SAE Viscosity Number: A system established by the Society of Automotive Engineers for classifying crankcase oils and automotive transmission and differential lubricants according to their viscosities.
Seasonal Efficiency (SE): A measure of the percentage of heat from the combustion of gas and from associated electrical equipment which is transferred to the space being heated during a year under specified conditions.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): The total cooling output of a central air conditioning unit in British thermal units during its normal usage period for cooling divided by the total electrical energy input in watthours during the same period, as determined using specified federal test procedures.
Self–Generation: A generation facility dedicated to serving a particular retail customer, usually located on the customer's premises. The facility may either be owned directly by the retail customer or owned by a third party with a contractual arrangement to provide electricity to meet some or all of the customer's load.
Self–Service Wheeling: Primarily an accounting policy comparable to net–billing or running the meter backwards. An entity owns generation that produces excess electricity at one site, that is used at another site(s) owned by the same entity. It is given billing credit for the excess electricity (displacing retail electricity costs minus wheeling charges) on the bills for its other sites.
Sequestration: The capture of atmospheric carbon dioxide in a solid material (such as growing trees, other vegetation, and soils) or a carbon sink through biological or physical processes, such as photosynthesis.
Service Area: Any contiguous geographic area serviced by the same electric or natural gas utility.
Setback Thermostat: See Thermostat, Setback.
Shade Screen: A screen affixed to the exterior of a window or other glazed opening, designed to reduce the solar radiation reaching the glazing.
Shading: 1) The protection from heat gains due to direct solar radiation; 2) Shading is provided by (a) permanently attached exterior devices, glazing materials, adherent materials applied to the glazing, or an adjacent building for nonresidential buildings, hotels, motels and highrise apartments, and by (b) devices affixed to the structure for residential buildings.
Shading Coefficient: The ratio of solar heat gain through a specific glazing system to the total solar heat gain through a single layer of clear, double–strength glass.
Side Fins: Vertical shading elements mounted on either side of a glazed opening that blocks direct solar radiation from the lower, lateral portions of the sun's path.
Site: Any location on which a facility is constructed or is proposed to be constructed.
Site Energy: The energy consumed at a building location or other end–use site.
Skylight: Any opening in the roof surface which is glazed with a transparent or translucent material.
Smog: A mixture of smoke and fog generally used as an equivalent of air pollution, particularly associated with oxidants.
Solar Cell: A photovoltaic cell that can convert light directly into electricity. A typical solar cell uses semiconductors made from silicon.
Solar Collector: 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.
Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI): Established in 1974 and funded by the federal government, the Institute's general purpose is to support U.S. Department of Energy's solar energy program and foster the widespread use of all aspects of solar technology, including photovoltaics, solar heating and cooling, solar thermal power generation, wind ocean thermal conversion and biomass conversion. Renamed the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Solar Heat Gain: Heat added to a space due to transmitted and absorbed solar energy.
Solar Heat Gain Factor: An estimate used in calculating cooling loads of the heat gain due to transmitted and absorbed solar energy through 1/8"–thick, clear glass at a specific latitude, time and orientation.
Solar Heating And Hot Water Systems: 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.
Solar Irradiation: The amount of radiation, both direct and diffuse, that can be received at any given location.
Solar Power: Electricity generated from solar radiation.
Solar Radiation: Electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun.
Solar Satellite Power: A proposed process of using satellites in geosynchronous orbit above the earth to capture solar energy with photovoltaic cells, convert it to microwave energy, beam the microwaves to earth where they would be received by large antennas, and changed from microwave into usable electricity.
Solar Thermal: The process of concentrating sunlight on a relatively small area to create the high temperatures needs to vaporize water or other fluids to drive a turbine for generation of electric power.
Solar Thermal Power Plant: A thermal powerplant in which 75 percent or more of the total energy output is from solar energy and the use of backup fuels, such as oil, natural gas and coal, does not, in the aggregate, exceed 25 percent of the total energy input of the facility during any calendar year period.
Source Energy: All the energy used in delivering energy to a site, including power generation and transmission and distribution losses, to perform a specific function, such as space conditioning, lighting or water heating. Approximately three watts (or 10.239 British thermal units) of energy is consumed to deliver one watt of usable electricity.
Special Fuels: Alternative fuels used in combustion engines, such as biodiesel or liquid petroleum.
Special Naphthas: All finished products within the naphtha boiling range that are used as paint thinners, cleaners, or solvents. Those products are refined to a specified flash point. Special naphthas include all commercial hexane and cleaning solvents conforming to ASTM Specifications D1836 and D484, respectively. Naphthas to be blended or marketed as motor gasoline or aviation gasoline, or that are to be used as petrochemical and synthetic natural gas (SNG) feedstocks, are excluded.
Specific Heat: In English units, the quantity of heat, in British thermal units, needed to raise the temperature of one pound of material one degree Fahrenheit.
Spot price: The price for a one–time open market transaction for immediate delivery of a specific quantity of product at a specific location where the commodity is purchased "on the spot" at current market rates. In other words, the price at which refiners and importers sell product into the wholesale market.
Standby Loss: A measure of the losses from a water heater tank. When expressed as a percentage, standby loss is the ratio of heat loss per hour to the heat content of the stored water above room temperature. When expressed in watts, standby loss is the heat lost per hour, per square foot of tank surface area.
Steady State Efficiency: A performance rating for space heaters; a measure of the percentage of heat from combustion of gas which is transferred to the space being heated under specified steady state conditions.
Steam Electric Plant: A power station in which steam is used to turn the turbines that generate electricity. The heat used to make the steam may come from burning fossil fuel, using a controlled nuclear reaction, concentrating the sun's energy, tapping the earth's natural heat or capturing industrial waste heat.
Still Gas (refinery gas): Any form or mixture of gas produced in refineries by distillation, cracking, reforming, and other processes. The principal constituents are methane, ethane, ethylene, normal butane, butylene, propane, and propylene. It is used primarily as refinery fuel and petrochemical feedstock.
Stirling Engine: An external combustion engine that converts heat into useable mechanical energy (shaftwork) by the heating (expanding) and cooling (contracting) of a captive gas such as helium or hydrogen.
Storage Type Water Heater: A water heater that heats and stores water at a thermostatically controlled temperature for delivery on demand.
Stranded Benefits: Public interest programs and goals which could be compromised or abandoned by a restructured electric industry. These potential "stranded benefits" might include: environmental protection, fuel diversity, energy efficiency, low–income ratepayer assistance and other types of socially beneficial programs.
Strategic Petroleum Reserve: The Strategic Petroleum Reserve consists of government owned and controlled crude oil stockpiles stored at various locations in the Gulf Coast region of the country. These reserves can be drawn down in response to severe oil supply disruptions. The target is to have a reserve of 750 million barrels of oil. Use of the Reserve must be authorized by the President of the United States.
Subbituminous Coal: Subbituminous coal, or black lignite, is dull black and generally contains 20 to 30 percent moisture. Subbituminous coal, mined in the western coal fields, is used for generating electricity and space heating.
Substation: A facility that steps up or steps down the voltage in utility power lines. Voltage is stepped up where power is sent through long–distance transmission lines. It is stepped down where the power is to enter local distribution lines.
Superconductor: A synthetic material that has very low or no electrical resistance. Such experimental materials are being investigated in laboratories to see if they can be created at near room temperatures. If such a superconductor can be found, electrical transmission lines with no little or no resistance may be built, thus conserving energy usually lost in transmission. Superconductors could also have uses in computer chips, solid state devices and electrical motors or generators.
Superfund: Congress established the Superfund program in 1980 to locate, investigate, and clean up the worst uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites nationwide. The Environmental Protection Agency administers the Superfund in cooperation with individual states and tribal governments. The office that oversees management of the program is the Office of Emergency and Remedial Response.
Supertanker: A very large ship designed to transport more than 500,000 deadweight tonnage of oil.
Supplemental Gaseous Fuels: Any gaseous substance that, introduced into or commingled with natural gas, increases the volume available for disposition. Such substances include, but are not limited to, propane–air, refinery gas, coke oven gas, still gas, manufactured gas, biomass gas, and air or inert gases added for Btu stabilization.
Supply–Side: Activities conducted on the utility's side of the customer meter. Activities designed to supply electric power to customers, rather than meeting load though energy efficiency measures or on–site generation on the customer side of the meter.
Surplus (Electric Utility): Excess firm energy available from a utility or region for which there is no market at the established rates.
Syncrude: Synthetic crude oil made from coal of from oil shale.
Synfuel: Synthetic gas or synthetic oil. Fuel that is artificially made as contrasted to that which is found in nature. Synthetic gas made from coal is considered to be more economical and easier to produce than synthetic oil. When natural gas supplies in the earth are being depleted, it is expected that synthetic gas will be able to be used widely as a substitute fuel.
Syngas: Synthetic gas made from coal.
System: A combination of equipment and/or controls, accessories, interconnecting means and terminal elements by which energy is transformed to perform a specific function, such as climate control, service water heating, or lighting.
System Integration (of New Technologies): The successful integration of a new technology into the electric utility system by analyzing the technology's system effects and resolving any negative impacts that might result from its broader use.