Renewable Energy Glossary

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E85

An 85% ethanol (alcohol) fuel used in "Flex-Fuel" vehicles. E85 combines the advantages of reduced emissions and local production of the fuel (via bioethanol from agricultural stocks) over gasoline.

Earthen Plaster

A mixture of some or all of the following: clay, silt, sand, straw, and water (mud).

Ecological Footprint

The measurement of how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its carbon dioxide emissions, using prevailing technology.

EF

The energy factor (EF) is an energy performance rating given to various appliances and often reflects the percentage of energy used by the appliance that is converted to useful energy. The higher the energy factor, the greater the efficiency.

Efficiency

Using relatively less energy to accomplish a given task.

EGC

The equipment grounding conductor (EGC) is a non-current carrying conductor used to connect the exposed metal parts of equipment, raceways, and other enclosures to the grounding electrode conductor or system ground.

Electric Cars

This is the definition for an electric car. It appears as a call-out from the body copy. Cool.

Electric Vehicle

A vehicle powered by an electric drive train. Electric vehicles are powered by batteries and range from small scooters, motorcycles, and cars to large delivery and utility vehicles. The first electric vehicles were developed (and, in fact, popular) as early as the late 19th century.

Electric Vehicles

A vehicle powered only by electricity, not gasoline, hydrogen, or another fuel.

Electrical Load

A device that uses either AC or DC electricity to operate, such as computers, dishwashers, and refrigerators. {is this an OK definition for electrical load?}

Electrically Safe Working Environment

Required by OSHA and NFPA 70E; refers to the development and use of procedures to avoid working on energized circuits, and to use proper personal protective equipment where required.

Electronic Load Controller

Early hydro turbines used mechanical governors linked to spear valves to regulate their speed, but they were expensive and troublesome. Modern turbines use electronics to regulate the speed or the voltage using diversion loads (ballast). The controller monitors speed (for synchronous) or voltage (for induction or permanent magnet) alternators.

Embodied Energy

The energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a material. This includes the energy required in mining, transport, manufacturing, administration, use, disposal, etc.

Energy

The amount of power either consumed or produced over a quantity of time, commonly measured in watt-hours (Wh) or kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Energy Audit

A technical evaluation of a building's energy use to monitor and evaluate consumption.

Energy Conservation

A reduction in the demand for energy, achieved by altering behavioral patterns or increasing the efficiency of the energy consumer.

Energy Efficiency

The goal of reducing energy consumption while providing the same amount of energy services. An example includes insulating a building to reduce heating and cooling loads.

Energy Factor

An energy performance rating given to various appliances and often reflects the percentage of energy used by the appliance that is converted to useful energy. The higher the energy factor, the greater the efficiency.

Energy Recovery Ventilator

A mechanical ventilation unit that is used as an air-to-air heat exchanger removing water vapor and heat and transferring it to the opposite air stream, depending on season. Typically, ERVs are used in hot-humid climates to help maintain the interior relative humidity.

Energy Star

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy labeling system that identifies energy-efficient products on the market. Energy Star labeling can be found on everything from appliances to electronics to new home construction.

EPS

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a type of rigid foam insulation that does not contain ozone-depleting HCFCs. EPS is also known as beadboard or Styrofoam.

Equinox

The two times of year (~March 21 and ~September 23) when night and day are approximately equal, the sun rises true east and sets true west and is directly overhead at noon at the equator.

Equipment Disconnect

A device that disconnects a power source from an individual component.

Equipment Grounding

The bonding to ground of all non-current-carrying exposed metal parts that may become energized in a fault situation.

Equipment Grounding Conductor

A non-current carrying conductor used to connect the exposed metal parts of equipment, raceways, and other enclosures to the grounding electrode conductor or system ground.

ERV

A mechanical ventilation unit that is used as an air-to-air heat exchanger removing water vapor and heat and transferring it to the opposite air stream, depending on season. Typically, ERVs are used in hot-humid climates to help maintain the interior relative humidity.

Ethanol

A type of alcohol commonly created by fermenting sugars from vegetable matter such as corn or potatoes. It's also known as “ethyl,” "grain," "pure," or "drinking" alcohol, and is the type of alcohol typically found in beer, wine, and liquor.

EV

Electric vehicle (EV) generally refers to automotive-scale cars and trucks. Also called battery electric vehicles (BEVs), EVs are powered completely by an electric drive train and energy from on-board batteries.

Evacuated Tube Collector

A tubular collector that uses a vacuum as the insulation for the absorber.

Evaporation

The phase change of a material from a liquid to a vapor. In this process, evaporative cooling occurs.

Evaporative Cooling

A process in which the heat is removed from outside air through the evaporation of water. Evaporative cooling is well suited for hot and dry climates.

Exfiltration

The uncontrolled leakage of air out of buildings through cracks and joints in any building section, and around windows and doors of a building, caused by temperature or pressure differentials.

Expanded Polystyrene

A type of rigid foam insulation that does not contain ozone-depleting HCFCs; also known as beadboard or Styrofoam.

Expansion Tank

A tank used in antifreeze systems to absorb the physical expansion of the fluid as its heat increases. Also used in hydronic heating systems and municipal-supplied DHW systems that include a backflow preventer.

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