Daily Archives: March 6, 2019

Your Solar Guide: Solar Panel Performance Terminology

The quality of solar panels determines the efficiency and performance of your system. Not all company’s install high-quality panels on your project. Solar Chief is committed to equipping its customers with the most reliable and efficient solar panels. To learn more about Solar Chief and contact us today!


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 (Im): rates the solar panel’s production of electricity after inverting solar power into DC 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 (Vn): shows the voltage compatible with the solar panels. This often ranges from six to 24 volts, but it can be 48 volts or even more.

Rated power: shows the solar panel’s ability to sustain power output throughout the day, defines the panel’s peak capacity.

Temperature at rated power: is a standard that manufacturers use to rate solar panels’ performance at a specific temperature.

Voltage at peak power (Vp): the panel’s maximum voltage output when it’s producing electricity at its highest rate.

Innovations in Solar: China Plans To Build The World’s First Solar Power Station In Space

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.”

– Gengxin

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.

Source: Forbes

Solar Development on Public Lands

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.

Article:Wilderness.org

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.