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Author Topic: Photvoltaics (PV)  (Read 7528 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #300 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/
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #301 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

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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #302 on: August 10, 2018, 11:38:20 pm »
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https://marketing.solaredge.com/acton/fs/blocks/showLandingPage/a/8801/p/p-019a/t/page/fm/0
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #303 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
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 02:57:16 pm by AGelbert »
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #304 on: August 15, 2018, 12:21:45 pm »
   

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August 14, 2018

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #305 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
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #306 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:


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if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #307 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/
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #308 on: October 18, 2018, 02:00:45 pm »

Tabuchi Eco Intelligent Battery System (EIBS) 💫


Learn more:

https://www.tabuchiamerica.com/residential
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if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #309 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
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #310 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/

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Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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