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Cadmium telluride (CdTe)

CdTe is a semiconductor compound formed from cadmium and tellurium. CdTe solar panels are manufactured on glass. They are the most common type of thin film solar panel on the market and the most cost-effective to manufacture. CdTe panels perform significantly better in high temperatures and in low-light conditions.

Cadmium telluride PV modules

Modules that have Cadium Telluride


A unit for measuring heat energy. This unit is equal to 4.184 joules.


The maximum power that a machine can safely handle or produce.

Capacity Factor

This is the amount of energy that a facility has generated in one year divided by the total amount it could generate if it ran at full capacity. One Capacity Factor typically implies that the system ran at full capacity the entire year.

Capacity, Gross

The full-load continuous rating of a prime mover, generator or other electrical equipment under specific condition as designated by the manufacturer

Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF)

CUF = Energy measured (kWh) / (365*24*installed capacity of the plant)

In comparison to the Performance Ratio (PR), the CUF does not take into account the availability of the grid, does not take into account of the minimum level of irradiation that is needed to generate electricity and does not take into account the irradiation levels at a given time period.

Capital Cost

This is the cost of plant construction, equipment and field development that is needed for the generation of electricity

Capital Investment

See (financial) investment

Carbon Dioxide

This is a noncombustible gas that is colorless and odorless. The chemical formula is CO2. This particular gas is made from the combustion of carbon compounds (such as biomass and fossil fuels) and carbon and by respiration, which is the slow combustion in plants and animals.

Cast Silicon

This is crystalline silicon that is obtained with the pouring of molten silicon into a vertical mold. The temperature gradient is adjusted during cooling, which can allow vertically-advancing crystallization of the silicon. The cast ingot are made into wafer for further fabrication in photovoltaic cells. Ribbon-silicon sheets and cast-silicon wafers fabricated into cells are often referred to as polycrystalline photovoltaic cells.

Certificate holder

Entity holding a provisional certificate

Certification Body

Body that conducts provisional certification of conformity

Certification system

Specific rules for procedure and management to carry out certification of conformity

Chain Reaction

This is a nuclear reaction that is self-sustaining, that occurs during fission. Fissionable substances absorb a neutron and divides, which in turn releases additional neutrons, that are absorbed by other fissionable nuclei, releasing more neutrons, etc.

Chemical Energy

Energy stored in a substance and released during a chemical reaction


Conductor or system of conductors through which electric current flows.

Climate Change (Greenhouse Effect)

The increase of the global surface temperature of planet Earth due to the gases that are in the atmosphere. Such gases include nitrous oxide, ozone, methane, carbon dioxide, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Solar radiation penetrating the Earth's atmosphere takes place during the Greenhouse effect.


This is a fossil fuel that was created from the breakdown of vegetable material trapped underground with no access to air.

Coal-Fired Power Plant

A power plant that uses coal as the fuel to generate electricity


This is the simulatenous production of electrical energy and another useful energy (such as steam or heat).

Collector Field

Area that contains many solar collectors


Chemical oxidation that allows for the generation of heat and light.

Combined Cycle

This is an electric generating technology that uses lost waste heat from one or more gas turbines for the production of electricity.


Refractive or reflective device that focuses incident insolation onto a smaller area

Control system (WT)

Subsystem that receives information about the condition of the WT and/or its environment and adjusts the turbine in order to maintain it within its operating limits


Motion within a plastic or fluid material due to some parts having buoyancy from their higher temperatures. Convection is a means of transferring heat through mass flow.


The change from one form to another.


This is a type of utility in which all of the users own shares.

Cull Wood

Wood logs, chips, or wood products that are burned.

Cut-in wind speed (Vin)

Lowest mean wind speed at hub-height at which the WT starts to produce power

Cut-out wind speed (Vout)

Highest mean wind speed at hub-height at which the WT is designed to produce power