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)

dye-sensitized solar cell, dye solar cell
An advanced type of photovoltaic cell that uses a dye-impregnated layer of titanium dioxicde to generate a voltage, rather than the semiconducting materials used in most solar cells.
A device for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy; especially, one that produces direct current.
Relating to or involving the exchange of energy between mechanical and electrical processes.
edge-defined film-fed growth, edgedefined film, filmfed growth; EFG
A method for making sheets of polycrystalline silicon for photovoltaic devices in which molten silicon is drawn upward by capillary action through a mold.
electric circuit
The path followed by electrons from a power source (generator or battery), through an electrical system, and returning to the source.
electric current
The flow of electrical energy (electricity) in a conductor, measured in amperes.
electrical grid
An integrated system of electricity distribution, usually covering a large area.
1. A fundamental form of energy, consisting of oppositely charged electrons and protons that produce light, heat, magnetic force, and chemical changes.

The flow of this energy is known as "electric current".

2. The general phenomenon of charges at rest and in motion.
3. Energy resulting from the flow of charge particles; such as, electrons or ions.
fermi level
Energy level at which the probability of finding an electron is one-half.

In a metal, the Fermi level is very near the top of the filled levels in the partially filled valence band. In a semiconductor, the Fermi level is in the band gap.

fill factor
The ratio of a photovoltaic cell's actual power to its power if both current and voltage were at their maxima.

This is a key characteristic in evaluating cell performance.

fixed tilt array
A photovoltaic array set in at a fixed angle with respect to horizontal.
flat-plate array, flat plate array, flatplate array
A photovoltaic (PV) array that consists of non-concentrating PV modules.
flat-plate module, flat plate module, flatplate module
An arrangement of photovoltaic cells or material mounted on a rigid flat surface with the cells exposed freely to incoming sunlight.
flat-plate photovoltaics, flat plate photovoltics, flatplate photovoltaics; PV
A PV array or module that consists of nonconcentrating elements.

Flat-plate arrays and modules use direct and diffuse sunlight, but if the array is fixed in position, some portion of the direct sunlight is lost because of oblique sun-angles in relation to the array.

float charge
The voltage required to counteract the self-discharge of the battery at a certain temperature.
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.