Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

ECOWAS Status Report

RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY STATUS REPORT 2014 | 85 away by the heat transfer medium. Unglazed water collectors, often referred to as swimming pool absorbers, are simple collectors made of plastics and used for lower-temperature applications. Unglazed and glazed air collectors use air rather than water as the heat-transfer medium to heat indoor spaces, or to pre-heat drying air or combustion air for agriculture and industry purposes. SOLAR HOME SYSTEM (SHS). A stand-alone system composed of a relatively small power photovoltaic module, battery, and sometimes a charge controller, that can power small electric devices and provide modest amounts of electricity to homes for lighting and radios, usually in rural or remote regions that are not connected to the electricity grid. Solar photovoltaics (PV). A technology used for converting solar radiation (light) into electricity. PV cells are constructed from semi-conducting materials that use sunlight to separate electrons from atoms to create an electric current. Modules are formed by interconnecting individual solar PV cells. Monocrystalline modules are more efficient but relatively more expensive than polycrystalline silicon modules. Thin film solar PV materials can be applied as flexible films laid over existing surfaces or integrated with building components such as roof tiles. Building-integrated PV (BIPV) generates electricity and replaces conventional materials in parts of a building envelope, such as the roof or façade. Bifacial PV modules are double-sided panels that generate electricity with sunlight received on both sides (direct and reflected) and are used primarily in the BIPV sector. SOLAR PICO SYSTEM (SPS). A very small solar PV system—such as a solar lamp or an information and communication technology (ICT) appliance—with a power output of 1–10 W that typically has a voltage up to 12 volt. SOLAR WATER HEATER (SWH). An entire system—consisting of a solar collector, storage tank, water pipes, and other components— that converts the sun’s energy into “useful” thermal (heat) energy for domestic water heating, space heating, process heat, etc. Depending on the characteristics of the “useful” energy demand (potable water, heating water, drying air, etc.) and the desired temperature level, a solar water heater is equipped with the appropriate solar collector. There are two types of solar water heaters: pumped solar water heaters use mechanical pumps to circulate a heat transfer fluid through the collector loop (active systems), whereas thermo-siphon solar water heaters make use of buoyancy forces caused by natural convection (passive systems). SUBSIDIES. Government measures that artificially reduce the price that consumers pay for energy or reduce production costs. TRADITIONAL BIOMASS. Solid biomass, including gathered fuel wood, charcoal, agricultural and forest residues, and animal dung, that is usually produced unsustainably and typically used in rural areas of developing countries by combustion in polluting and inefficient cookstoves, furnaces, or open fires to provide heat for cooking, comfort, and small-scale agricultural and industrial processing (as opposed to modern biomass energy). WATT/KILOWATT/MEGAWATT/GIGAWATT/TERAWATT-HOUR. A Watt is a unit of power that measures the rate of energy conversion or transfer. A kilowatt is equal to one thousand (103 ) Watts; a megawatt to one million (106 ) Watts; and so on. A megawatt electrical (MW) is used to refer to electric power, whereas a megawatt-thermal (MWth) refers to thermal/heat energy produced. Power is the rate at which energy is consumed or generated. For example, a light bulb with a power rating of 100 Watts (100 W) that is on for one hour consumes 100 Watt-hours (100 Wh) of energy, which equals 0.1 kilowatt-hour (kWh), or 360 kilojoules (kJ). This same amount of energy would light a 100 W light bulb for one hour or a 25 W bulb for four hours. A kilowatt-hour is the amount of energy equivalent to steady power of 1 kW operating for one hour. GLOSSARY

Pages Overview