8 Solar Energy Terms You Must Know

8 Solar Energy Terms To Know In Northern CA: A Glossary Of Common Terminology

Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner looking for alternative solutions to managing your electricity bills, one method you can consider is a residential solar and commercial solar installation in Northern CA. But before you decide to invest in solar electricity, you must first become familiar with words related to solar energy.

Understanding the terminology that solar contractors use should give you a better idea of what exactly is involved in the installation process, how each part functions and contributes to the system as a whole, and what is occurring during power generation.

Solar Energy Terms to Know: A Glossary of Common Terminology

Knowing the solar energy terms involved with solar power also lets you utilize your system more efficiently, especially the moment something goes wrong, and you have to describe to the contractor what happened. Keep reading below to learn about the common solar terms you can expect to come across.

1. Array

Array is also called “solar array,” and it pertains to several solar panels lined up together. If you’re looking to achieve a more efficient solar power generator, you should install more panels to absorb more energy from the sun and successfully operate your home or business.

2. AC / DC

Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC) refer to the kinds of electricity you utilize when using a solar generator. It works to power up your home or office before and after solar microinverters.

3. Kilowatt

Kilowatt (kW) is equivalent to one thousand watts of electrical power. During a solar installation, the panels your home or office uses are made up of the number of watts they produce. When your system provides a higher watt panel, you can expect to receive more power.

4. Kilowatt-hours

Besides knowing what kW is, you should also be familiar with kWh or kilowatt-hours. It is also a measurement of electricity that stands for a power consumption of a thousand watts per hour. Understanding energy consumption can allow you to determine the number of panels needed to produce the required output to keep your home or business powered.

5. Microinverter

A microinverter is an easy-to-install solar device necessary to achieve solar electricity for your home or office. It works to transform DC to AC accordingly. Besides that, microinverters are used to separate the panels. As a result, the weather, snow, or shade you experience holds no effect on your whole array but, instead, on one of the panels.

6. PV

Photovoltaics or PV involves the process of changing light into electricity through the use of semiconducting tools. If you’re looking to put a solar-powered generator for your home, solar energy works to release the electrons involved in PV, resulting in receiving the needed power through electrical circuits.

7. Solar Azimuth

Another important solar energy term to understand is solar azimuth. This term refers to the location of the sun with regard to the position of your solar panels. The azimuth is the sun’s compass angle, referring to the way it changes place all around the day.

8. Solar Zenith

On the other hand, the solar zenith is the angle of the sun when you view it from the ground below. The angles play an integral role in figuring out the right place to position your commercial solar panel installation to achieve optimal power.


Now that you’re familiar with some of the most common solar energy terms used within the industry, you won’t have to be confused when your contractor arrives and initiates the installation. Once you’re all set, you can work to maintain your chosen energy and roofing solutions without requiring full-time assistance from a solar expert.

Are you looking for affordable roofing and solar solutions in Northern California for your home? Simmitri delivers solar energy and roofing services to our residential [Residential Solar] and commercial clients. Get in touch with us today to receive a free quote!