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Solar Panel Performance Terminology
Solar Efficiency Terms
AMPM standard: rating indicates how solar panels perform from peak sunlight hours to nonpeak sunlight hours. Indicates how a panel will perform and takes into account light variations during the day, ambient temperatures and factors related to air mass that affect solar energy potential.
Normal operating cell temperature (NOCT) rating: rating of a solar power system’s potential to withstand factors that affect efficiency. The calculation uses peak sunshine during the assessment.
Peak watt rating: this number reflects testing in laboratory conditions and shows how much energy in peak watts (Wp) a solar module generates.
Solar Energy Performance Terms
Current at maximum power (
Current-voltage (IV): ratings compare the differences in terms of output when insolation (the amount of light that falls on a panel) and temperature vary. This rating is useful for learning how a solar panel will perform as the temperature changes and sunlight potential decreases on a cloudy day.
Nominal voltage (
Rated power: shows the solar panel’s ability to sustain power output throughout the day, defines the panel’s peak capacity.
China is planning to build the world’s first solar-powered space station. They hope to reach a source of “inexhaustible clean energy” for their space station. China claims to have tested the technology and expect to build the space station by 2050.
“We plan to launch four to six tethered balloons from the testing base and connect them with each other to set up a network at an altitude of around 1,000 meters. These balloons will collect sunlight and convert solar energy to microwave before beaming it back to Earth. Receiving stations on the ground will convert such microwaves to electricity and distribute it to a grid.”
In 1968, aerospace engineer Peter Glaser proposed the concept of a power-generating platform in geostationary orbit, but in terms of development there were to many technological and financial hurdles.
The debate over developing solar energy projects on public land has proven to be a controversial topic. The article below describes the benefits of solar development on public land.
Solar development on public lands offers many benefits, from reducing the threat of climate change to creating green jobs. Large-scale projects can have serious impacts on the land, so it is important that they are built in the right places and the right ways.
By focusing on development in smart places and off-setting or mitigating the impacts, we can:
- Protect wildlands and sensitive wildlife habitat.
- Facilitate responsible development by taking advantage of nearby existing roads and power lines. This makes development faster, cheaper and better for the environment, solar developers and consumers.
- Restore and repair damaged wildlands and wildlife habitats in areas where renewable energy development is occurring.
The Wilderness Society continues to work in collaboration with:
- Conservation partners at regional and national organizations.
- Solar developers.
- Government agencies, including the BLM and Department of Energy.
- Utilities that manage the power grid and deliver power to consumers.