The Ultimate RV Solar Maintenance Guide – Solar Bliss on Wheels Table of Contents Buckle...Read More
ALTERNATING CURRENT (AC)
The type of electricity that comes from a regular outlet in our household. Most of our appliances and devices need this form of electrical current to run. Alternating refers to the fact that AC constantly reverses the direction of its current.
AMP / AMPERE
Ampere is the measurement of the flow of electrical current. It can be seen as the volume of electricity that is generated or flowing.
AMP HOUR (AH)
Measures how many amps of electrical current are flowing for one hour. It is often used to express how much power a battery is able to produce.
BATTERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (BMS)
A tool that monitors battery functions and protects the battery from damage. Examples are protection from high or low voltage, from high or low temperatures or short circuit protection.
A charge controller is needed for proper battery operation. It regulates the electricity flow to and from the battery and helps to optimize charging.
The flow of an electrical charge. Amps are often described as current.
DEPTH OF DISCHARGE (DOD)
Depth of Discharge measures how much capacity has been used from the total energy stored in a battery. Expressed in percentage, it indicates how far down a battery has been depleted. Lower quality batteries are more likely to fail when discharged too low, risking damage and a decreased lifespan.
DIRECT CURRENT (DC)
The type of electricity most commonly generated by solar panels and stored in batteries. DC flows in a single direction and is not suitable for use in our appliances and devices. An inverter is needed to convert the electricity into AC for regular use.
Devices that consume electricity represent electrical loads, e.g. appliances, tools, and lights.
The electrical infrastructure, such as power lines, transformers etc. to supply the public with electricity.
GROUND FAULT PROTECTOR (GFP)
A GFP cuts the power supply if there is a fault or leak of power, e.g. due to contact with water. It is usually required in kitchens and bathrooms, but also outdoor circuits.
Also called frequency, Hertz expresses the number of times per second that the flow of electricity reverses itself. This is particular to alternating current or AC. In the US and Canada, the common frequency for electric power outlets is 60 Hz.
A device that converts electricity, most commonly direct current from solar panels into alternating current. Inverters are generally also capable of setting the desired frequency of the output current.
One thousand watts of electricity. The most commonly used denomination for measuring electric power.
KILOWATT HOUR (kWh)
Indicates the kW produced or consumed in one hour e.g. by a device or a solar panel. For example, the average US household consumes about 30 kWh per day. A 400 W solar panel produces about 2 kWh per day.
LITHIUM / LiFePO
Lithium is a metal that, due to its many advantages, has become extremely popular in battery production. Most recently, Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries (LiFePO4) have emerged as cutting-edge technology.
Solar panels are made of photovoltaic cells, which are capable of turning sunlight into an electric current. This process is called photovoltaics. The term is often used synonymously with solar panels or solar cells.
VOLT / VOLTAGE (V)
Volts are the measurement of electric potential. It’s also often described as the “pressure” of electricity. A higher Voltage means there is more energy available at a given time. E.g. the power sockets in our households are usually 120 V, while a dryer outlet is commonly 220 V. This enables the dryer to quickly pull a lot of energy.
Watt is the base unit for electrical power. In the case of solar panels, it is used to express how much power the panel can potentially produce. With devices, e.g. a lightbulb, the wattage indicates how much power it will consume.
WATT HOUR (Wh)
Indicates the W produced or consumed in one hour. E.g. the energy consumption of a 10 W light bulb in one hour would be 10 Wh.
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