Basic Electricity Concepts

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What type of crimp connectors are commonly used in solar applications?

Ferrules, rings, and spades

What is the purpose of ferrule connectors?

To connect to the terminals of devices

What determines the color of crimp connectors?

Wire diameter

What is the purpose of bullet connectors?

To fit MC4 connectors

What is the function of MC4 connectors?

To protect the cable from moisture, dust, and rain, and to function as a plug and play wiring method

What tool is used to apply pressure on the crimp connector?

Crimping tool

What is the purpose of an assembly tool?

To tighten the connector to the wire

What is an alternative to making cables yourself?

Buying them already made

What is the fundamental capacity of electricity?

The capacity to establish electrical work

What are the three basic elements of an electrical circuit?

Power source, conductor, and load

What is the role of the power source in an electrical circuit?

It produces or stores electricity

What are the two main types of resistive loads?

Linear loads and Non-linear loads

What is the function of the load in an electrical circuit?

It receives electricity and performs some sort of work

What is the electromotive force (EMF) that generates voltage?

The force required to move electrons from one point to another

What happens to the power consumption of linear loads over time?

It remains constant

How does the voltage of an electrical circuit affect the flow of electrons?

The greater the voltage, the greater the flow of electrons

What is the behavior of non-linear loads similar to?

Inductors or capacitors

Where can you find the power consumption and nominal voltage of a resistive load?

In the load's datasheet

What is the electrical current, and how is it measured?

The intensity of the flow of electrons per second through a conductor, measured in Amperes (A)

What formula can be used to find the equivalent power consumed by a load?

P = VI (Power formula)

What is the direction of the flow of electrons in an electrical circuit?

From the highest electrical potential point to the lower electrical potential point

Why is it important to understand the type of loads in a PV system?

To size the system properly

What type of circuit breaker is needed for loads that require three-phase systems at 208VAC?

Triple pole circuit breaker

Why is it recommended to buy fuses and breakers from well-known brands?

Because they are known for their reliability and quality, reducing the risk of failure and ensuring safety

Why are AC components generally cheaper than DC components?

Due to the scale of production

Why is it not recommended to use AC safety equipment in DC circuits?

Because DC equipment works differently and has different internal components

What is the primary function of a DC isolator switch in a solar system?

To decouple parts of the system from each other for maintenance purposes

Where are DC isolator switches typically placed in a solar system?

Between the solar panels and charge controller, and between the batteries and the system

What is the key consideration when selecting a DC isolator switch?

Ensuring the switch complies with the system's current and voltage requirements

How do the current and voltage requirements of a DC isolator switch differ between the solar panels and the battery?

The switch from the solar panels requires lower current but higher voltage, while the switch from the battery requires higher current but lower voltage

Why is it important to place VLA batteries in the right vertical position?

To prevent the internal fluid from spilling out.

What is the main difference between ignition batteries and deep cycle batteries?

Ignition batteries deliver high current for a short time, while deep cycle batteries provide low current for longer periods.

What type of applications are deep cycle batteries suited for?

Applications requiring low current for longer periods, such as photovoltaic applications.

What is the primary use of backup batteries?

Providing energy in control operations and backup in sub-stations.

What is the purpose of the pressure-sensitive valve in VRLA batteries?

To automatically control the emission of gases and release them in case of high pressure.

Why are vented batteries classified into three categories?

Due to differences in their design and intended use, which include ignition, deep cycle, and backup batteries.

What is the key characteristic of ignition batteries?

Delivering a high amount of current for a short amount of time.

Why are sealed batteries, like VRLA batteries, used in some applications?

To avoid the evaporation of electrolyte.

Study Notes

Understanding Electricity

  • Electricity is the capacity to establish electrical work.
  • An electrical circuit consists of three basic elements: power source, conductor, and load.

Power Source

  • A power source produces or stores electricity (e.g., battery, generator, or solar panel).


  • A conductor is the element through which electricity flows.


  • A load receives electricity and performs some sort of work (e.g., lamp generates light, motor provides motion, and electrical resistor generates heat).

Key Concepts

  • Voltage: the electrical potential difference between two points, measured in Volts (V).
  • Voltage is generated by an electromotive force (EMF) or power source.
  • Voltage is the pressure required to move electrons from one point to another.
  • The greater the voltage, the greater the flow of electrons through an electrical conductor.


  • Electrical current is the intensity of the flow of electrons per second through a conductor.

Electrical Connectors

  • Crimp connectors are used to connect wires to terminals or busbars.
  • Ferrules, rings, and spades are commonly used in solar applications.
  • Bullet connectors are used to fit MC4 connectors, which transport electricity from solar panels to a combiner box.
  • Color coding is not always standardized, but common colors include:
    • AWG 10 (Green)
    • AWG 12 (Gray)
    • AWG 14 (Blue)
    • AWG 16 (Black)
    • AWG 18 (Red)
    • AWG 20 (White)
    • AWG 22 (Orange)
    • AWG 22 (Yellow)

Circuit Breakers

  • Double-pole and triple-pole circuit breakers are used for three-phase systems at 208VAC.
  • It's recommended to buy fuses and breakers from well-known brands.

DC Equipment

  • AC components are cheaper than DC components due to scale of production.
  • It's not recommended to use AC safety equipment in DC circuits.

DC Isolator Switch

  • DC isolator switches are used to decouple parts of the solar system from each other.
  • They are used for maintenance and placed between solar panels and the charge controller, and between batteries and the system.


  • Resistive loads consume an average amount of power that is constant over time (e.g., lightbulb or water heater).
  • Non-linear loads have a consumption over time that is not constant (e.g., inductors or capacitors).
  • Power consumption can be expressed in watts or amps and is typically found in the load's datasheet.


  • Ignition batteries are mainly used for automotive purposes and are not suited for solar applications.
  • Deep cycle batteries are used for applications where low amounts of current are needed for longer periods of time.
  • Backup batteries are used to provide energy in control operations and backup in sub-stations, but are not generally used for off-grid solar power applications.
  • Sealed or vented batteries are partially sealed to avoid the evaporation of electrolyte.

Learn about the fundamentals of electricity, including electrical circuits, power sources, conductors, and loads. Understand how electricity works and its importance in nature.

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