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Just a note to thank you again for doing business with me on the solar hardware. My system has been up since the beginning of the month – no hardware issues whatsoever. We made about 30 KwH today, and the best system peak performance has been just shy of 6000 watts. I’m quite pleased with it, and look forward to better production as the year progresses.

Solar Dictionary

how solar works high res


A measure of power. In solar, electric panels are rated to produce so many watts.

Watt Hours

Measure of power over time. A 195 watt panel, producing for one hour, produces 195 watt hours.

Kilowatt (kW)

One thousand watts. 500 watts is the same as .5 kilowatts.

Kilowatt Hours (kWh)

Measure of power over time. A 2 kilowatt solar array, producing for 10 hours, produces 20 kWh. In Western Washington, 1kW of solar will produce about 1000kWh per year.

Photovoltaic (PV)

Production of electricity from light.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

Solar panels used to produce electricity. The sizes of panels are measured in wattage.

Net Metering

When the solar panels produce more than the building uses, the extra power goes back to the grid, rewinding your meter backwards. This is for grid tied, PV solar only.

Production Incentive

Before net metering or the building uses the power, the utility pays you for all the energy your grid tied solar system produces. The payback comes to you in the form of a check once a year. The utility pays 15 to 54 cents per kWh.

Solar Thermal

Solar Thermal is solar that produces heat, like solar hot water.