When it comes to understanding your breaker box, use these terms to help you get started.
Amperage or Amps – The measurement of the strength of an electric current flowing through a system. Amps are the measured magnitude of the electrical current in the circuit. Voltage x Amperage = Watts.
Breaker Box – Another term for Electric Service Panel.
Electric Service Panel – Also called a breaker box, panel box, or main panel, this is the electrical fuse box in or on your home. It is the hub for your electrical flow into your home. It is divided up into electrical loads for various parts of your home. The loads are dependent upon the amount of energy each portion of the home uses.
Electrical Loads – This is the division of your electrical usage into groupings. These groupings each have a fuse connected to them in your electrical service panel. They typically look like a switch inside your service panel box. These are called circuit breakers. They are assigned a numerical value based on the amperage able to flow through them safely.
Circuit Breaker – Each electrical load is connected to a circuit breaker in your electrical service panel. They look like a switch inside of your breaker box. The circuit breaker is designed to trip or turn off when it exceeds the limit of its capacity.
Main Panel – Another term for Electric Service Panel.
Main Panel Upgrade (MPU) – This is when an upgrade is needed to your breaker box to accommodate the additional solar system needs. The total amperage your Breaker Box can withstand may need to be larger to manage the amount of electricity coming through it from your new solar system.
Panel Box – Another term for Electric Service Panel.
Subpanel – A smaller breaker box typically for special use in an area such as a garage or separate structure on your property. They are connected to your main breaker and subject to its main breaker.