Photovoltaic Conversion Efficiency Terms +

(solar electricity technical terms applying to electricity, power generation, concentrating solar power, or CSP, solar heating, solar lighting, and solar electricity)

harmonic content
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.

A region of electrical contact between two different materials.
high voltage disconnect
The voltage at which a charge controller will disconnect the photovoltaic array from the batteries to prevent overcharging.
high voltage disconnect hysteresis
The voltage difference between the high voltage disconnect set point and the voltage at which the full photovoltaic array current will be reapplied.
The vacancy where an electron would normally exist in a solid; behaves like a positively charged particle.
The region between an n-layer and a p-layer in a single material, photovoltaic cell.
hybrid system
A solar electric or photovoltaic system that includes other sources of electricity generation; such as, wind or diesel generators.
hydrogenated amorphous silicon
Amorphous silicon with a small amount of incorporated hydrogen.

The hydrogen neutralizes dangling bonds in the amorphous silicon, allowing charge carriers to flow more freely.

incident light
Light that shines onto the face of a solar cell or module.
indium oxide
A wide band gap semiconductor that can be heavily doped with tin to make a highly conductive, transparent thin film.

It is often used as a front contact or one component of a heterojunction solar cell.

infrared radiation
1. Electromagnetic radiation whose wavelengths lie in the range from 0.75 micrometer to 1000 micrometers; invisible long wavelength radiation (heat) capable of producing a thermal or photovoltaic effect, though less effective than visible light.
2. The part of the electromagnetic spectrum that lies between the microwave and visible wavelengths.
input voltage
This is determined by the total power required by the alternating current loads and the voltage of any direct current loads.

Generally, the larger the load, the higher the inverter input voltage. This keeps the current at levels where switches and other components are readily available.

The solar power density incident on a surface of stated area and orientation, usually expressed as Watts per square meter or Btu per square foot per hour.

See diffuse insolation and direct insolation.

A conductor within a module or other means of connection that provides an electrical interconnection between the solar cells.
intrinsic layer
A layer of semiconductor material, used in a photovoltaic device, whose properties are essentially those of the pure, undoped, material.
The information for the entries in this unit were compiled primarily from data
provided in the following source:

"U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy"
consisting of definitions of many important terms having to do with electricity,
power generation, concentrating solar power (CSP), solar heating, solar lighting,
and solar electricity, also known as photovoltaic (PV).

Information was also compiled from the

Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology; Edited by Christopher Morris;
Academic Press; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers; New York; 1992;
as well as,
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th edition;
Sybil P. Parker, editor in chief; McGraw-Hill, Inc.; 1989.

Index of additional Scientific and Technological Topics.