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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2019, 12:29:46 pm »

Fenix International Powers The Entire Home With Pay-As-You-Go Solar Systems #CES2019

January 12th, 2019 by Kyle Field

SNIPPET:

Pay-as-you-go programs continue to revolutionize the world through solar lighting and cell phone charging systems that open up the opportunities that come with electricity, and Fenix International is leading that charge in Africa.


CleanTechnica sat down with Jit Bhattacharya, CTO of Fenix International at CES this week to talk about how pay-as-you-go solar systems have scaled up to power the entire home and how the acquisition by Engie has helped Fenix International take its business to the next level.

Full article;

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/01/12/fenix-international-powers-the-entire-home-with-pay-as-you-go-solar-systems-ces2019/

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2019, 12:49:08 pm »

January 9, 2019

New solar panel cleaning product 🌞 reduces manual labor, improves safety

 

The hyCLEANER black SOLAR looks like a little car and moves on four wheels with two toothed-belts. The belts are covered with special straps that grip the wet surface and can move at angles up to 35°.

More »

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2019/01/new-solar-panel-cleaning-product-reduces-manual-labor-improves-safety/


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2019, 12:39:59 pm »

January 7, 2019

Chinese tariffs cause wave of changes to solar inverter manufacturing

 
The Fronius manufacturing plant in Austria. Fronius

The Section 301 tariffs on Chinese inverters are forcing many companies to make big decisions, even though the expected jump from 10 to 25% tariffs set for Jan. 1, 2019 has been stalled for 90 days of negotiation.

Full article:

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2019/01/chinese-tariffs-change-solar-inverter-manufacturing/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2019, 12:32:27 pm »

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/



How much do solar panels cost to install now?


By Sponsored Content | December 26, 2018

Over the last 5 years, solar prices have fallen significantly due to market competition and technological advancements. The average price for a residential solar system in the United States is now only $3.20 per watt. This makes a typical 6-kW system $19,200 before solar incentives but assuming you’re eligible for the 30% federal solar tax credit, the final cost of a 6-kW system would be $13,440.

How much will I save from installing a solar system?

Since most states offer a program called net metering you can usually eliminate between 75%-100% of your monthly electric bill. Each state and utility offer slightly different programs, for a free estimate on your solar savings with local incentives, click the link below.

https://www.solarreviews.com/blog/how-much-will-solar-panels-for-home-cost-to-install-in-2018
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 09, 2019, 04:50:38 pm »

January 8, 2019

Hawaiian Electric submitted seven solar-plus-storage projects to its utility commission for review last Thursday, making it the second-largest announcement of its kind in the U.S.

The projects total over 260 megawatts of solar and one gigawatt of storage, with costs between $0.08 to $0.12 per kWh -- lower 😀 than that of fossil fuels in the state.

The projects are expected to be active in 2022 and follow even lower-cost solar-plus-storage projects announced on the U.S. mainland last year. Separately, AES Corporation completed what is now the world’s largest solar-plus-storage plant on Tuesday in Kauai, Hawaii. The project will help Hawaii move off fossil-fueled peaker plants by making renewable energy available when it’s most valuable.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/aes-completes-its-record-breaking-solar-and-battery-plant-on-kauai#gs.YOeN4FHB
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 31, 2018, 05:47:44 pm »


Providing Affordable Clean Water and Renewable Energy in Remote Areas 

OffGridBox™ is an all-in-one system using solar energy to purify water and distribute energy.


learn more:


https://www.offgridbox.com/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 31, 2018, 05:18:51 pm »

December 31, 2018

SNIPPET:

Put your hands together for the most watched video on our Facebook page in 2018! We’re honestly not surprised that this one took the crown. The Trump 🦀 Administration 🐉🦕🦖 has done a lot of damage to the climate movement this year – and clearly, people were paying attention.

Every week (and sometimes every day) seemed to present another instance of the White House on the wrong side of climate history. Case in point: the administration’s decision to place a tariff on solar panels manufactured overseas. This video explains why imposing this tariff was such a terrible idea, hurting both American workers and our planet.


https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/31/top-5-climate-change-videos-of-2018/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 29, 2018, 12:16:54 pm »

CleanTechnica
Support CleanTechnica’s work via donations on Patreon or PayPal!

Or just go buy a cool t-shirt, cup, baby outfit, bag, or hoodie.


Powerhouse 3.0 Solar Shingles Head To The Roof 🌞

December 28th, 2018 by Charles W. Thurston

The snail-slow solar shingle race is moving once again, as Real Goods Solar accepts the first of its $127 million worth of Powerhouse preorders on December 27. The company also announced plans to ramp up production every quarter during 2019 toward a 5 megawatt annual capacity guarantee from its manufacturing partners. The announcement coincides with Tesla plans to ramp up its solar shingle production next year as well. May the best shingle prevail.

Real Goods Solar (RGS) acquired its shingle technology from Dow Chemical after the giant had spent close to six years trying unsuccessfully to commercialize its design. A general consensus on the failure was that the system cost too much, and Dow was not advertising the cost. Last year, RGS paid Dow $1 million for an international license for the tech, and will pay another $2 million soon, now that the RGS shingle has gained UL certification.


The Powerhouse solar shingle has 12 patents and more than 25 patents pending its technology, RGS says. The patents cover Australia, Canada, China, European Patent Office, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

RGS has reworked the solar cell chemistry from the original Dow system, replacing the Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) cells with Half Cut Mono-PERC Silicon. While the earlier cells produced 32-40 Watts per cell, the new chemistry yields 55 to 60 Watts per cell 👍, RGS claims. As a result, the per-Watt cost of the system has been lowered, the company says.

RGS now claims that its system will cost $4.14 per Watt installed, versus the $8.14 that it says the Tesla solar panel will cost, in a November 18 presentation. “The company anticipates the revenue from an average Powerhouse kit sold to a roofer, including shingles, inverter, monitoring, non-electrical balance of system components and freight charges to be $19,000,” RGS said in its September 30 10Q report.

NASDAQ-traded RGS has been issuing shares and raising capital for the last year, and now should have close to $20 million to finance a manufacturing roll-out if all its outstanding warrants are exercised, the company said in the 10Q.

Part of the lower cost for the Powerhouse 3.0 will come from a new manufacturing partner in China, Risen Energy. The company’s products are exported to more than 30 countries and regions such as Europe, America, South Africa, and Southeast Asia, it says.

“We are now fulfilling purchase orders from RGS to enable them to meet their customer demand,” said Bypina Veerraju Chaudary, Risen Energy’s chief sales and marketing officer. “We have begun manufacturing solar components and wire harness connectors for Powerhouse and expect to increase our production schedule in the coming months,” he said in a December 11 statement.

In April, RGS announced that General Polymers Thermoplastic Materials, a thermoplastic resin distributor serving custom injection molders in North America, will supply the polypropylene plastic resin for the base assembly of Powerhouse 3.0. The plastic is expected to maintain the durability and toughness of the original version resin while increasing manufacturing efficiency and reducing the overall cost of raw materials, RGS said.

At the same time, RGS announced that Creative Liquid Coatings will supply all Powerhouse 3.0 molded polymer components fully assembled, with all solar components, wire harnesses, and other parts required to deliver a finished product to RGS Energy customers.

Dow has reportedly installed its Powerhouse on about 1,000 homes in the United States. RGS is working to sell its V3.0 to roofers and homebuilders. “With a typical asphalt roof lasting 20 to 25 years, RGS estimates that annually there are approximately 5 million homes needing new roofs in the United States. Approximately 80 percent of homes in the U.S. are asphalt roofs,” the company said last year.

The RGS license is international, and the company also expects non-US sales to take off next year. “Outside of the U.S., the exclusive license allows RGS to market the product internationally. According to BBC Research, the global market for BIPV will grow at a 12.2% CAGR from $2.5 billion in 2016 to $4.3 billion by 2021,” RGS stated last year.

The Powerhouse 3.0 is expected to come with a 11-year product warranty, which is “the standard product warranty of most traditional solar panels today, and a 24-year power production warranty,” RGS said. RGS provides the warranty on all earlier Dow era installs. The shingle is built to withstand winds from 110 to 200 mph

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/28/powerhouse-3-0-solar-shingles-head-to-the-roof/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 30, 2018, 07:40:03 pm »

A Sol-Ark inverter+battery solution for grid backup only. Credit: Sol-Ark

Hybrid inverters can future-proof solar+storage installations

By Kelsey Misbrener | September 11, 2018

SNIPPET:

Tom Brennan, engineering manager at Sol-Ark, said that most inverters in home installations are grid-tied string inverters. They don’t work with batteries, but instead have to sell all the power they produce back to the grid. 🤔

“A battery-enabled inverter, or battery-based inverter, is something that can do a lot more than just sell back power to the grid,” Brennan said. “It can store power, it can work off-grid, it can store power for time-of-use [rate structures].” 


Battery-enabled inverters differ from traditional inverters because when there is a grid outage, standard inverters must shut down completely per Rule 21, while hybrid inverters connected to batteries can simply switch to an off-grid mode temporarily and continue to power the home.

“I think the real story here is that inverters are doing a lot more than they ever have,” said Jeremy Niles, marketing manager at Pika Energy.

They’re doing more for a number of reasons.

Full article:

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/09/hybrid-inverters-future-proof-solar-storage-installation/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 26, 2018, 05:32:02 pm »

Concentrated Photovoltaics Achieve Solar Conversion Efficiency Record Of 41.4%

November 26th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

SNIPPET:

Last week a research consortium called CPVMatch, which is funded by the European Union and led by Germany’s highly respected Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Research, announced that its latest experimental CPV solar module has achieved an incredible solar conversion efficiency of 41.4%. The secret to the new module is the use of achromatic  lenses that focus incoming sunlight on miniaturized multi-junction solar cells. A two-axis solar tracker is also employed to boost efficiency during the day.

CPVMatch has been working toward the goal of making CPV technology production-ready for the past 3½ years. It has merged the efforts of researchers in Germany, Italy, Spain, and France. It is not enough to set records in the laboratory if the results cannot be translated into commercial products at an affordable price.


Full article:
   


https://cleantechnica.com/2018/11/26/concentrated-photovoltaics-achieve-solar-conversion-efficiency-record-of-41-4/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 25, 2018, 03:59:05 pm »

What is a half-cell solar panel?

By Kelly Pickerel | October 24, 2018

Panel trends have a way of quickly becoming mainstream. IHS Markit predicted that passivated emitter rear cells (PERC) technology would go from a blip in the market in 2014 to mainstream by 2020—a prediction confirmed by anyone looking at panel models released this year. PERC is here to stay.

 
Different cell dimensions. Source: ITRPV

The next technology on that mainstream path is half-cell designs. The ninth edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV) predicts the market share of half cells will grow from 5% in 2018 to nearly 40% in 2028.

Half-cell modules have solar cells that are cut in half, which improves the module’s performance and durability. Traditional 60- and 72-cell panels will have 120 and 144 half-cut cells, respectively. When solar cells are halved, their current is also halved, so resistive losses are lowered and the cells can produce a little more power. Smaller cells experience reduced mechanical stresses, so there is a decreased opportunity for cracking. Half-cell modules have higher output ratings and are more reliable than traditional panels.

“When considering a solar installation, the idea of ‘more’ is at the forefront—produce more energy, save (or earn) more money and do more good for the environment,” said Cemil Seber, VP of global marketing and product management for module manufacturer REC. “In the case of rooftops where there is a limited amount of space available, using solar panels with half-cut cell technology can help.”

REC is a half-cell pioneer, first introducing the design in 2014. The company’s TwinPeak half-cell module series effectively turns each panel into two twin panels. Since the cells are smaller, inter-cell spacing doesn’t have to be as wide and they can be placed closer together. This allows REC to separate the panel into two. Independent upper and lower module halves lead to improved shading response. If the bottom half of a module is shaded, the top half will still perform.

 
REC’s polycrystalline TwinPeak half-cell module (left) and its monocrystalline N-Peak half-cell module (right)

REC has pushed the boundaries with half-cell designs in polycrystalline modules. REC’s half-cell PERC polycrystalline modules have reached 300 W, and they can compete with full-cell modules in the more efficient monocrystalline class. The company has been so impressed by the advantages of half-cells, it is transitioning all its manufacturing lines to the new technology.

“Since 2014, REC has been continuously transferring its production lines to half-cut cell technology,” Seber said. “Today, all but one of our module production lines in Singapore have been equipped for half-cut cell technology.”

During the 2018 tradeshow swing, REC released its new N-Peak series of modules, the company’s first stab at monocrystalline half-cells for even higher efficiency and output—up to 330 W in a traditional 60-cell footprint.

Other manufacturers have also started half-cell designs in the monocrystalline class. LONGi Solar recently exceeded 360 W in testing with its 120-cell half-cut monocrystalline PERC module. Hanwha Q CELLS received the Intersolar Award 2018 Photovoltaics category for its Q.PEAK DUO-G5 solar module—a 120-half-cell, six-busbar monocrystalline module. The Hanwha module uses round wires instead of flat ribbons for busbars to reduce shading on the cells. Hanwha also has half-cut designs for the 72-cell market, although in polycrystalline. Its Q. PLUS DUO L-G5.2 is a polycrystalline half-cell module with a maximum output of 370 W.

 
Half-cut cells  (Photo from Hanwha Q CELLS SPI 2017 booth)

Since half-cell designs are the hottest trend right now, a manufacturer just has to update a few things on its lines to keep up. The two challenges with switching full-cell manufacturing to half-cell designs is the cell cutting and the stringing process. Since half-cells are usually PERC cells to begin with, the cell itself is quite fragile. Laser-cutting the cell down the middle without cracking it is a delicate process. Half-cells often use four or more busbars. Stringing these very narrow connection strips across a smaller footprint requires the use of precise equipment. Junction boxes are also different on half-cell modules. Most brands use multiple, smaller junction boxes so each module half can function as its own. Otherwise, half-cell module assembly is like full-cell production.

Since half-cell modules produce more power and are more efficient and reliable than their full-cell counterparts, their use can lead to time and money savings for the installer.

“By delivering more power per square meter, fewer panels are required to generate the same power,”  Seber said. “This means quicker installation times and the need for fewer components such as clamps and racks—all of which reduces the overall costs.”

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/10/what-is-a-half-cell-solar-panel/

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 25, 2018, 03:19:54 pm »

Johnson Controls installing Colorado’s first floating solar array 

By Billy Ludt | October 18, 2018

Johnson Controls will implement Colorado’s first floating solar PV array at the Town Water Treatment Facility in Walden. The array will provide a renewable and supplemental energy source to treat drinking water in the town, school district and Jackson County offices.

Colorado’s first floating solar PV array at the Town Water Treatment Facility in Walden. The array will help the town cut back on energy use and secure a more sustainable future, made possible through a performance contract.

The array will help conserve water by limiting pond evaporation and can potentially minimize algae growth in the pond. Additionally, its capacity is approximately 75 kW, which will offset a good portion of the power purchased used to treat drinking water for the town and in some months, could completely power the town’s drinking water facility.

“This is a monumental project for our town and will help to further our reputation as a leader in sustainability,” said Jim Dustin, mayor of Walden. “We knew Johnson Controls was the perfect partner for this project as a prequalified energy services company through the CEO performance contract program and their extensive solar experience. This project is a testament of what can be achieved with a little bit of sun, multiple state agencies and private industries working together for one common goal—and provides a great example for other towns across the state and country to emulate.”

The project was made possible through a performance contract with Johnson Controls and supported by the Colorado Energy Office (CEO). Through the contract, Walden is guaranteed energy savings and approximately 2,503,974 kWh over the next 20 years. Additional funding was secured through the Department of Local Affairs through an Energy Mineral and Impact Grant.

“The Town of Walden is setting the bar high for the state’s energy resiliency efforts,” said Rowena Adams, performance infrastructure account executive for Johnson Controls. “They are a prime example of the impact even a small town can have in being mindful of energy consumption and securing their energy future with the help of innovative solutions made possible through funding approaches like performance contracts.”

Johnson Controls worked with the non-profit organization GRID Alternatives Colorado—a leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to low-income communities—and Ciel & Terre, a floating rack manufacturer, to design, build and expedite racking delivery so the system could be commissioned by fall 2018.

News item from Johnson Controls

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/10/johnson-controls-installing-colorado-floating-solar-array/

Agelbert NOTE: I have been advocating this approach to preserving water in drought ridden areas for years . Water bodies like hydropower dams will also benefit from the added PV energy . The aquatic 🐟 life benefits because the water temperature does not rise enough to threaten them while the water level remains more stable. I hope this common sense solution is adopted in the Western USA, where more severe droughts are an increasingly deleterious effect of Catastrophic Climate Change (see below).

Interactive Map: Precipitation in the 2050s
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 18, 2018, 02:00:45 pm »


Tabuchi Eco Intelligent Battery System (EIBS) 💫


Learn more:

https://www.tabuchiamerica.com/residential
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 18, 2018, 01:45:15 pm »



Case study: Massive nonprofit installation helps Portland’s homeless in a powerful way

By Kelsey Misbrener | October 15, 2018

SNIPPET:

This project size required massive people-power, but Twende had no trouble recruiting area solar companies and other industry workers to help. In fact, it had the opposite problem—so many people were willing to pitch in that some had to be turned down.

“We were just blown away at the pent-up supply of people willing to contribute to work like this,” Grieser said. “We pretty much had some volunteer from every competing solar contractor across the state contribute in person on this project.”

Grieser said he observed different solar companies checking out the tips and tricks of their usual competitors while installing side by side. During lunch, the group would convene and talk about their different installation methods.

“I think the collective knowledge base of the industry just rose from working on this project together with everybody,” he said.

One of the most inspiring aspects of this project came in the form of two volunteers from PRM. This PRM site is a women and children’s recovery center, and when the organization asked residents if anyone was interested in helping with the solar project, two women raised their hands right away.    

Full article with Podcast: 

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/10/case-study-nonprofit-installation-helps-portland-homeless/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 27, 2018, 12:44:48 pm »


Thursday, September 29, 2018

PUERTO RICO MOVES FORWARD: INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS AFTER HURRICANE MARIA

RMI has been supporting Puerto Rico in advancing microgrids for schools, including one being commissioned this week in Orocovis (see story above). RMI’s islands team also supports Puerto Rican civil society to chart an alternative vision for renewables and community participation through convening and advisory support for new legislation.

A recent video from PBS’s NOVA series shows how Puerto Ricans are innovating to find new energy solutions after Hurricane Maria revealed extreme weaknesses in the island’s electric grid. Watch now:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 19, 2018, 04:49:11 pm »



September 19, 2018

Solar ⚡ power installations 💫weathered the storm and are mostly back online 🌞👍 after Hurricane Florence knocked out power for over one million people.
Flooding will continue as crews work to restore power. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


All of Duke Energy’s solar sites in North Carolina are back to producing power and installers in the residential solar space said only minimal damages have been reported.

Extreme weather events like Hurricanes Maria and Florence are increasing consumer interest in batteries that can store power from solar and other systems when power lines are disrupted after a storm. 

Read more:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/clean-energy-players-weather-hurricane-florence#gs.zF=RVYw
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 15, 2018, 12:21:45 pm »

   

888.825.3432   
 
WWW.S-5.COM



August 14, 2018

The S-5 PV Kit 2.0 is built to save you time and money


The Right Way to install solar to your metal roof 

PV KIT 2.0™

Save time and money with the new and improved PV Kit 2.0 for direct attachment on standing seam metal roofing. With lower installation time and cost, S-5!'s PV Kit is the right solution for mounting solar panels. The kit comes preassembled with MidGrab or EdgeGrab for smoother and more efficient installation using a single tool that drives the top bolt, eliminating several installation steps.

PV Kit 2.0 Advantages:

֍ Pre-assembled components save time and money

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֍ Also available in black by special order

֍ The PV Kit 2.0 features more aggressive bonding teeth for better grounding

֍ One inch gap between modules, allowing load reduction per ASCE-7

֍ UL 2703 Listed

We rigorously research, engineer, and test our products to deliver unprecedented value and innovative excellence.

Visit S-5! to learn more.    

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 14, 2018, 01:09:25 pm »

CleanTechnica
Support CleanTechnica’s work via donations on Patreon or PayPal!

Or just go buy a cool t-shirt, cup, baby outfit, bag, or hoodie.


Solar Farms Can Become Pollinator Habitats & Help Save the Bees!

August 14th, 2018 by Carolyn Fortuna

They buzz and swarm, hover and dart. In the process of gathering pollen and nectar for their hives, bees and other insects pollinate flowers, ensuring that plants reproduce and yield fruit and other products. They contribute to pollinating nearly 75% of all human food crops worldwide, and yet humans have put tremendous stress on insect pollinator habitats with pesticides, land development, altered hydrologic patterns, and other actions. As a result, insect species have declined significantly. Ultimate loss of these insect species could have global scale impacts — wiping out crops, elevating food production costs, and compromising human nutrition.

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, however, are investigating ways to use pollinator-friendly solar power as a way to reinvigorate pollinator habitats. By studying solar energy facilities with pollinator habitats on site, researchers hope to rehabilitate pollinator populations that play a crucial role in national and global agricultural industries, plant species, and thriving pollinator numbers.

pollinator habitat

Concerns regarding the conservation of pollinators have risen to the global scale as countries have seen severe pollinator declines and have begun developing strategies to sustain pollinator species in the face of an ever-expanding human population. Although the total land area projected to be required for solar development through 2030 is less than 0.1% of the contiguous US surface area, a need exists to improve the landscape sustainability of large-scale solar developments to avoid or minimize potential impacts to local agriculture and cultural, ecological, and other natural resources.

With goals to conserve habitat, maintain ecosystem function, and support multiple ongoing human land uses in the landscape, researchers in Argonne’s Environmental Science (EVS) division have found that the area around solar panels could provide an ideal location for the plants that attract pollinators. This study outlines opportunities for investigating the environmental benefits of pollinator habitats, such as water conservation, land management, and carbon dioxide reduction.

pollinator habitat


Background about Rural Energy Development and Agricultural Intensification

Utility-scale solar energy (USSE) developments (≥1 megawatt [MW]) are increasing in agricultural landscapes, specifically on former agricultural fields. Driven variously by economics, rejection of fossil fuels, global climate change actions, air and water pollution, and energy security, USSE grew at an average rate of 72% per year between 2010 and 2016. By the end of 2016, USSE facilities accounted for approximately 22 GW of installed US electricity generation capacity, with an additional 13 GW of planned USSE construction. Interest in on-site vegetation management approaches to USSE farms is increasing, as it could restore ecosystem balance such as crop pollination that also maintains or even enhances agricultural production on nearby lands.

Recent emphasis has been placed on the creation and maintenance of pollinator habitats at USSE facilities. “Pollinator habitats” describes the practice of planting seed mixes of regional native plants such as milkweed and other wildflowers, within the solar infrastructure footprint after construction. Sowing could occur among solar panels or other reflective surfaces, or in off-site areas adjacent to the solar facility. Sowing has the intent to attract and support native insect pollinators by providing food sources, refuge, and nesting habitat.

Despite their ecological differences, all types of solar-pollinator habitats have the potential to improve biodiversity and ecosystem function as compared to conventional USSE vegetation management practices.


Conventional USSE management practices are intended to minimize or prohibit the growth of vegetation within the facility footprint:

• placement of gravel

• establishment and maintenance of turf grass

• mowing

• herbicide application

Such practices provide little or no habitat suitable for pollinator species, especially if these vegetation management practices occur frequently during operation of the solar facility.

Solar-pollinator habitat and related activities provide ecological benefits for pollinators and non-pollinators alike:

֍ limited mowing

֍ no herbicide or pesticide applications

֍ planned seed sowing to attract pollinators


pollinator habitats

Reclaiming Pollinator Habitats through Cultivated Solar Farms

In response to the population decline of pollinating insects, such as wild bees and monarch butterflies, the Argonne researchers have examined the potential benefits of establishing pollinator habitats at USSE facilities to conserve pollinators and restore the ecosystem they provide. Examining over 2,800 existing and planned USSE facilities in the contiguous US, the researchers determined whether solar-sited pollinator habitat could benefit agriculture. They found over 3,500 square kilometers of agricultural land near existing and planned USSE facilities that could benefit from rehabilitation and which could help reinstate the declining pollinator population with few subsequent side effects.

For example, one team looked at 3 example crop types to measure the agricultural benefits of increased pollinator habitats. These crops – soybeans, almonds, and cranberries – depend on insect pollinators for their annual crop yields. If all existing and planned solar facilities near these crop types included pollinator habitat and increased yield by just 1%, crop values could rise $1.75 million, $4 million, and $233,000 for soybeans, almonds and cranberries, respectively.

Solar-sited pollinator habitats can help optimize the land-use efficiency of solar energy developments while not compromising solar panel efficiency. Often filled with gravel or turf grass, much of the land in a solar farm is untended. Research has shown that in many locations these grounds offer an ideal place to establish native plant species, such as prairie grass or wildflowers, which are prevalent pollinator habitats and can encourage steady insect population growth. There are economic benefits to pollinators, too — honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the US.

By increasing the ability of pollinators to pollinate adjacent agricultural fields, solar-sited pollinator habitat may boost farmers’ crop yields and create companion income revenues to neighboring agricultural farms. Rejuvenating local pollinator habitat is one way that local farmers can augment trends to lease land for solar arrays, as the practice has proven more lucrative to them at times than cash crops.

pollinator habitats

Final Thoughts

Studies in the UK support findings that solar panels enhance biodiversity and wildlife abundance — botanical diversity within solar farm landscaping is responding to favorable management practices.

Most UK sites studied point out that herbicide application to date at USSEs has been limited to spot treatment of weeds. They conclude that a reduction in the use of broad-spectrum herbicides will lead to greater diversity of broadleaved plants. High soil fertility of arable farmland favors a few dominant species of plants, but, as soil fertility reduces in the absence of fertilizer, diversity of both grasses and broad leaved plants is able to and is anticipated to increase. Where suitable USSE management exists, botanical diversity increases over time, with plants emerging from seed banks as well as airborne or animal-carried seed.

The symbiosis of solar farms and pollinator habitats may widen appreciation among community members and local governments for the pollinators’ role in agricultural production. It may persuade solar developers to rethink the landscape design around their installations.

Many US states are catching up to their European counterparts and acknowledging the need to address pollinator population declines through legislation. Solar facilities are beginning to respond by sowing in pollinator-friendly areas. Illinois recently passed a “Pollinator-Friendly Solar Energy Bill” in May, 2018. Other states like Maryland and Minnesota have made part of their legislative agendas to transition to USSEs that incorporate landscape compatible environs.

Photos on Foter.com and  solartradeassociation on Trend Hype / CC BY-SA and USDAgov on TrendHype / CC BY-ND and by oatsy40 on Trend hype / CC BY

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/08/14/solar-farms-can-become-pollinator-habitats-help-save-the-bees/

Agelbert COMMENT: There is a destructive mentallity in much of the USA in regard to vegetation in general and lawns in particular. This attitude has influenced most of the non-indigenous population for centuries.

What am I talking about❓ I'm talking about the destructive practice of maintaining manicured lawns. The Zoning Nazis in most towns in the USA prohibit home owners form growing food in their front yards or even allowing the yard to be "wild" with wild flowers or other local vegetation.  👎

All this adds pollution from gasoline powered lawn mowers (which pollute massively because those small engines have no pollution controls whatsoever!)  AND poisons the soil with (hydrocarbon feed stock) chemical pesticides and herbicides. 👎👎👎

Where did this unhealthy practice come from⁉️

 It came from the Midieval Castle use of "Killing fields".

Look at this picture:


We are all very familiar with the concept of a moat. BUT, most castles did not have one.

The castles were subject to attack, so the grounds around the walls were cleared so attacking troops could not use tall foliage as cover to get near the walls. These areas were called "killling fileds" because the archers on the walls  would kill anyone attacking the castle in the cleared areas.

When peace was more routine, castle grounds went from large manicured (i.e. short) lawns to manicured bushes and fastidiously ordered flower gardens with mazes and walks for the "nobles" to stroll along in a 100% "tamed" nature area.



This Victorian idea of ordering natue obsessively was, unfortunately, transferred to the "new" world along with the genocide of the native population. 🤬

It's time to stop being stupid with lawns, people. We do not need a killing field (for people AND bees, butterflies, ladybugs, worms, beetles, trillions of soil health providing microbes, etc.) in our front yard.

📢 Vote the Zoning Nazis OUT in your town!

We DO need to take seriously our RESPONSIBILITY as stewards of the biosphere to work to promote and preserve biodiversity, as Carolyn Fortuna 👍🌞 advocates here.

Thank you, Carolyn Fortuna 🍃, for being part of the solution. 💐 God bless you.


 
What it Means to be Responsible - Reflections on Our Responsibility for the Future  by Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 10, 2018, 11:38:20 pm »

Take Your Solar on the Road   

Introducing the world’s first solar inverter that can charge ⚡ an electric vehicle.

Close more deals and add more value with every sale by offering your customers the only solar inverter that can charge their EV. SolarEdge's EV charging inverter enables homeowners to charge up to 6 times faster than a standard wall outlet. Learn how to add this first-of-a-kind product to your offering by visiting our information page with on-demand webinar.

Learn more:



https://marketing.solaredge.com/acton/fs/blocks/showLandingPage/a/8801/p/p-019a/t/page/fm/0
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 09, 2018, 10:49:56 pm »



August 8, 2018

Welt Online

Solar panel owners reap benefits of record sunshine hours

The exceptionally sunny weather in Germany is lavishing owners of solar panels with a lot of money, according to an article published on Welt Online. However, the rate of remuneration varies widely: those who installed solar panels in the early 2000s receive 57 eurocents per kilowatt hour they provide to the grid, compared to 12.08 eurocents per kilowatt hour for those who installed their panels at the beginning of August this year, the article says. Despite this drop, “Photovoltaics are still worthwhile today because the prices for the panels have fallen in recent years by almost the same extent as the feed-in tariff has,” Peter Kafke, energy consulting expert at the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV), said.

https://www.welt.de/finanzen/plus180721942/Fotovoltaik-So-macht-die-Sonne-Sie-reich.html

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 08, 2018, 08:49:18 pm »


SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) INSTALLATION FOR DIY CAMPER 

By scooterhooten in TechnologyElectronics

The following is a tutorial for how to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system for a DIY camper, van, or RV. The examples, pictures, and videos shown are specific to the custom slide-in camper I am building for my 6ft pickup, but they should offer a guideline for anyone attempting to do a similar type of solar install. Many of the steps and components of the system may be overly complicated or unnecessary for the type of install you are performing. Follow each step and include components at your discretion. Safety, however, is NOT optional! DO NOT work with HOT wires!! All circuitry must have some sort of fault protection (fuses/breakers) and isolation capabilities.

Step 1: Sizing the System


The first step in setting up a solar photovoltaic (PV) system for a camper or RV is to calculate how much power will be drawn by all the electrical devices to be connected. Assumptions will need to be made as to how many hours per day each device will be operating (drawing power). Due to energy lost when converting from 12-volt direct current (DC) to 120-volt alternating current (AC), it is recommended to avoid using 120V AC devices wherever possible and use 12V DC devices instead.

The most important information is to determine the amps (A) that will be drawn by each device and for how many hours (h) it will operate, because battery sizes are provided in Amp-hours (Ah). It is always a good idea to overestimate the hours to be certain you will size your battery bank properly. Certain devices will require 120V AC power, however, so an inverter will still be necessary. When determining the power draw required for 120V AC devices, a good rule of thumb is to assume an 80% conversion efficiency for the inverter. The power drawn from a 120V AC device can usually be found on the power supply or on the device itself. An example is shown of where to find the wattage on the power supply and how to calculate the 12V power draw for two laptop computers.

Once the total power requirements have been determined, battery capacities can be chosen to meet those power demands (The example above shows that I would need 305 Ah per day). The sizes (wattage) of the solar panels can also be determined by calculating the Watt-hours of energy produced by the panels (assume ten hours of sun per day) then converting that into Amp-hours by dividing by 12V. A table is included with the devices and power requirements for the camper that I am building. It is recommended to setup a spreadsheet with the equations provided to make sizing the system easier.

The next step is to create a wiring diagram and determine which devices can/should be on shared circuits or have their own isolated circuit.


Step 2: Create a Wiring Diagram


The wiring diagram does not need to be made using computer software with real pictures of the devices to be connected, as in the example. The wiring diagram can be hand drawn, and words, numbers or a coding system (e.g. AC for air conditioner, or FB10 for fuse box-10A) can be used in place of pictures. It is imperative that the diagram be clearly understandable to anyone who may be working on the system.

The system consists of a few necessary components:

֍ 1. Solar Panels (connected in parallel [(+) to (+) & (-) to (-)] for 12V, or in series [(+) to (-)] for higher voltages).

֍ 2. Charge Controller (controls the volts and amps input to the batteries to prevent overcharging/damage).

֍ 3. Battery Bank (if using more than one 12V battery, connect all batteries in parallel, designating a main battery for all other connections - charge controller, inverter, and 12V circuits should be connected only to the main battery, not to the secondary batteries).

֍ 4. Kill Switches/Fuses (connected in-line to cutoff power for emergencies or to work on the system).

֍ 5. Fuse Box (used for 12V devices to prevent excessive power draw that can damage the system or other devices).

֍ 6. Inverter (converts 12V DC power to 120V AC power).

֍ 7. Electrical Devices (connected to 12V DC or 120V AC as necessary).

At a minimum, kill switches (preferably combined with a fuse) should be connected between the solar panels and the charge controller, as well as between the batteries and the primary electrical devices (fuse box and inverter). In this example, the inverter came with a fuse and has a built-in switch located on the rear of the device, so a separate kill switch is not necessary. For added safety, another kill switch could be installed between the charge controller and the batteries, allowing for complete isolation of any system components if desired. Kill switches are always to be installed on the positive voltage line connecting the components.

Shared Circuits or Isolated Circuits:

Deciding which electrical lines to put on the same circuit or which keep on their own circuit is entirely up to you. You may want to isolate electrical lines by their location (front, rear, etc), the amount of amperage, or the type of circuit (lights, water pumps, 12V outlets, etc). Devices that pull large amounts of amperage should be isolated on their own fuse. I recommend anything single device pulling more than 5 amps be placed on an isolated circuit. Devices that pull fewer amps can be combined onto shared circuits. Just make sure to put them on a fuse that exceeds the total possible amperage if all devices are powered simultaneously. For example, the 12V LED lights (of which there are 12 in total) pull 3W of power each, which means they draw 0.25A of current (3W / 12V = 0.25A). Assuming every LED is on at the same time, the total amps would be 0.25A * 12 = 3A. With this as the maximum amps drawn by all the LEDs, it is safe to put all the lights plus a small (0.25A) fan for the bathroom (totaling 3.25A) together on a 5A circuit (fuse in the fuse box).

Note: Standard fuse sizes generally consist of 5, 10, 15, and 20 amps. Be sure not to exceed the amperage capacities of each port on the fuse box, as well as the total amps for the fuse box (e.g. the fuse box I'm using is 8 ports, can handle 30A per port and 100A total). First determine how many devices will be combined on their own circuit before deciding what size (number of ports) fuse box to purchase.

Once the wiring diagram is laid out, all components are accounted for, and necessary safety devices are included, installation can begin.


Step 3: Install Wiring (disconnected)





Other than installing the wires from the solar panels to the central location for the primary electrical components (charge controller, batteries, fuse box, inverter, etc.), this step may be skipped if a full wiring installation is not necessary. If installing on a fully constructed camper or RV, for example, installing wires may not even be possible. For the camper I am building from scratch, however, I wanted different outlets in certain locations of the camper. This is not necessary, though, and can be left to your preference.

For wiring between the main components (battery --> battery, battery --> 12V circuits, battery --> inverter, etc.), be sure to use a large wire (I'm using 4-gauge) that can easily handle whatever amperage is going through it.
For 12V wiring, be sure to use a wire that can handle the amperage and distance of the lines. I'm using 10-gauge, which may be a bit overkill, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Installing wiring and outlets is an optional step. All connections can be made at the central electrical box. A power strip/surge protector can be connected to the inverter, and all 120V devices can connect to that. 12V outlets (cigarette lighter plugs) can be connected directly to the fuse box (or 12V bus if in-line fuses are included, which they were for 12V outlets I purchased).

Install all wiring, switches, and outlets. DO NOT connect any of the wires in the central electrical box or to the solar panels. Connections CAN be made at the end-use receptacles (outlets and devices) and switches for lights and devices (NOT kill switches). All unconnected wires at the end points should be capped to prevent electrocution once connected in the central electrical box.

Not every device needs its own line to be run back to the central electrical box. If the device will be on the same circuit (fuse) in the electrical box, then the lines can be split off at the nearest junction to the device's location to reduce the total length of electrical wire needed. The circuit for the LED lights discussed in the wiring diagram, for example, can be spliced off the same line. To split the lines, I cut the lines then attached a third line to them using ring terminals, a nut and a bolt with a locking washer. Be sure to insulate any exposed wire (especially for the hot line) with electrical tape or heat shrink tubing.

For 120V AC wiring, I chose to cannibalize a 50 ft. extension cord, cutting it into smaller lengths to run to each outlet, as this was the cheapest option. If cost is not a concern, however, it is recommended to use proper wiring for home electrical installations.


Step 4: Wire Outlets and Switches







Standard 120V AC electrical wiring most commonly consists of three wires (hot, neutral, and ground). Standard wiring is: black = hot; white = neutral; green/bare wire = ground. The rear of an electrical outlet will have screw connections. Commonly, only the "hot" (usually brass color) is labeled, the opposite side (usually steel color) is the neutral connection, and ground is designated by a green screw.

For 12V DC wiring, any color wire may be used, but the standard is: red = hot; black = ground. When wiring the rear terminals of the 12V DC outlets, connect the red wire to (+) and the black wire to (-). For most of the 12V wiring, connections are made with "quick disconnect" spade terminals to allow for quickly and easily connecting or disconnecting devices and outlets. The fuse box purchased came with "quick disconnect" connections as well. For connections that would never or rarely be disconnected, like inner wall splits or ground connections, ring terminals were used.

When wiring an ON/OFF switch for lights or another device, the hot wire should be cut and connected to the two adjacent screw terminals (the switch connects the two terminals in the ON position). While not 100% necessary, it is recommended to connect the ground wire to the green screw on the switch with no break (strip a small section of wire without cutting it). A standard ON/OFF switch for 120V AC power will work for a 12V circuit. A 120V AC dimmer switch, however, will not work for 12V circuits, as the resistance is too high.

12V Dimmer Switch (*attempt at your own risk*): To dim the 12V LEDs, a 10k-ohm potentiometer (variable resistor) with ON/OFF positions was used. ***This option is NOT recommended unless you are familiar with potentiometers and how they work.*** A standard potentiometer has three terminals (1, 2, and 3), whereas the ON/OFF potentiometer has 5 terminals (the 3 standard plus 2 on the rear). The two rear terminals (4 & 5) act as a standard ON/OFF switch (connected in the ON position and disconnected in the OFF position).

• 1. Connect one of the rear terminals (4) directly to the center standard terminal (2).

• 2. Connect one end of the cut "hot" wire to the other rear terminal (5), and

• 3. Connect the other end of the cut "hot" wire to the standard terminal (3) that measures ~10k ohms [to the center terminal (2)] when the dial is in the OFF position.

• 4. The opposite terminal (1) will measure ~0 ohms in the OFF position and should be connected directly to the center terminal (2).

I soldered "quick disconnect" spade connectors onto the terminals for the "hot" wires (3 and 5).

With all the wiring in place, you can begin making connections in the central electrical box.


Step 5: Wire Connections in Central Electrical Box





***WARNING*** ***WARNING***

***ALL KILL SWITCHES MUST BE IN THE OPEN/OFF POSITIONS***

Start by wiring the lines coming from the solar panels (solar panels NOT connected) to the charge controller, making sure to install a kill switch in-line for the positive connection. Connect all wires to the charge controller, but DO NOT make the connections to the battery or solar panels yet. Again, make sure the kill switch is in the open/off position.

Install the wires from the battery bank to the inverter (for 120V AC) and the kill switch to the main fuse box (for 12V DC), but DO NOT connect the wires to the batteries. Again, make sure the kill switch is in the open/off position.

Connect all the 12V ground wires to the same ground bus. Once all the ground wires are connected, the positive wires can now be connected to the appropriate fuses. Ensure you are connecting the correct wires by labeling them during installation, or tracing them with a toner device.

Once all the 12V connections are made, begin connecting the 120V wires.
This process is much simpler, as the power inverter will handle the 120V AC load, and all outlets can be on the same circuit. First, connect all the ground (green) wires, then the neutral (white) wires, followed by the hot (black) wires. The order of connection is not extremely important when there is no power on the lines, but it is better to be in the habit of connecting ground wires first.

If using more than one battery, you can connect the batteries together at this point (creating a battery bank), but DO NOT connect the main battery to any other components (charge controller, inverter, 12V circuits, etc.). Use a large wire (I'm using 4-gauge) to connect the batteries together.



Step 6: Install and Connect Solar Panels




Install the solar panels in the desired location. I built a frame to attach the panels to instead of mounting them directly to the roof. The frame will then be attached to the roof using locks and latches, which will allow for adjusting the angle and bearing of the panels when stationary to maximize solar absorption. If this method is used, be sure to properly secure the panels before traveling again.

Cover the solar panels with a blanket (or something else) to prevent light from striking the panels and electricity from being produced.

Connect the solar panels in parallel for a 12V system:

֍ 1. Connect the ground (-) terminal wires for each panel together.

֍ 2. Connect the positive (+) terminal wires for each panel together.

֍ 3. Connect the ground (-) terminals to the appropriate wire leading to the charge controller.

֍ 4. Connect the positive (+) terminals to the appropriate wire leading to the charge controller. **Again, make sure the kill switch is in the OPEN/OFF position before making this connection.

֍ 5. Remove the cover/blanket from the panels.
For the Renogy panels used in this tutorial, MC4 connectors are pre-installed, so no wire is exposed.


Step 7: Make Final Connections & Power Upthe System






It is time to make the final connections and power up the system. Before making connections, ensure that all kill switches are in the OPEN/OFF position.

Connect the charge controller, power inverter, and 12V bus wires to the battery bank. (If using more than one battery, designate a main battery to connect to other components. Do not connect one battery to the charge controller and another to the inverter or fuse box)

1. Connect the ground (-) wire from the charge controller, inverter, and 12V ground bus to the ground (-) terminal of the main battery.

2. Connect the positive (+) wire from the charge controller, inverter, and 12V bus/fuse box to the positive (+) terminal of the main battery. Close the kill switch between the charge controller and the battery bank (if installed).

3. Close the kill switch between the solar panels and the charge controller.

4. Close the kill switch between the battery bank and the 12V bus or fuse box.

5. Flip (close) the switch on the rear of the inverter to the ON position.

6. Test outlets, switches, and other devices to ensure they work properly. **If something is not working properly, open all kill switches before troubleshooting** Try retracing lines or check for punctures/breaks where wires attach to studs. Make sure all connections are fastened securely and making good contact.

Congratulations!!

You now have a fully installed and operational solar photovoltaic system for your camper, van, or RV!

Purchase List for Camper Electrical Components.xlsx (at article link)

https://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Photovoltaic-PV-Installation-for-DIY-Camper/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 31, 2018, 12:13:28 pm »


July 31, 2018

Electronic Inclinometers to maximize energy efficiency in the Solar industry.
 


Canfield Connector has released a new series of electrical sensors that provide efficiency and accuracy to angle measurement in solar technology, heavy equipment, construction, and other applications. The new Electrical Inclinometer Sensor or (EiS) Series instruments measure the slope, tilt or elevation of an object with respect to gravity by using intelligence to create an artificial horizon. 

http://canfieldconnector.com/images/02-05-2018-13-11-36-0.pdf
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 30, 2018, 12:29:13 pm »

Solar Power World

New Mexico installers put differences aside to secure local jobs

By Kelly Pickerel | July 24, 2018

As much as Democrats and Republicans compete against each other for votes, they do (sometimes  ;)) come together for mutually beneficial legislation. Two competing New Mexico rooftop contractors can relate: they decided to team up to bid on large-scale projects to keep jobs local.

Sol Luna Solar (No. 323 on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list) and PPC Solar regularly battle for solar customers in Northern New Mexico. When the local utility Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) announced 35 MW of projects in the next few years, the utility actually suggested Sol Luna and PPC join together.


An array ParaSol Solar has completed for KCEC. Photo from Sol Luna’s Facebook page.

“Kit’s wish was to keep all of these jobs as local as possible to benefit the local economy,” said Mark Johnson, Sol Luna CEO. “Kit suggested we form a joint venture together, because they didn’t want to deal with us separately.”

The two companies now operate as ParaSol Solar, a name that means umbrella. The solar installers operating under the same umbrella finished the utility’s first 1.5-MW project and plan to complete another 10 MW before the end of 2018.

Johnson said while the two companies are still regularly bidding against each other for smaller projects, the third-party venture operates very smoothly.

“We’re really combining forces. We’re doing the procurement together,” he said. “Being competitors in the same area, we procure materials from the same suppliers, so that has been seamless. We’re well-positioned to complete this.”

KCEC recently announced a goal for 100% daytime solar energy by 2022. The roadmap of 35 MW will provide 34% of the area’s total electricity demand and 100% during daylight hours on sunny days.

“Our decision to recommend ParaSol Solar as our EPC partner was intended to build a world-class solar fleet,” said Luis Reyes, KCEC’s CEO, in a press release. “The re-emphasis demonstrates KCEC’s commitment to our local labor force and to economic development within the region.”

Johnson said this partnership between Sol Luna and PPC is a novel approach, but everyone agrees it’s well worth rising above the daily competition to ensure a local workforce is used for projects that will benefit the community for years to come.

This story was featured exclusively in our 2018 Top Solar Contractors issue. See the issue and full list of top U.S. solar installers here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Pickerel is editor in chief of Solar Power World.


https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/07/new-mexico-installers-put-differences-aside-to-secure-local-jobs/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 03, 2018, 08:17:00 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 26, 2018, 07:57:58 pm »


"Solar panel field in Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma..." Steve Milloy on Twitter

Solar Under Storm: Designing Hurricane-Resilient PV Systems

June 20, 2018  |  By Laurie Guevara-Stone Christopher Burgess

The 2017 hurricane season was one of the most active in history. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria brought widespread destruction throughout the Caribbean. In addition to the emotional toll these severe storms had on people in the region, the disruption of critical infrastructure left many communities without basic services such as electricity and water for prolonged periods of time. On some islands, such as Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Barbuda, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems suffered major damage or even complete failure. However, other solar PV systems, such as ones installed in the British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, and St. Eustatius, survived and continued producing power the following day.

Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI’s) latest report, Solar Under Storm: Select Best Practices for Resilient Ground-Mount PV Systems with Hurricane Exposure, discusses the root causes of PV system failures from hurricanes and describes recommendations for building more resilient solar PV power plants.

Solar in the Caribbean

Over the past decades, electricity in the Caribbean was primarily generated centrally by imported fuel oil or diesel and distributed across islands by overhead lines. However, in recent years, electricity has been supplemented in homes, businesses, industries, government facilities, and utilities by solar photovoltaics. In fact, over half of Caribbean electric utilities already own or operate solar PV as part of their generation mix. There are at least 225 megawatts (MW) of solar installed across rooftops, parking canopies, and large tracts of land, and solar PV is the most rapidly growing source of power for many Caribbean islands.

While solar PV systems can provide lower-cost energy that is more resilient and reliable than imported fuels on many islands, it is not foolproof in the face of major natural disasters. The 2017 hurricanes brought sustained wind speeds of over 180 miles per hour to many Caribbean islands. RMI sent expert structural engineering teams to the Caribbean region in fall 2017 to investigate why some PV systems survived virtually unscathed while others suffered extensive damage.

Why do some PV systems survive hurricanes virtually unscathed while others suffer extensive damage?

Common Attributes

The teams noted similarities between the failed systems, including module clamp failures, undersized racks, undersized and under-torqued bolts, a lack of bolt locking solutions, and a lack of lateral racking support. On the flip side, the systems that survived had the modules through bolted (no clamps), bolts with locking solutions, and lateral racking supports.

However, developing hurricane resiliency guidelines based only on observed failure modes has limitations. The observed failure modes may have served as a “mechanical fuse,” relieving forces from the system. If future systems address only those observed failures, forces may precipitate additional failure modes. To address both observed and potential failure modes, we used a common reliability tool for systematic cause and effect identification called a fishbone diagram. The diagram shows critical elements from the supply chain through design, construction, and operations of solar PV projects. The most critical causes of failure we observed in the fall of 2017 are in bold text.


Recommendations for Hurricane-Resilient PV Systems

The Solar Under Storm report organizes our recommendations into two categories: (1) specifications, and (2) collaboration. To the extent possible, the specifications are performance-based to allow for the most cost-effective and resilient solution. Collaboration recommendations identify opportunities for increased resiliency that require multiparty consideration and action but do not represent industry standard actions.

Specifications include:

• Using high-load PV modules (5,400 Pa)

• Requiring a structural engineering review and wind-tunnel report review

• Specifying a bolt hardware locking solution and bolt quality control process

• Specifying through bolting of modules as opposed to top-down or T clamps

• Requiring structural engineer review of lateral loads

• Not using self-tapping screws

• Specifying dual post pier foundations

Collaboration recommendations include collaborating with module suppliers, racking suppliers, and other  equipment suppliers to implement the correct tests and ensure that equipment is consistent with assumptions used in engineering calculations.

Perhaps the most opportune recommendation is for a regional and even international community of solar PV power plant stakeholders whose plants have extreme wind exposure to regularly share lessons learned from new designs and extreme wind events. To that end, we formed a PV Resiliency working group on the online Caribbean Renewable Energy Community (CAREC), which is hosted by CARILEC, to connect, innovate, and collaborate.

The Additional Cost to Increase Resiliency

Calculating the additional cost to implement the recommendations in the Solar Under Storm report depends on the specific projects and sites. However, we estimate that a 1 MW ground mount project on suitable soil and flat terrain in the Eastern Caribbean would incur an increase of approximately 5 percent in engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) costs when these best practices are implemented versus the standard category IV rated installation. These additional costs come in the form of labor for the extra time needed to through-bolt the modules and install more foundation and racking supports. There are also additional costs in material (racking supports, dual post piers, and fasteners) as well as minor costs for additional engineering and construction oversight.

Based on RMI’s Islands Energy Program’s most recent solar PV procurement for a 1 MW ground mount system in the Caribbean, implementing the best resiliency practices would add approximately $90,000 in EPC costs to the budget. This overall project price increase is about the difference in module pricing from 2017 to 2018, and for Caribbean projects that procure modules later in 2018, the price drop could completely net out the additional resilient mitigation costs by year’s end.


Surviving the Storm 

Generating electricity with solar PV is a cost-effective and reliable solution for the Caribbean. There are major project plans across the region to not only add solar PV to the grid at utility scale, but also to install solar PV and battery systems for key critical facilities such as water treatment plants, hurricane shelters, schools, hospitals, and telecommunications nodes. Yet as the intensity and number of hurricanes rise, utilities, regulators, engineering professionals, and PV system developers and installers must be aware of the best available engineering, design, delivery, and operational practices to ensure these installations survive.

While the Solar Under Storm report cannot predict all the potential failures and consequent mitigation strategies, it provides an available set of best practices regarding specifications of equipment and procedures along with a framework for continued collaboration within a community of practice. Our hope is that by sharing best practices and through continued collaboration with designers, suppliers, and manufacturers, we can increase the reliability and survival rates of PV systems in hurricanes, and ensure that the people of the Caribbean have resilient and reliable power for their grids, homes, businesses, and critical facilities for decades to come.

Download the Solar Under Storm report.

https://www.rmi.org/news/solar-under-storm-designing-hurricane-resilient-pv-systems/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 26, 2018, 02:25:17 pm »

Quote
AG: they still will have to compete with that clean renewable energy technology that Palloy is ALWAYS quick to claim (a TOTAL FABRICATION, by the way) is "ERoEI negative".

There no such thing as a negative ERoEI.  That is a basic error that shows you don't know what you are on about.  I think what you mean is "less than 1".

I don't claim, and never have, that the ERoEI of renewables is less than 1. My claim is the
ERoEI ethanol from sugarcane mollasses is 1.05 .  Evidence is this graph by CSIRO tests:


According to BP(2018) the quantity of Proved Reserves around the world is 1.696 trillion tonnes, and that is the same as 2011.  The peak was in 2014 at 1.702 .  I can't get the chart to work, but in 1980 the figure was 1.118 trillion barrels.  That is, the oil companies have been unable to find any "spare" reserves, like they could in the 1930s, and are flat out trying to find new stuff.  So they crow about a find of 330 million barrels, even though it is a TINY fraction of what is needed to keep ahead of demand. This is definitely NOT SUSTAINABLE. It is a silly question to ask "at what exact figure will it all collapse?", it is a matter of confidence that the oil is there to be had.  When the confidence goes, the oil majors' shares will collapse, and with it the financial system.

I should just say that the BP figures have to be ESTIMATED for countries like Russia who don't release that data.  And for the US, the whole thing is about what is going to be got out of an oil field before it is officially shut down.  This always off in the future so the companies can say what they like, no one will ever know.  The only other data sources are from EIA (USDoE) and IEA (OECD), both of whom are dominated by oil companies and trying to hide Peak Oil.

The ERoEI of PV farms is 3.0 (range 1.5 to 6.0).  Evidence this table from ISA's report to Australian PM and Cabinet, "Life Cycle Energy Balance":



(Energy Intensity is the reciprocal of ERoEI.)

From the same table, the ERoEI of wind turbines is 15 (range 8 to 25).

So PV manufacturers have to find a third of the energy UP FRONT that the panels will eventually produce, otherwise the panels can't be built.  That is easy while the quantity of panels is small, like now, but it becomes much bigger as the scale increases, and will overwhelm the energy system.  Bardi thinks we can just squeeze through, with much savings on efficiency, etc, but no one is doing that.

I would love to know how they come up with the PV numbers. Just the methodology I'm not doubting it but from my experience they are outliving their projected life and the panels from 20 years ago are nowhere near as well made as the current ones. It could change the eroei for solar. The massive industrial scale roll out is just too recent to know. Then there is the secondary market. They don't really die they just don't produce up to specifications. They are an unusual device that way they are not your typical good then not good they fade slowly. At what point is it considered at the end of its productive life? We sell off the old systems we upgrade and there is a market for the 12 volt 50-80 watt panels out there at $.25-.75 a watt.  Just some food for thought
Thank you for this both of you. David


You are welcome, David.

Palloy, not  only do you refuse to answer my questions, but your claim that you have "never said" Renewable Energy has an ERoEI less than 1.00 is doubletalk. You have gone on and on about upfront costs not justifying them, their low energy density, ther longevity issues, the fossil fuels need to make them and so on. So, YEAH, you have CONSISTENTLY gone out of your way to claim Renewable energy can NEVER compete with fossil fuels.

I disagree. I have posted many articles that provide evidence that Renewable Enrgy technology, not only can replace fossil fuels, but replacing polluting energy with Renewable Energy is our only option, if we wish to survice as a species.

The "peak oil caused collapse will save us" claim is a false meme. Collapse from lack of Fossil fuels is is not going to happen, at least not in our life time.

What is the minimum amount of fossil fuels we must burn each year to prevent a collapse of civilization during that year?

Answer the question Palloy.

K-Dog, you claim there is empirical evidence that Peak Oil is real after trashing an article that exposed a full DECADE of peak oil hysterics. Since Palloy refuses to answer, will you give me a number?

My estimate is that we MUST have, at minimum, 7 billion BOE - rounded off to the nearest Billion BOE  ;D - (this includes ALL fossil fuels) annually to prevent a collapse. What is your estimate?

If Peak Oil is to have more relevance than Catastrophic Climate Change, it MUST cause the collpase of Industrial Cvilization from the lack of them, PERIOD.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 25, 2018, 10:57:11 pm »



Solar Prices Nosedive After China Pullback Floods Global Market

June 21, 2018

By Christopher Martin, Bloomberg
         
Solar panels were already getting cheaper this year, and then China pulled the plug this month on about 20 GW of domestic installations. The result was a glut of global inventories, and now prices are plunging even faster.

China, the world’s biggest solar market, on June 1 slammed the brakes on new projects that would have had as much capacity as about 20 nuclear power plants. With a global panel glut it’s a buyer’s market and developers in other countries are delaying purchases, holding out for even lower prices.

The average price for a polysilicon module slumped 4.79 percent since May 30, reaching a record low of 27.8 cents a watt Wednesday, according to PVInsights. That’s on track to be the biggest monthly decline since December 2016, the last time the industry was facing a global oversupply. China manufactures about 70 percent of the world’s solar components.

The decline will hurt the largest manufacturers like JinkoSolar Holding Co. and is a boon for developers like Sunrun Inc., which are expected to benefit from lower costs.

“Chinese and international project developers are putting their orders on hold as modules get cheaper,” Yali Jiang, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in a research note Tuesday. By the end of the year, she expects module prices will slide to 24 cents a watt 👀, down 35 percent from 37 cents at the end of 2017.

©2018 Bloomberg News

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/06/solar-prices-nosedive-after-china-pullback-floods-global-market.html

Agelbert NOTE: Why don't I think this news is actually good? Because, to anyone that reads between the lines, it means China is, rather than contiinuing the big push for total Renewable Energy, is finding it cheaper (when the pollution issue is ignored, of course -replacing coal with GAS cuts down on particulates, but does nothing to slow GHG pollution) to buy GAS for energy than to get it from Solar Panels.

They are probably suddenly getting GAS real cheap, some of which comes from the USA, not just the usual suspects like Russia and Iran. This "bridge fuel" means an INCREASE in global emissions in an already runaway GHG situation 🔥. China uses a LOT OF ENERGY!


I'm sure the Fossil Fuel funded Climate Change Deniers will tell us this is "no big deal"😈.


I think it is one more straw breaking the Biosphere Camel's Back. IOW, it's probably just about (see below) for Human civilization, even if it takes another two or three decades to feel the full brunt of Catastrophic climate Change.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 22, 2018, 07:00:46 pm »



June 22, 2018

#Cost & Prices #Efficiency #Solar

co2online

German solar heat users miss out on output worth 66 million euros per year – report

Two-thirds of Germany’s solar heat installations could have a higher output if their use was optimised, the energy customer consultancy co2online says in a press release.

Solar heat users miss out on 1.4 billion kilowatt hours per year, roughly equivalent to 66 million euros in lost earnings and 340,000 tonnes of additional CO2 output, co2online says.

The consultancy says the operation of solar heat installations could be optimised by completely turning off other heating systems during the summer months; routinely comparing the installations’ output with heating consumption; and regularly having the solar panels inspected and repaired.

https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.co2online.de/service/news/beitrag/solarthermie-nutzer-lassen-jedes-jahr-66-millionen-euro-auf-ihren-daechern-liegen-16507/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 16, 2018, 10:37:39 pm »

From my inputs, they claim I would need 67 X 360W PANELS :o plus a 13.5KW battery. Besides the fact that I could only get about a third of that many panels on the south side of my roof, it's just too much money.  :(


The way I would recommend using solar in your unique situation ( should you ever wish to) is to build a very simple parallel system with one large panel (scaling up eventually to perhaps two panels)  and a small battery array, and run SOMETHING off it. A dedicated circuit for your refrigerator, perhaps. If that's too big a load you could run lights.

An MPPT charge controller helps with the shade problem.

I think it makes really better sense here of course. We have 5 hour sun. I could run my energy-sink McMansion with pool from a good rooftop grid-tie, and it would make my house more desirable to sell when I finally do downsize. I just hesitate to take on debt for that. But it would be required, because TPTB requires the job be done by pros, which implies it gets done fast and you have to pay for it all at once.



Agreed. The idea of a dedicated circuit has always appealed to me, particularly one where voltage regulation is not a big issue. For example, in the winter, though the total hours of sunlight are reduced, we actually get more direct sunlight on my home. Solar Panels (about 6KW) on the roof could easily be rigged for a dedicated heating circuit. Filament heating circuits, as long as you protect them from too much amperage (easy to do with solar Panels  ;)), could care less about voltage variation. All my heating is electric. I stopped using the kerosene fired furnace over 15 years ago. I have saved a lot of money by doing that and, since Green Mountain Power has a very large Renewable Energy portfolio, it has definitely lowered my carbon footprint.

Yes, the the fossil fuelers will be quick to blah, blah, blah about "kerosene/oil/fossil fuels are more efficient than electrical resistance for heating", but they are WRONG.

WHY? Because, though they are technically thermodynamically right when the two energy transfer systems are viewed in isolation, they FAIL TO add in the fuel cost of those trucks that carry that kerosene, their maintenance, AND the trucks that carry the kerosene from the refinery (and so on). No sir, they have this STRANGE idea that "energy going through wires costs the same to transport to your home" as energy going from an oil well to the refinery to the truck to the distributor to your home furnace to be burned. BULLSHIT.

Pardon my rant. ;D I also have issues with all this government permitting baloney TPTB place on us before we are allowed to get a Renewable Energy system going. More people are killed each year from misusing kerosene portable heaters than PV or wind electrical systems injuries by a factor easily of a thousand! But, no sir, we don't want to "overregulate" anything that uses fossil fuels, now do we? 😈

Well, at least the electricians are happy.  ::)
Actually I would not fault your logic or your right to choose but it really does depend on how your utility generates power. If your utility is well diversified with lots of hydro, wind some nukes and just a smidgen of natural gas electric heat will produce much less greenhouse gas. HOWEVER if your utility is reliant on natural gas and coal the numbers work against you. Central power plants turn fossil fuels into electricity at pretty horrible efficiency then you add line losses to it. My rule of thumb reference for that is this site here:  http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/fuel.html
from that site the efficiency is:
Coal:  33.6%
Petroleum:  25.5-33.3%
Natural Gas:  29.4-44.8%
If you use natural gas as the best option and the most modern plant you get 44.8percent he uses 7.2 percent for line loss so 44.8x.928= 41.6 percent of its energy is turned into electricity the rest is vented as heat at the plant or lost to the air en route to you. A modern furnace is 80-90 percent efficient so yes if your utility uses fossil fuels to generate electricity you are better off using said fuels to heat your home directly if you are using baseboard heaters. Of course you will not do this SOOOOO if you want to totally destroy the fossil fuel math then the technology to invest in is the new generation of air to air heat pumps. Even on the coldest days you will be using 33 percent the electricity you currently are with your baseboards. They work down to about -25 celsius then their efficiency plummets down to that of baseboard heaters. You could if you invest in solar and air to air heat pumps make a net metered system work for you... Some states offer incentives as well. I really like the dedicated solar arrangement for building solar capacity. That is exactly how my house works. I replaced the backup generator with a grid connection and power some loads on solar some on grid. Right now I'm about evenly split. I will be installing a much more powerful modern array this year sometime. At that point I expect my utility portion to drop to almost nothing. I will keep it though its the cheapest backup generator you can buy.


Excellent post. I agree that air to air heat pumps are the BEST. The problem for me is that they are very expensive. Mitsubishi has a split something or other system that a Vermonter uses to heat his home extremely efficently. It's just not something I can afford. Also, they need to be inspected by qualified personnnel annually. All that costs money. One of my initial reasons for getting rid of the kerosene fired furnace was the maintenance people's habit of charging an arm and a leg for the annual inspection. And, if the electrodes needed changing or adjusting in the middle of the winter (No heat!), they charged $90 JUST TO COME TO MY HOME before the cost of parts and labor. For you, a skilled craftsman, those are not issues. For people like me, they are more costs that just keep adding up.

None of those costs exist when all you are doing is running electricity through a resistance to get heat.

I understand the inefficencies of the grid, particularly that part of the grid that gets its energy from burning fossil fuels. It's insanely inefficient, as you pointed out. GMP gets a huge part of its juice from wind and hydro, with a smaller part from solar and some "Renewable Energy credits" program, so my source is not that inefficient. Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute has written and made several videos about that issue and other inefficencies in our civilization like the woefully inefficent pipe designs for all sorts of machinery, not just engines. Actually, the numbers you posted from that link are more friendly than what Amory Lovins has computed for those fossil fuels. Too often, the basic enthalpy of a hydrocarbon is what guides efficiency calculations. Amory Lovins adds all the other, often hidden, inefficiencies to those. But, I will not split hairs with you on that.

Here's a screenshot from one of the videos by Amory Lovins on the inefficiencies of our civilization:


Ideally, we would all heat and cool our houses with some kind of heat pump using either a geothermal source  getting piped air or some heat exchanger liquid from 30 feet or so below the ground, depending on where you live, or just going the air to air heat pump route with a Mitsubishi unit.

This is part of the Mitsubishi pitch:

Quote
GIVE YOUR FAMILY PERSONALIZED COMFORT YEAR ROUND WITH HEAT PUMP TECHNOLOGY

Conventional heat pump systems are known for poor efficiency and performance in cold temperatures. Today, thanks to the integration of INVERTER-driven variable speed compressor technology, highly-efficient, modern heat pump systems offer homes optimized comfort conditioning no matter the season or temperature.

HOW THEY WORK

When utilizing a zoned HVAC configuration, each heat pump system consists of one or multiple ducted or ductless air handlers and an outdoor condensing unit. One outdoor unit can control up to eight indoor units, providing personalized temperature control, in each individual space, depending on the occupant's preference. Refrigerant lines connect the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. During summer, the system produces air conditioning when refrigerant absorbs heat energy from inside your home and expels it outdoors. During winter, the heat transfer process reverses as refrigerant extracts heat energy from the outside air and transfers the heat inside to warm your home. With the outdoor unit operating with INVERTER-driven compressor technology, the system speeds up or slows down to match the precise cooling and heating requirements of the space, keeping efficiencies high and costs down.


http://www.mitsubishicomfort.com/articles/technology/give-your-family-personalized-comfort-year-round-with-heat-pump-technology

But beggars like me cannot be choosers. When Green Mountain Power (GMP) reaches 100% Renewable Energy, the only carbon dioxide I will be putting out, provided I buy and Electric Vehicle, is the CO2 I exhale. That is my goal, even if it isn't as efficient as using natural gas.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 16, 2018, 08:30:53 pm »



Report: Overall Solar PV Quality Is Improving But Risks Remain
June 11, 2018

By William Steel

Top PV Performace awards Credit: DNV GL
         
Independent energy and certification body DNV GL reports overall improvement in global solar PV reliability with its fourth edition PV Module Reliability Scorecard report. The Scorecard reports on eighteen months of test results from DNV GL’s PV Module Product Qualification Program (PQP) of commercially available PV modules on the global market.

Tara Doyle, Head of Business Development & Project Management, explained this year’s key developments.


“Our goal with the Scorecard is to support the buyer market, the downstream partners — developers, financiers, EPCs, insurance, etc. — and help them make data-driven decisions.”

To this end, Doyle said that the Product Qualification Program is a series of tests geared toward evaluating products across their lifetime.

“We’re looking at what’s going to happen to PV panels under simulated environmental stresses over the course of the product’s useful life.”

Testing goes beyond industry standards too, “usually by two to four times,” noted Doyle.

Related: Assuring Solar Modules Will Last for Decades

“Included in the PQP are tests that look at performance, reliability and durability. The four test categories, thermal cycling, damp heat, dynamic mechanical load sequence and potential induced degradation, are several tests at the core of reliability and durability.”

Digging into the Bill of Materials

“We see improvement in all areas except one,” said Doyle, adding that “overall performance in the damp heat test category decreased.”

The test, featuring high temperature and high humidity to evaluate module construction, revealed median power degradation of 2.5 percent this year compared to 0.9 percent in both 2014 and 2017.

“It’s important to highlight that we’re not only testing individual components that comprise the bill of materials (BOM) but also interaction between components. Any change in components, or how the module is manufactured, can have an impact on performance and reliability of the product.”

“There were still other failures across categories,” added Doyle, explaining that the results found twenty-two percent of manufacturers experiencing one or more failures in overall testing, nine percent of BOMs failed one or more of the test criteria, and twelve percent of module types failed one or more of the test criteria.

“It’s important that the buyer community be cognizant of results as these issues can impact projects; and we’d caution the buyer community to request BOMs of the top performing models from manufacturers (something DNV GL provides).”
   
Top Performers ✨ 

While over twenty manufacturers are rated as Top Performers for 2018, just four are credited with the accolade for the last three years running: Jinko Solar 🌟, Trina Solar 🌟, Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd 🌟 and Yingli Solar 🌟.    

Manufacturers Adani (Mundra Solar PV Ltd ⭐), First Solar ⭐, HT-SAAE ⭐, LG Electronics ⭐, and Panasonic ⭐ all gained Top Performer status this year for the first time.

Quote
“We see reliability and performance improving overall. That’s a trend we’ve seen over past several scorecards,” said Doyle.

A new feature of the 2018 Scorecard is a ‘Historical Scorecard’ that brings a spotlight to top performers since the first Scorecard.

Related: Energy Services Giant DNV GL Scoops Up PV Evolution Labs

“The downstream find value in single reports and tests, but also look toward performance and reliability trends of manufacturers  — in other words asking, ‘Is this manufacturer capable of producing quality products?’. We’ve included the Historical Scorecard to showcase top performers.”

New Technologies Bring New Risks

While mainstream products benefit from tried and tested materials, components and processes, more cutting-edge technologies aren’t without risk.

“With new commercially available products coming to market — for instance bifacial, PERC, half-cut cells — that have not been installed in the field for long, or gone through testing as significantly as other products, there could be significant risks for buyers to consider.”

The broader, fast-moving landscape of solar PV markets, together with its pressures, underlines the importance of DNV GL’s testing activities according to Doyle.

“With PPA pricing and overall cost of energy decreasing, so is the cost of solar PV. Consequently, manufacturers especially are being forced to do more with less, and reduce costs across the value chain in order to remain cost-competitive. We see that these pressures can impact the quality of PV modules produced and so we must remain vigilant.”

Related: 3@3 on Solar PV: Off-Grid, Quality, PPA Pricing

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/06/report-overall-solar-pv-quality-is-improving-but-risks-remain.html

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