Solar power jargon buster

We try to speak in plain english so you know what you’re getting and why you’re getting it. But sometimes you just can’t avoid technical terms, so here’s our guide through the maze…

  • PV = Photovoltaic, simply the transfer of light (photo) in to electric (voltaic).
  • Wp = Watts peak. This refers to the peak power of a panel. Typical panels for the UK market are between 250Wp and 345Wp.
  • kW = 1000 watts
  • kWp = kilo Watts peak. 1kWp = 1000Wp. Domestic systems are usually 4kWp, Commercial installations are normally up to 50kWp and industrial installations can reach 1000kWp (or 1MWp).
  • kWh = kilo Watt hour. This is the same as one unit of electric. We buy electric in units or kWh. If you use 1 kW (kilo Watt) for one hour then you will have used a single unit of electric.
  • Inverter = The inverter is a ‘box’ that sits in the building changing the DC electric from the panels to AC electric that is acceptable for your appliances and the national grid. Inverter position is extremely important. Naked Solar always advise on the optimum place to put your inverter.
  • Mounting system = This is the frame, brackets, hooks etc required to hold the panels in place. Various solutions are available to deal with the many situations that Solar PV panels can be mounted in. From ground mount to roof mount to roof integrated to wall mount, Naked Solar have experience in all types of mounting and can discuss every option with you.
  • FIT = Feed in Tariff, this is the government scheme which enables solar PV system owners to be paid for every unit that is generated by their system, whether the unit goes in to the grid or is used by the customer, you get paid FIT for that unit. More on Feed in Tariffs.
  • Export = This is a further tariff that is paid for any units that go in to the grid. On systems of 30kWp or less there is an assumption made that you will be paid for exporting half of the units generated. This is because it is uneconomical to install an export meter for systems of this size.