“Speak the Lingo like a Pro”

Stay informed with our list of terms that are commonly used in the energy sector.

We’ll be continually adding to these; feel free to make suggestions here!

AC (alternating current)electrical current where the flow of charge periodically reverses direction
arraya series of solar panels or PV modules that together supply solar electricity
batteriesrechargeable batteries are made up of electrochemical cells that are capable of storing and discharging power through reversible electrochemical reactions
“behind-the-meter”energy system components that sit behind the “gate” to the main electricity grid system, generally relating to private or commercially-owned solar systems, or supply management technology
DC (direct current)unidirectional (constant direction) flow of electric charge
efficiency, solara measure of the proportion of solar energy that can be converted to electricity
electricitya fuel source of energy, defined by the motion or flow of electrically-charged matter
energymeasure of fuel either contained in an object or needed to perform work on (or heat) an object
generatorsproduces electricity by burning or converting fuel or energy
gridinterconnected electricity network, where producers supply electricity to consumers
GW (or GWh)gigawatt, unit of power equal to 1×109 Watts, or 1 thousand megawatts (GWh = unit of energy, used in large-scale use or generation)
“in-front-of-the-meter”energy system components that sit in front of the “gate”, that are part of the grid system operated by the grid provider, including generator plants, transmission, and distribution systems
inverter (solar, PV) electrically converts DC output from solar panels to a usable AC form
kWkilowatt, unit of power equal to 1×10³ Watts, or 1 thousand Watts
kWhkilowatt-hour, unit of energy equivalent to 3 600 kilojoules (3.6 megajoules) sustained for 1 hour, often used in residential and commercial electricity billing
monitoringmethod of observing and recording power usage and/or production in an energy system
MW (or MWh)megawatt, unit of power equal to 1×106 Watts, or 1 million Watts (MWh = unit of energy, commonly used in industrial use or generation)
off-gridenergy system independent from, or not connected to, the state or territory electricity grid
panelphotovoltaic (PV) module; a series of PV cells mounted in a frame that convert solar energy to electricity
powerenergy or work per unit of time
PV (photovoltaic)converts light energy (solar photons) to electricity using semiconducting materials
semiconducting materialmaterials used in solar PV cells to absorb sunlight; general types include crystalline silicon, thin film, and multi-junction cells
transformerpassive device that allows AC voltage to be increased (“step up”) or decreased (“step down”)
voltageelectrical potential difference: high voltage allows power to be transmitted more efficiently over distances (less energy lost as heat), but with increased safety risk
voltage managementmethod of reducing or limiting incoming voltage supply to an optimal level for the behind-the-meter system; this increases energy efficiency by reducing energy loss during usage by equipment
WattSI unit of power, equal to 1 joule per second

For more information about renewable energy systems, the status of energy in the NT, and more, check out our information section.