PV Mounting Glossary | Rooftop/Ground Solar Mounting | PV Mounting Solution



  • solar/PV inverter
  • converts DC to AC current
  • 3 types:
    • stand-alone inverter: used in isolated systems where inverter draws DC energy from batteries charged by PV arrays. Doesn't require anti-islanding protection
    • grid-tie inverter: match phase w/ utility-supplied sine wave. Shuts down automatically upon loss of utility supply. Doesn't provide backup power during outages.
    • battery backup inverters: draws energy from battery, manages battery via onboard charger, and exports excess energy to grid. Capable of supplying AC energy to selected loads during outages. Has anti-islanding protection

maximum power point tracker (MPPT)

  • • technique used by inverter to get maximum possible power from PV array

Anti-Islanding Protection

  • injects small pulses slightly out of phase w/ AC electrical system in order to cancel any stray resonances that may be present when grid shuts down
  • 2 types: passive and active


  • photovoltaic
  • converts solar energy into direct current (DC) electricity
  • solar cells

PV Array

  • a linked collection of solar panels

I-V curve tracer

  • device that traces the relationship between the DC current through an electronic device and the DC voltage across its terminals

Solar Charger

  • employs solar energy to supply electricity to devices or charge batteries

Balance of System (BOS)

  • encompasses all components outside of PV panels
  • includes wiring, switches, racks/mounts, inverter, and/or batteries and/or land (w/ free-standing systems)

Solar Combiner Box

  • electrical distribution box where DC circuit breakers are placed
  • combines multiple DC inputs from panel terminations & converts these intone DC output

PV System

  • consists of PV modules, connections, racks/mounts, and means of regulating and/or modifying electrical output

Single-Phase Electric Power

  • electrical engineering
  • the distribution of AC electricity using a system in which all voltages of the supply vary in unison. Used when loads are mostly lighting and heating, with few large electric motors

Ballast Mounts

  • uses concrete or steel bases to secure panel system using weight alone and w/o drilling or boring


  • solar microinverter
  • converts DC from a single solar panel to AC
  • electric power from several microinverters is combined and fed into an existing electrical grid


  • kilowatt
  • equals to one thousand (10^3) watts
  • typical used in expressing output power of engines and the power consumption of motors, tools, machines, and heaters


  • alternating current
  • the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction
  • the form in which electric power is delivered to businesses and residences


  • direct current
  • unidirectional, constant flow of electric charge
  • produced by solar cells, batteries, thermocouples, etc.
  • can flow in a conductor, i.e. wires, semiconductors, insulators or even vacuums as in electron or ion beams
  • used to be called galvanic current

sine wave

  • mathematical function that describes a smooth repetitive oscillation
  • occurs often in mathematics, physics, signal processing, electrical engineering, etc.
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PV Mounting Glossary | Rooftop/Ground Solar Mounting | PV Mounting Solution