additions made to an existing property, usually with certain conditions attached.

Definition of: Plate.

In building; a plate is a length of timber or steel placed either on top of a wall to support the roof trusses (a wall plate) or fixed to a floor so that studs or a timber-framed partition can be installed (a floor plate).

Definition of: P/N

In solar PV manufacturing; P/N is a semiconductor photovoltaic device structure in which the junction is formed between a p-type layer and an n-type layer.

Definition of: Precast concrete.

In building; precast concrete is a term used for concrete components cast in a factory or on site prior to being placed in their final positions.

Definition of: Profile boards.

In building; profile boards are boards of about a meter long used to transfer the plan outline of a building onto the ground. They are held securely in place by timber stakes. Lines are stretched between saw-cuts or marks, so the position of a wall can be fixed.

Definition of: P-Type Semiconductor

In solar PV manufacturing; a p-type semiconductor is a semiconductor in which holes carry the current; produced by doping an intrinsic semiconductor with an electron acceptor impurity (e.g, boron in silicon).

Definition of: Purlin.

In building; a purlin is positioned half-way up the slope of a roof, purlins are timber beams installed to support the rafters.

Definition of: Qualification Test

In solar PV manufacturing; a qualification test is a procedure applied to a selected set of photovoltaic (PV) panels / modules involving the application of defined electrical, mechanical, or thermal stress in a prescribed manner and amount. Test results are subject to a list of defined requirements.

Definition of: Raft.

In building; a raft is a firm slab, usually made from concrete, designed to spread the weight of a structure on soft ground.

Definition of: Rafter.

In building; rafters are timbers that form the main part of the roof frame going from the wall plate up to the ridge.

Definition of: Ranging rod.

In building; a ranging rod is a long slender section of timber marked to identify the position of brick and block courses or any other part of the construction. A measuring stick.

Definition of: Rated Power

In solar system design; rated power refers to the rated power of the inverter. However, some units can not produce rated power continuously.

Definition of: Resistance (R)

In electrics; resistance refers to the the properties of a conductor, which opposes the flow of an electric current resulting in the generation of heat in the conducting material. The measure of the resistance of a given conductor is the electromotive force needed for a unit current flow. The unit of resistance is measured in ohms.

Definition of: Ridge.

In building; the ridge is the topmost line of the roof often topped with ridge tiles.

Definition of: Ridge tile.

In building; a ridge tile is a preformed angled tile covering the apex of the roof.

Definition of: Sarking.

In building; sarking refers to the boards placed between the rafters and the roof (sometimes called the 'soffit').

Definition of: Screed.

In building; a screed is a thin level layer of material usually applied to floors.

Definition of: Semiconductor

In solar PV manufacturing; a semiconductor is any material that has a limited capacity for conducting an electric current. Certain semiconductors, including silicon, gallium arsenide, copper indium diselenide, and cadmium telluride, are uniquely suited to the photovoltaic conversion process.

Definition of: Septic tank.

In building; a septic tank is a tank constructed or manufactured to accept sewerage when no mains system is available.

Definition of: Sleeper wall.

In building; a sleeper wall is a wall used to support the ground floor, usually honeycombed in construction to provide ventilation.

Definition of: Snow line.

In building; the snow line is considered to be 500 feet above sea level. It is the theoretical altitude at which land is expected to suffer from severe winter conditions.

Definition of: Soffit.

In building; a soffit is the underside of an architectural element, for example an arch or the eaves.

Definition of: Soft landscaping.

In building; the term soft landscaping applies to elements including topsoil, plants, shrubs and trees.

Definition of: Solar Spectrum

In solar system design; the solar spectrum is the total distribution of electromagnetic radiation emanating from the sun. The different regions of the solar spectrum are described by their wavelength range. The visible region extends from about 390 to 780 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of one meter). About 99 percent of solar radiation is contained in a wavelength region from 300 nm (ultraviolet) to 3,000 nm (near-infrared). The combined radiation in the wavelength region from 280 nm to 4,000 nm is called the broadband, or total, solar radiation.

Definition of: Solar Thermal Electric Systems

In solar system design; solar thermal electric systems are solar energy conversion technologies that convert solar energy to electricity, by heating a working fluid to power a turbine that drives a generator. Examples of these systems include central receiver systems, parabolic dish, and solar trough. These are only used in large commercial systems.

Definition of: Soleplate.

In building; a soleplate is a substantial horizontal section of timber or metal, fixed to the floor slab.

Definition of: Stanchion.

In building; a stanchion is a vertical supporting beam usually made from steel.

Definition of: Stone cladding.

In building; stone cladding is a thin layer of stone or imitation stone that is attached to the external wall of a property.

Definition of: String or stringer.

In building; a string or stringer is one of the parallel boards supporting the treads.

Definition of: Strip foundation.

In building; strip foundations are concrete filled trenches used to support a building.

Definition of: Structural Survey.

In property; a structural survey is the most wide ranging of surveys. It is carried out by a professional surveyor.

Definition of: Strut.

In building; a strut is an upright roof timber connected to the rafter above it or sloping to connect another post to the rafter.

Definition of: Stud wall.

In building; a stud wall is an internal wall made from a wooden frame rather than brick.

Definition of: Tabling.

In building; the term tabling is used when roof verges are capped with stone slabs.

Definition of: Tanalised timber.

In building; tanalised timbers are typically for floor joists, which have had tanalith-oxide preservative driven into their cellular structure under pressure.

Definition of: Tandem garage.

In property; a tandem garage is a garage long enough for two vehicles to park one behind the other.

Definition of: Terraced house.

In property; a terraced house is a house that is joined to adjoining buildings on both sides.

Definition of: Thin Film

In solar PV manufacturing; a thin film is a layer of semiconductor material, such as copper indium diselenide or gallium arsenide, a few microns or less in thickness, used to make photovoltaic cells.

Definition of: Thin Film Photovoltaic Module

In solar PV manufacturing a thin film photovoltaic module is a photovoltaic module constructed with sequential layers of thin film semiconductor materials.

Definition of: Tie-beam.

In building; a tie beam is the main horizontal roof beam just above the wall that connects the bases of rafters.

Definition of: Tilt Angle

In solar system design; the tilt angle is the angle at which a photovoltaic array is set to face the sun relative to a horizontal position. The tilt angle can be set or adjusted to maximize seasonal or annual energy collection. Usually a domestic system will have an angle fixed.

Definition of: Total Harmonic Distortion

In electrics; total harmonic distortion is the measure of closeness in shape between a waveform and its fundamental component. The level of closeness is handled automatically by the inverter at around 99% efficiency.

Definition of: Town house.

In property; a town house is a three or four storey house with an integral garage occupying the ground floor. They are usually within a town itself and are normally terraced.

Definition of: Trussed.

In building; trussed refers to timber planks framed together to bridge a space.

Definition of: Two-Axis Tracking

In solar system design: two-axis (sometimes called twin-axis) tracking is a photovoltaic array tracking system capable of rotating independently on two axis (e.g. vertical and horizontal).

Definition of: Ultraviolet

In solar system design; ultraviolet is the electromagnetic radiation in the wavelength range of 4 to 400 nanometers.

Definition of: UPVC.

In building; UPVC is a type of stable plastic used in the manufacture of double-glazed window frames, doors and cladding.

Definition of: Verge.

In building; a verge is the edge of a roof at the gable.

Definition of: Volt (V)

In electrics; a volt is a unit of electrical force equal to that amount of electromotive force that will cause a steady current of one ampere to flow through a resistance of one ohm.

Definition of: Voltage

In electrics; voltage is the amount of electromotive force, measured in volts, that exists between two points.

Definition of: Voltage at Maximum Power (Vmp)

In solar PV manufacturing; the Vmp is the voltage at which maximum power is available from a photovoltaic (PV) panel / PV module.

Definition of: Wafer

In solar PV Manufacturing; a wafer is a thin sheet of semiconductor (photovoltaic material) made by cutting it from a single crystal or ingot.

Definition of: Wall tie.

In building; a wall tie is a galvanised metal tie used to bond the inner and outer walls of a cavity wall together.

Definition of: Watt

In electrics; a watt is the rate of energy transfer equivalent to one ampere under an electrical pressure of one volt. One watt equals one joule per second. It is the product of voltage and current (amperage).

Definition of: Watt hour (Wh)

In electrics; a watt hour is a unit of energy equal to one Watt of power being used for one hour.

Definition of: Waveform

In electrics; a waveform is the shape of the phase power at a certain frequency and amplitude. This normally takes the shape of a sinewave.

Definition of: Winders.

In building; winders are triangular stair treads often used when a staircase turns a corner.

Definition of: Zenith Angle

In solar system design; the zenith angle is the angle between the zenith (the outward normal of the earth; directly up) and the object being observed (in this case the Sun).


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