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Solar Batteries Glossary

Solar Batteries Important Terms: Solar Energy Glossary

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Solar batteries have some confusing terms which might be giving you a hard time. So here’s a guide to the solar battery jargon you can’t wrap your head around.

Solar Batteries Glossary

Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) Battery

An enclosed lead-acid battery comprising a fiberglass mat, held between battery plates, is responsible for storing the electrolyte, avoiding its spillage if the battery is damaged.

AC-Coupled Battery System

A solar inverter with a discrete storage inverter (charges the battery). They add up space to preceding solar panel systems.

Alternating Current (AC)

An electric current that shifts polarity intermittently. Most home devices utilize this.

Amperage

The strength of the flow of a current, unit is amperes (A).

Amp-hour

Amount of amps offered by a battery in sixty minutes.

Anode

The negative electrode in a battery.

Backup Power

Usable power source throughout a power outage.

Battery Pack

Comprises battery cells joined together in a protective case. A battery management system might be in this too.

Capacity

The total electricity accumulated by a battery, unit is kilowatt-hours.

Cathode

The positive electrode of a battery.

Cell

Comprises an anode, separator, electrolyte, and cathode. Batteries can have one or more cells.

Charge Controller

Maintains the current and voltage of a battery to avoid overcharging. 

Continuous Power Output

The power emission of a battery over a longer duration of time, unit is kilowatts (kW).

Critical Load Panel

A secondary electrical panel that provides energy to specific devices in a power outage.

Cycle

The complete discharge after charging.

Cycle Life

Minimum cycles after which a battery starts deteriorating.

DC-coupled Battery System

A hybrid inverter cooperating with a battery and solar panels.

Deep Cycle Battery

A battery that discharges 80% or more of its capacity perpetually.

Depth of Discharge (DoD)

The ratio of electrical discharge to the maximum capacity of a battery.

Direct Current (DC)

Current flowing in one direction.

Discharging

Power emission of a battery.

Electrode

The electric conductor is in contact with the electrolyte. Allows the passage of electrons.

Electrolyte

A chemical solution permits electrons to move from the cathode to the anode.

Energy Density

The energy accumulated in a battery relative to its mass, unit is kWh per unit of mass.

Flooded Lead-acid Battery

A lead-acid battery containing a free-flowing electrolyte. The electrolyte evaporates over the course of time. Constant upkeep is needed to guarantee efficient performance.

Gel Battery

An enclosed lead-acid battery comprising an electrolyte gel that avoids spills and leaks while increasing the health of the battery.

Grid

A plexus of transmission lines that transfer electricity from electricity generators to the consumer.

Grid-tied Solar System

A system that is interconnected and assists the utility grid.

Hybrid Inverter

An amalgamation of solar and battery inverters.

Inverter

Changes DC power to AC power.

Kilowatt (kW)

Unit of power equivalent to 1,000 watts.

Kilowatt-hour (kWh):

Measures power emitted over a course of time.

Lead-acid Battery

A rechargeable battery comprising lead electrodes and a sulfuric acid electrolyte solution.

Lithium-ion Battery

A rechargeable battery provides lithium ions to an electrolyte solution.

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP)

A lithium-ion battery that comprises a lithium iron phosphate cathode. 

Load

Electrical loads are circuits that need the power to run such as different devices.

Mechanical Storage

Stores electricity using gravity or kinetic energy. Examples: flywheels and pumped water storage.

Modular Battery

To add voltage, battery packs are joined together.

Net Metering

A pricing system that needs a utility company to charge a kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by a solar panel at the max market price of electricity. 

Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) Battery

A lithium-ion battery comprising lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide cathode.

Nominal Capacity

Maximum energy accumulated by the battery.

Off-grid Solar System

A solar panel system that is unconnected to the grid, is usually joined by many generators and solar panels.

Overcharging

Providing charge to battery above its maximum capacity.

Peak Demand

The maximum electricity used by the utility grid for a specific duration.

Peak Demand Charge

Addition of charge to fixed electricity bills due to a consumer’s monthly highest demand hour.

Peak Demand Shaving

Decreases energy consumption used from the grid in peak demand hours preventing peak demand charges. Taking energy from the battery rather than the grid.

Peak Power Output

The total electricity output of a battery for a short duration, powering devices to turn them on. 

Power Output

Electricity exiting the battery at any time, unit is kilowatts (kW). Promulgates the quantity and type of devices any battery can power.

Round-trip Efficiency

Percent of the electricity that is accessible after the storage procedure.

Saltwater Battery

A battery utilizing a salty electrolyte solution.

Sealed Lead-acid (SLA) Battery

A lead-acid battery that doesn’t need upkeep due to the electrolyte not evaporating.

Solar Batteries

Rechargeable battery charged by a solar panel system. The accumulated energy is utilized to power homes.

Terminal

Connects the battery to the charging outlet or an electricity consumer.

Thermal Runaway

Overheating and uncontrollable heating of the battery due to malfunction or improper treatment causing a fire.

Throughput

The total energy output of a battery in its lifespan. Unit is kWh.

Time-of-Use (TOU) Rates

A rate for electricity when it is priced more in some parts of the day.

Usable Capacity

Usable energy in a battery.

Voltage

Electric pressure on electrons in the circuit. Unit is volts.

Watts

Unit of power equivalent to one joule per second or one volt into one ampere.

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