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Renewable Energy Terminology - A

Posted by: Sean Jenkins

If you’ve ever wondered what the renewables industry is all about, then this blog should help. We have decoded some of the lingo and will share this knowledge with you in a series of blogs, starting with the letter ‘A’.

Active power: is a real component of the apparent power, usually expressed in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW), in contrast to reactive power.

Alternating Current (AC): Electric current which reverses direction periodically, which contrasts with direct current (DC) which moves in only one direction (not the band).

Ampere (Amp): the unit of electric current.

Amp-hour: this measures the amount of electrical current flowing for a period of time

Airfoil: cross section profile of a wind turbine blade which is designed to provide low drag and good lift.

Anemometer: is an instrument which is used to measure the speed and velocity of the wind

Angle of attack: this is the angle of relative air flow to a wind turbine’s blade

Armature: is the moving part of an alternator, motor or generator. In some alternator designs it carries the magnets and is attached to the wind turbine blades and hub.

Availability factor: the percentage of time a wind turbine is able to operate, not out of order or being serviced.

Average wind speed (velocity): the mean wind speed over a given period of time

Active solar:  As an energy source, energy from the sun collected and stored using mechanical pumps or fans to circulate heat-laden fluids or air between solar collectors and a building.

Anaerobic Digestion Anaerobic Digestion (AD): is a collection of processes by which micro-organisms break down biodegradable material to produce a biogas that can be used directly as fuel, in combined heat and power gas engines or upgraded to natural gas-quality biomethane. The nutrient-rich digestate by product can be used as fertilizer. Anemometer An anemometer is a device used for measuring wind speed.

Air source heat pump: Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) absorb heat from the outside air and using a heat exchanger boosts this to a higher temperature to heat the inside of a property.

Amorphous:There are two main types of solar panel: amorphous and crystalline. In general, amorphous perform better than crystalline under low light conditions and don’t suffer as much power loss in hot temperatures. However, in good conditions, the efficiency of amorphous panels is lower, and they are physically larger than crystalline panels of the same wattage.

Ashing auger: An auger, operated manually or by a motor, used to remove ash from the base of a furnace or boiler setting. Also called ashing screw.

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