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An energy carrier which has been produced from primary energy in a conversion process (e.g. electricity, hydrogen, petrol).

Originally "smog" meant a mixture of smoke and fog. The definition has expanded to mean air that has restricted visibility due to pollution. Pollution formed in the presence of sunlight is called photochemical smog. According to the U.S. EPA, smog is "a mixture of pollutants, principally ground-level ozone, produced by chemical reactions in the air involving smog-forming chemicals. A major portion of smog-formers come from burning of petroleum-based fuels such as gasoline. Other smog-formers, volatile organic compounds, are found in products such as paints and solvents. Smog can harm health, damage the environment and cause poor visibility. Major smog occurrences are often linked to heavy motor vehicle traffic, sunshine, high temperatures and calm winds or temperature inversion (weather condition in which warm air is trapped close to the ground instead of rising). Smog is often worse away from the source of the smog-forming chemicals, since the chemical reactions that result in smog occur in the sky while the reacting chemicals are being blown away from their sources by winds."


A photovoltaic cell that can convert light directly into electricity. A typical solar cell uses semiconductors made from silicon.

A component of an active or passive solar system that absorbs solar radiation to heat a transfer medium which, in turn, supplies heat energy to the space or water heating system.

Heat and light radiated from the sun. Solar radiation reaching the earth and its use for the production of electricity and heat.

Solar heating or hot water systems provide two basic functions: (a) capturing the sun's radiant energy, converting it into heat energy, and storing this heat in insulated storage tank(s); and (b) delivering the stored energy as needed to either the domestic hot water or heating system. These components are called the collection and delivery subsystems.

Sustainable development refers to a mode of human development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while ensuring the sustainability of natural systems and the environment, so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come. The term 'sustainable development' was used by the Brundtland Commission, which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development: "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Degree of hotness or coldness measured on one of several arbitrary scales based on some observable phenomenon (such as the expansion).

Any stationary or floating electrical generating facility using any source of thermal energy, with a generating capacity of 50 megawatts or more, and associated facilities. Exploratory, development, and production wells, resource transmission lines, and other related facilities used in connection with a geothermal exploratory project or a geothermal field development project are not appurtenant facilities for the purposes of this division. Thermal powerplant does not include any wind, hydroelectric, or solar photovoltaic electrical generating facility.

A study of the transformation of energy into other manifested forms and of their practical applications. The three laws of thermodynamics are:
1. Law of Conservation of Energy - energy may be transformed in an isolated system, but its total is constant
2. Heat cannot be changed directly into work at constant temperature by a cyclic process
3. Heat capacity and entropy of every crystalline solid becomes zero at absolute zero (0 degrees Kelvin)

Energy obtained by using the motion of the tides to run water turbines that drive electric generators.

A measure of how well heat is transferred by the entire window - the frame, sash and glass - either into or out of the building. U-value is the opposite of R-value. The lower the U-factor number, the better the window will keep heat inside a home on a cold day.