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Solar Technology related terms beginning with M.




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  • Maintenance-Free Battery : A sealed battery to which water cannot be added to maintain electrolyte level.

  • Majority Carrier : Current carriers (either free electrons or holes) that are in excess in a specific layer of a semiconductor material (electrons in the n-layer, holes in the p-layer) of a cell.

  • Maximum Power Point (MPP) : The point on the current-voltage (I-V) curve of a module under illumination, where the product of current and voltage is maximum. For a typical silicon cell, this is at about 0.45 volts.

  • Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) : Means of a power conditioning unit that automatically operates the photovoltaic generator at its maximum power point under all conditions.

  • Maximum Power Tracking : Operating a photovoltaic array at the peak power point of the array's I-V curve where maximum power is obtained. Also called peak power tracking.

  • Megawatt (MW) : 1,000 kilowatts, or 1 million watts; standard measure of electric power plant generating capacity.

  • Megawatt-Hour : 1,000 kilowatt-hours or 1 million watt-hours.

  • Microgroove : A small groove scribed into the surface of a solar cell, which is filled with metal for contacts.

  • Minority Carrier : A current carrier, either an electron or a hole, that is in the minority in a specific layer of a semiconductor material; the diffusion of minority carriers under the action of the cell junction voltage is the current in a photovoltaic device.

  • Minority Carrier Lifetime : The average time a minority carrier exists before recombination.

  • Modified Sine Wave : A waveform that has at least three states (i.e., positive, off, and negative). Has less harmonic content than a square wave.

  • Modularity : The use of multiple inverters connected in parallel to service different loads.

  • Module : See photovoltaic (PV) module.

  • Module Derate Factor : A factor that lowers the photovoltaic module current to account for field operating conditions such as dirt accumulation on the module.

  • Monolithic : Fabricated as a single structure.

  • Movistor : Metal Oxide Varistor. Used to protect electronic circuits from surge currents such as those produced by lightning.

  • Multicrystalline : A semiconductor (photovoltaic) material composed of variously oriented, small, individual crystals. Sometimes referred to as polycrystalline or semicrystalline.

  • Multijunction Device : A high-efficiency photovoltaic device containing two or more cell junctions, each of which is optimized for a particular part of the solar spectrum.

  • Multi-Stage Controller : A charging controller unit that allows different charging currents as the battery nears a full state of charge.

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