Solar Energy in Israel - Glossary

Solar Energy Electromagnetic energy transmitted from the sun (solar radiation). The amount that reaches the earth is equal to one billionth of total solar energy generated, or the equivalent of about 420 trillion kilowatt-hours.
Ampere (amp) The unit of measure that tells how much electricity flows through a conductor. For example, a 1,100 watt, 220-volt hair dryer pulls 5 amperes of electric current (watts divided by volts)
Collector Field The area where many solar collectors are situated in a solar power plant.
Conductor The material through which electricity is transmitted, such as an electrical wire, or transmission or distribution line.
Distributed Power Generic term for any power supply located near the point where the power is used. Opposite of central power.
Downtime Time when the photovoltaic system cannot provide power for the load. Usually expressed in hours per year or that percentage.
Electrical Grid An integrated system of electricity distribution, usually covering a large area. The Israel Electric Company delivers electricity to your home via the electric grid.
Energy Audit A survey that shows how much energy is used in a home.
Gigawatt (GW) A unit of power equal to 1 billion Watts;
1 million kilowatts, or 1,000 megawatts.
The Israel Electric Company currently has the capacity to deliver
about 11 gigawatts of power, during peak times, to the country.
Global Warming An increase in the near surface temperature of the Earth.
Heliostat Flat sun-tracking mirrors used to reflect and concentrate the suns' energy onto a central receiver tower.
Hybrid System A solar electric or photovoltaic system that includes other sources of electricity generation, such as wind or diesel generators.
IEC Israel Electric Company
Interconnect A conductor within a module or other means of connection that provides an electrical interconnection between the solar cells.
Inverter An electrical or electro-mechanical device that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
An inverter converts the DC electricity from sources such as batteries, solar panels, or fuel cells to AC electricity. The electricity can then be used to operate AC equipment such as those that are plugged in to most house hold electrical outlets.
Irradiance The direct, diffuse, and reflected solar radiation that strikes a surface. Usually expressed in kilowatts per square meter.
Kilowatt (kW) A standard unit of electrical power equal to 1000 watts. Your monthly residential electric bill shows how many kilowatts of electricity you used during the month.
Load The demand on an energy producing system. The energy consumption or requirement of a piece of equipment.
Parabolic Trough A type of solar concentrator collector that has a linear parabolic shaped reflector that focuses the sunís radiation on a receiver at the focus of the reflector. Used in large-scale solar energy plants.
Peak Demand / Load The maximum energy demand or load in a specified time period.
Photon A particle of light that acts as an individual unit of energy.
Photovoltaic (PV) Technology that converts light directly into electricity.
Photovoltaic Cell (Solar Cell) A device that converts solar energy into electricity by the photovoltaic effect.
Photovoltaic Module (Solar Module) A packaged interconnected assembly of photovoltaic cells (solar cells).
Photovoltaic Panel (Solar Panel) A collection of solar modules that are mechanically fastened together, wired, and designed to be a field-installable unit, sometimes with a glass covering and a frame and backing made of metal, plastic or fiberglass.
Power The rate at which energy is transferred. Electrical energy is usually measured in watts. Also used for a measurement of capacity.
Power Conversion Efficiency The ratio of output power to input power of the inverter.
Power Degradation The loss of power when electricity is sent over long distances.
Power Plant A facility where power, especially electricity, is generated.
Renewable Energy Sources - Fuels that can be easily made or "renewed." We can never use up renewable fuels. Types of renewable fuels are hydropower (water), solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass.
Reserve Capacity The amount of generating capacity a central power system must maintain to meet peak loads.
Silicon A semi-metallic chemical element that makes excellent semiconductor material for photovoltaic devices. It is commonly found in sand and quartz.
Solar Dish A device that receives radiation collected by motorized collectors which track the sun. The collectors focus the radiation the energy at a focal point of the dish.
Stand-Off Mounting Technique for mounting a photovoltaic array on a sloped roof, which involves mounting the modules a short distance above the pitched roof and tilting them to the optimum angle.
System Availability The percentage of time (usually expressed in hours per year) when a photovoltaic system will be able to fully meet the load demand.
Tilt Angle 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.
Total AC Load Demand The sum of the alternating current loads. This value is important when selecting an inverter.
Watt A watt measures a rate of energy use or production.
A typical household incandescent light bulb uses electrical energy at a rate of 25 to 100 watts, while compact fluorescent lights typically consume 5 to 30 watts.

Solar Energy in Israel
© 2008