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Your Solar Guide: Solar Panel Performance Terminology

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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 (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.