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Author Topic: Photvoltaics (PV)  (Read 7560 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #270 on: March 14, 2018, 08:17:50 pm »


China’s Solar PV Module Exports Reached 37.9 GW ✨ :o    in 2017

March 12, 2018

By Liu Yuanyuan Director of Operations

In 2017, newly installed solar PV capacity worldwide reached 102 GW, soaring 37 percent from a year earlier, while cumulative installed PV capacity surged 33.7 percent to 405 GW, according to statistics from the China Photovoltaic Industry Association. In China itself, newly installed and cumulative installed PV capacity reached 53 GW and 130 GW respectively, accounting for 51.8 percent and 32.2 percent of the total. For the first indicator, the country has ranked first worldwide for five consecutive years while, for the second, it has held the leading position for the last three.

However, when measured in dollars, exports of PV modules only amounted to US$9.45 billion for the first 11 months of 2017, down slightly from a year earlier. Despite the decline in export value, in volume, exports reached 37.9 GW for the full year of 2017, an increase of 16.6 GW in comparison with 21.3 GW for 2016. Exports of polycrystalline modules reached 31.8 GW, accounting for 84 percent of the total, while that of monocrystalline modules added up to 5 GW for 13.2 percent.

During the year, China shipped to India 9.46 GW of modules, of which 8.94 GW or 94 percent were polycrystalline and 0.35 GW or 4 percent were monocrystalline.

Of the modules exported to the Japanese and Australian markets, the polycrystalline proportions reached 79 percent and 83 percent, respectively, while, for monocrystalline, the proportions were 19 percent and 16 percent.

In addition, monocrystalline accounted for 35 percent of the modules exported to the Middle East, slightly higher than the proportion exported to other markets. Polycrystalline modules still dominate the market with a share of 54 percent.

Of note is that in 4Q17, China’s photovoltaic exports to the U.S. surged. According to industrial analysts, in a move to avoid the adverse effects arising from U.S. President Donald Trump’s 30 percent solar import tariffs, U.S. customers rushed in a large amount of photovoltaic products from China in the fourth quarter, resulting in Chinese PV module deliveries to U.S. customers amounting to 12 times that of the first three quarters of the year.

Due to the advantages of low photo-induced attenuation, low power cost and high project yield, polycrystalline modules have a higher performance price ratio than monocrystalline. As a result, it has dominated overseas markets for many years. In 2018, the market is expected to continue the pattern.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/03/china-s-pv-module-exports-reached-37-9-gw-in-2017.html
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #271 on: March 16, 2018, 02:44:25 pm »
EcoWatch

Tesla Installing World's Largest Solar Rooftop on Nevada Gigafactory   

By Lorraine Chow

Mar. 15, 2018 12:31PM EST

Tesla has started building a massive rooftop solar array on top of its Gigafactory 1 (GF1) outside Sparks, Nevada.

Once finished, the 70-megawatt system will be the largest in the world by far; the current record-holder is the comparatively shrimpy 11.5-megawatt array in India that can power 8,000 homes.

Building Tesla has posted satellite images of the GF1 construction site, showing solar panels installed on the north side of the factory.

The Gigafactory is part of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's vision to fast-track a cleaner, more sustainable future. He previously announced intentions to power the Nevada building without fossil fuels, relying instead on renewable energy and batteries.

"GF1 is an all-electric factory with no fossil fuels (natural gas or petroleum) directly consumed," Tesla said then.

Quote
"We will be using 100 percent sustainable energy through a combination of a 70 megawatt solar rooftop array and solar ground installations. The solar rooftop array is ~7x larger than the largest rooftop solar system installed today."
The Gigafactory 1 is being built in phases so Tesla and its partners can manufacture products while the building continues to expand. It officially kicked off the mass production of lithium-ion battery cells in January 2017.

The building is expected for completion sometime this year, at which point the Gigafactory stands to claim the title of world's largest building by footprint.

Impressively, Tesla touts that its current structure already has a footprint of 1.9 million square feet, which houses 4.9 million square feet of operational space across several floors.

"And we are still less than 30 percent done," the firm boasted.

Once fully built, the Gigafactory will produce 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells annually, which is "nearly as much as the rest of the entire world's battery production combined."  ;D

https://www.ecowatch.com/tesla-solar-gigafactory-2543158034.html



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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #272 on: March 21, 2018, 08:03:33 pm »


From Residential to Utility-Scale, Solar Wins in Recent State-Level Actions 

March 16, 2018

By Jennifer Delony

Associate Editor

 solar
         
A series of recent state-level actions have been lauded by industry advocates as positive steps for driving deployments of residential, community-scale and utility-scale solar.

22 Solar Projects for New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 9 announced that New York has authorized competitive awards under the state’s Clean Energy Standard mandate for 22 utility-scale solar projects. The awards are part of $1.4 billion awarded for a total of 26 renewable energy projects in the state.

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper in a statement commended Cuomo for what she said is a “historic commitment to solar energy.”

“These 22 solar projects will create thousands of jobs, generate billions of dollars in investment and bring clean and affordable energy to the residents of New York state,” she said. “It is highly rewarding to see that the Empire State has made this groundbreaking investment in solar energy.”

Energy Bill Signed in Virginia

Gov. Ralph Northam on March 9 signed an omnibus energy bill for Virginia that designates 5.5 GW of solar and wind energy as “in the public interest.” The bill also initiates a process to modernize the state’s power grid to help spur renewable energy development.
Quote

Ralph Northam ✔ @GovernorVA

Today I signed legislation ending the freeze on energy utility rates, returning money to customers, and investing in clean energy and a modern grid. I am proud that my team and I improved this bill significantly and thank the General Assembly for its continued work on the measure

2:13 PM - Mar 9, 2018 · Richmond, VA
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SEIA Vice President of State Affiars Sean Gallagher said in a statement that the public interest finding is a “great first step” for solar in Virginia.

“[W]e must ensure the grid modernization process that this bill initiates is data-driven, solicits the public’s input, and is not a blank check for a utility to spend consumers’ money with little accountability,” Gallagher said.

By 2022, Virginia is expected to have an installed solar capacity of about 2 GW, before taking the new law into consideration, according to SEIA.

New Jersey Considers Clean Energy Bills

New bills filed on March 14 by New Jersey legislators have been lauded by many clean energy organizations for their potential to grow the state’s renewables development and extend benefits of clean energy to more residents.

The text of the bills was not immediately available in the state’s online legislative documents center.

According to the SEIA, the two companion bills introduced in the New Jersey House and Senate would increase the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard target for solar and begin the process of developing next-generation solar incentives in the state.

This legislation would also help establish a community solar program in the state, giving consideration to residential customers, especially in multifamily buildings, and low-to-moderate income customers, SEIA said.

In a statement, Brandon Smithwood, policy director for the Coalition for Community Solar Access, said the bills were important for solar in New Jersey in light of the recent tariffs places on solar cells and panels.

"New Jersey has historically been one of the leading solar markets in the country; however, with over a third of households renting their homes, nearly half of homes being multifamily, and numerous small businesses, non-profits and other organizations lacking adequate roofs for solar systems, the vast majority of New Jerseyans have not yet been able to realize the benefits of solar energy," Smithwood said.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/03/from-residential-to-utility-scale-solar-wins-in-recent-state-level-actions.html
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #273 on: March 27, 2018, 07:08:03 pm »

Solar Power Energy Payback 💵 Time Is Now Super Short

March 25th, 2018 by Jake Richardson

This article is part of our “CleanTechnica Answer Box” collection. In this collection of articles, we respond to dozens of common anti-cleantech myths.

Some solar power critics 🐉🦕🦖😈 seem to enjoy trying to point out that the energy payback time for solar power is too long, and therefore this form of renewable energy is not valid. Those critics have not kept up with the times or are simply lying to you.

Years ago, when solar cells were less efficient, there might have been some truth in questioning the energy payback of solar panels because they were most likely manufactured using electricity generated from coal, natural gas, or nuclear power and were less efficiently manufactured.

Today’s solar panels are more efficient, so they produce more electricity, and this fact along with more efficient manufacturing means that energy payback periods have decreased to just a few years. Research has found, “Energy payback estimates for rooftop PV systems are 4, 3, 2, and 1 years: 4 years for systems using current multicrystalline-silicon PV modules, 3 years for current thin-film modules, 2 years for anticipated multicrystalline modules, and 1 year for anticipated thin-film modules (see Figure 1). With energy paybacks of 1 to 4 years and assumed life expectancies of 30 years, 87% to 97% of the energy that PV systems generate won’t be plagued by pollution, greenhouse gases, and depletion of resources.” 


Other estimates also show solar is viable and have tremendous energy payback periods. “In Australia, the International Energy Agency[vii] calculated the energy payback period for a solar power system to be under two years. This means a solar power system takes less than two years to generate enough energy to break even on the amount of energy taken to manufacture it.

“Based on models and data examined by both the International Energy Agency and the US Department of Energy[viii], solar panels do pay back their energy investment. With solar panels lasting as long as 25 years, they make more energy over their lifetime than it takes to manufacture the panel. Since the payback times are decreasing over time, we have now reached the point that even at this strong growth, the total installed PV capacity is a net producer of energy and a net GHG sink.

Floating solar power plant

Solar power has already been used in manufacturing, so it is at least in theory possible it will eventually be used to produce solar panels (and it must be in some places). Once solar power is being used to produce solar panels, the question is, what does energy payback even matter? 

Solar cells might eventually made from cheaper and more efficient materials, which would decrease their production costs even more and perhaps increase their efficiency and energy payback period.

Misleading Metrics

Additionally, some of metrics, like energy payback, seem to be questionable in the way they are used by solar power critics and climate change deniers. For example, they don’t reference that the cost of continuing to use only fossil fuels are vastly greater than manufacturing and installing solar panels. “The share of national GDP at risk from climate change exceeds $1.5 trillion in the 301 major cities around the world. Including the impact of human pandemics – which are likely to become more severe as the planet warms — the figure increases to nearly $2.2 trillion in economic output at risk through 2025.”

The figures in the US are huge too. “Extreme weather, made worse by climate change, along with the health impacts of burning fossil fuels, has cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion a year over the past ten years, a new report has found. And yet this does not include this past month’s three major hurricanes or 76 wildfires in nine Western states. Those economic losses alone are estimated to top $300 billion, the report notes.”

It’s very obvious that the financial costs of continuing to do business as usual 💣 are tremendous, but the human costs 😨🔫 could be even greater.

Air pollution in China is so severe it may be contributing to 1.6 million human deaths per year. “Outdoor air pollution contributes to the deaths of an estimated 1.6 million people in China every year, or about 4,400 people a day, according to a newly released scientific paper.”

In the US, climate change actually may do severe financial damage to people who are already struggling. “The poorest third of US counties will likely lose up to 20 percent of their incomes, and regions such as the Pacific Northwest and New England will gain economically over the Gulf and Southern states, if climate change continues unmitigated through the end of the century, according to a new study co-led by two UC Berkeley researchers and published today in the journal Science.”

The critics 🐉🦕🦖🦀😈 of solar power fail to mention these fossil fuel costs over and over and over again. How could the fossil fuel industries even begin to pay for all the damage they have caused to human health and the planet? First of all, they wouldn’t do it, and they couldn’t afford it, so the fossil fuel damage payback time would be never.  >:(

What is the premature death payback time for coal power, or how about the oil spills payback time for petroleum companies? The Deepwater Horizon spill damage may very well still be occurring. “For those long-lived things like turtles and sperm whales and dolphins … they’re still in the middle of this. And we may not know for another 30 or 40 years where the impacts are,” said Larry McKinney, executive director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University. He made that remark in 2017, so perhaps we won’t know the full extent of the damage until at least 2047. By that time, will BP still be in business and will the company pay more than it has so far?


It is simply ludicrous to try to apply an energy payback standard to solar power, and yet, somehow, fossil fuels which have had an enormously damaging impact for years get off scot-free? Continuing to fail with only fossil fuels isn’t an option.

Images by Vinaykumar8687 •• CC BY-SA 4.0, by SUNGROW Power Supply Co., and by Asia Chang on Unsplash.

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/25/solar-power-energy-payback-time-now-super-short/

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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #274 on: March 29, 2018, 10:01:42 pm »
Quote
AG: Solar Power Energy Payback 💵 Time Is Now Super Short

March 25th, 2018 by Jake Richardson

This article is part of our “CleanTechnica Answer Box” collection. In this collection of articles, we respond to dozens of common anti-cleantech myths.

Some solar power critics 🐉🦕🦖😈 seem to enjoy trying to point out that the energy payback time for solar power is too long, and therefore this form of renewable energy is not valid. Those critics have not kept up with the times or are simply lying to you.

EPBT is important because that is the way you can calculate how much energy will be needed for the Transition to renewables. This is critically important because it is a HUGE amount of energy, which will not be available due to Peak Fossils during the latter stages of the transition, leaving society with not enough energy to function.  It also has all the problems of pollution-producing CO2.

This is the table of EPBTs for two of the technologies used in PV:

from https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/35489.pdf


Note that the best 2 of the four are "anticipated" figures, so are only estimates.  Since these reduce the multicrystalline figures from 3.7 to 2.1 years - a 44% decrease, and for thin film 3.0 to 1.1 - a 64% decrease, one is forced to ask:  How are these decreases to be achieved?

Note also that a significant part of the figure is "Balance of System" and this is not defined.  It should include (but doesn't) the energy cost of putting electrical contractors up on your roof to do the installing, so should include how far they have to travel to get to your roof.  Also missing are how far the raw materials/PV panels have to be transported from silica mining to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer.  This is called cheating on system boundaries.

The assumed lifetime of the panels is 30 years although you probably won't get a guarantee of that, but an EPBT of 3.7 on a Lifetime of 30 Years means an ERoEI of 8.1, which is about 3 times as good as is generally believed to be the case. An EPBT of 1.1 means an ERoEI of 27.3, or about 10 times the common estimates.

The NREL article says:
Quote
Based on models and real data, the idea that PV cannot pay back its energy investment is simply a myth.

But this is a straw man argument, NOBODY is suggesting the ERoEI is less than 1.

I don't know about you, but my suspicious mind is beginning to doubt the authenticity of this NREL document, so looking at the metadata of the PDF file, we find it was written by S. Renfrow in 2004.  The article AG posted was by Jake Richardson, whose website contains nothing but some nice photographs of rainforests, which I thoroughly approve of.

So the chain of authenticity is: an article written in ?unknown? by someone who likes rainforests, citing a 2004 paper by S. RenFrow and misleading on system boundaries, is reprinted in CleanTechnica in 2018, and it claims (incorrectly) to substantiate that anti-PV people are lying, so AG likes that and posts it to DD without reading or understanding it.

Palloy is wrong AGAIN. For YEARS, including by RE himself on this very forum, MANY people were claiming PV systems COULD NOT generate more energy during their useful life than that required to manufacture them.

AND, though the figures for payback do not extend to 30 years (BECAUSE THEY DON'T NEED TO!), there is PUBLISHED EMPIRICAL evidence of the SHORT energy payback time making them SUPERIOR to dirty energy, as the article you failed to completely quote makes CRYSTAL CLEAR!

I find it absolutely telling that Palloy could not resist posting on this, while he continues to be quiet as DEATH about the pollution costs of fossi lfuels that make their published ERoEI figures a sick joke. I guess Palloy thinks pollution costs are "irrelevant". LOL!

Hypocrite!  :emthdown:

And let us not forget Palloy's TYPICAL attempts to cast DOUBT on the veracity of published data on efficency of renewables, as he tries to do in regard to PV systems in the article I posted.

This  is exactly the MO used by the fossil fuel industry. You are SO predictatble, Palloy.   

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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #275 on: March 29, 2018, 10:03:00 pm »
Quote
AG: I guess Palloy thinks pollution costs are "irrelevant". LOL!

Hypocrite!

The pollution costs of FFs are not irrelevant to the ecology of the planet, but are not included in the system boundaries for the ERoEI of PV question because they are not energy invested or received in PV.  Capitalism claims the atmosphere is an externality, so you can dump CO2 in it for free.  We are a long way from changing that.

Really? My, my, if it wasn't for your willingness to clear up my "misunderstandings", I might have never known about Capitalism and ERoEI and all those other areas you are such a "world class expert" on.  ::)

I have posted SEVERAL times over all those issues over the years, Palloy, what liars claim about this and that has no bearing on the laws of thermodynamics, greenhouse gases, energy payback time and REAL WORLD ERoEI.

Even the ERoEI figures for nuclear and coal and natural gas and other fossil fuels are totally fabricated exercises in happy talk bullshit, though you are also quiet as DEATH on those realities. Just the energy AND pollution produced to build the concrete towers on a nuclear power plant alone knock out any ERoEI or "carbon neutral" claims for nuclear power, even before the mining and refining of yellow cake and the manufacture of fuel rods and the storing of used fuel rods for a CENTURY or so are figured in.

Oh, but you don't like to talk about those "inconveniences", do you? It's a "tough world", RIGHT?

Do you know how much energy it takes to strip out the oxygen from crude oil (there is a LOT of OXYGEN in that "hydrocarbon" when in crude form) before they begin the refining process? No, you don't. And, GUESS WHAT, the 500 plus degrees F they need to cook that crude in while they get rid of the oxygen is NOT EVER considered "part of the ERoEI" of gasoline. HOW CONVENIENT!

And, my, how "thermodynamically" MATHEMATICALLY "logical" it is to claim that the fuel used by tankers in the ocean and on the highways to get the hydrocarbons to refining points and customer gasoline stations is "irrelevant" to oil ERoEI.

Also, all those subsidies for "national security" which are SUBTRACTED from the cost of the exploration and exploitation MONETARY INVESTMENT for the machines that expend ENERGY (you know, the ENERGY that is INVESTED) to get the crude are also "just part of Capitalism NON-externalities" to help those poor fossil fuel loyal servants get Da Job Done. LOL!

I could spend all day explaining to you what a BAD, SICK JOKE the ERoEI figures for fossil fuels have been from the beginning, but you would dance around with your "externality" claims and such.

And then, when you are tired of all this reality about GAME OVER for humanity with the continued burning of fossil fuels, you would retire to your "Collapse will save us" meme.  ::)

So just keep using those fossil fuels because we, uh, are a long way from all that renewable energy stuff workin' out. Don't worry about those Greenhouse gases! Ya gotta believe me, collapse will save us from Catastrophic climate Change!



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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #276 on: April 05, 2018, 09:34:35 pm »

Solar basics: What causes solar panel degradation? ???

Crystalline solar panel performance declines as solar cells degrade due to unavoidable circumstances like UV exposure and weather cycles, but there are other outside forces that contribute to panel degradation and possible failure.

Article and video:

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/featured-solar-power-video/
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #277 on: April 05, 2018, 10:27:07 pm »
How the solar industry is responding to the increasing intensity of natural disasters

By Kelly Pickerel | January 29, 2018

Weather patterns have always been considered when determining solar system lifetimes and performance. Safety is also considered when establishing installation guidelines and product standards. The recent intensity of natural disasters across the country—a direct result of climate change—brings the adequacy of safety and performance standards into question. Are solar installations prepared for the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events of the future?

For the most part, it seems like we’re faring OK. When bad weather hits, there are more solar success stories than major failures. Rooftop arrays are surviving multiple hurricane hits and panels barely feel hailstorms. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned as natural disasters get worse.

Global safety and testing organization UL is paying attention. A good baseline for product standards today may need to be adjusted in the future. UL factors the full lifespan of a project, including any potential climate changes in year 20 or 35, into how arrays should perform.

Root causes of solar PV claims in North America between 2011 and 2015 (Source: GCube)

“We certainly look at safety margins and evaluate if they’re adequate for potential changes in weather events,” said Bruce Bailey, vice president of renewable energy for UL. “We don’t see any chinks in the armor or fatal flaws [right now], but there needs to be an industry awareness of these issues, and there’s clearly a willingness to respond to them.”

We’re seeing the greater impact of disastrous weather every day. Renewable insurance provider GCube found that 50% of solar claims (from 2011 to 2015) came from weather-related incidents, far outpacing the electrical failures we’ve come to expect most.

“Average solar claims severity in the last five years has increased by 87%, predominantly as a result of the greater impact of weather-related losses,” GCube said in its 2016 Cell, Interrupted report.

Clearly extreme weather is affecting the solar industry already. Here’s a look at how solar installations are coping with natural disasters today and how we’ll survive severe events of the future.

Wildfires 🔥

Huge sections of California felt the increased intensity of wildfires last year, and it feels unrealistic to expect a solar array to make it through the flames when entire homes are destroyed. But what is expected is that solar panels won’t contribute to a fire or be a danger to the surrounding area.

UL technician Demetrius Preston tests a solar panel to UL 1703 standards. (Source: SPW)

When traveling in the San Francisco Bay area, Solar Power World editors heard stories of residential solar panels exploding into pieces after the wildfires across Northern California in October 2017. Suddenly solar panels installed in fire-prone areas seemed like a dangerous decision.

If those exploding solar panel stories were true, they were probably freak accidents and not a result of poor solar panel standards, said UL principal engineer Ken Boyce.

“Fire is a living thing—it eats, it consumes fuel, it breathes, it needs to consume oxygen and it doesn’t want to die. When you bring that to bear on any piece of electrical equipment or building material, you can have a different range of responses,” he said. “That experience [of exploding panels] may have to do more with the intensity of the wildfire than the response of the PV panels to a particular condition.”

UL testing has done a good job making sure panels and mounting systems won’t encourage the spread of flames. It’s difficult to even find statistics on solar panels involved with fires, let alone starting or spreading them. Still, major fire events aren’t downplayed when building a safe and reliable industry.

“It’s the type of thing that we monitor,” said Boyce, who participates in SEIA’s Codes & Standards Working Group. “We talk about these types of things all the time to make sure we’re bringing the right thought to the building and fire codes and the electrical codes and that we’re managing that interface with product standards.”



Hurricanes  and tornadoes

While Puerto Rico and other islands saw unbelievable destruction from the 2017 hurricane season, one piece of good news shined through the devastation—a 645-kW array on a medical center roof in San Juan survived and was functioning at 100%. Florida-based contractor Valor Construction installed the system at the VA Caribbean Healthcare System in 2015 using Sollega ballasted mounting systems supported by Anchor Products attachments.

This 645-kW system survived Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico because of roof attachments. (Source: Sollega)

The key to that installation’s success (and many others across the Caribbean) was its use of attachments, said Anchor Products president Joel Stanley.

“When you have an attached system, it’s just not going to move. It can’t; it’s attached,  he said. “Racking manufacturers are adapting racking systems that better accommodate attachments. When attachments are designed properly with the proper racking system, we can design wind load capacities to easily exceed 200 mph.”

Racking manufacturers becoming more comfortable with attachments is a result of experience in the industry and a commitment to tested and verified systems. The trend toward better testing and engineering of systems will continue to improve system success rates in hazardous weather areas.

“It comes down to engineering and designing systems properly,” Stanley said. “If structural engineers can maintain control, we’ll be able to design systems that withstand the forces that Mother Nature is going to have. We’ve done a lot of individual testing with Sollega; they have understood the results and that’s what’s allowed them to design systems like they did in Puerto Rico and St. Maarten and those jobs that have withstood so well.”

Not every system escaped Hurricane Maria unscathed. Damaged panels, frames and mounts are seen at the 24-MW Illumina solar plant in Puerto Rico. (Source: Maria Gallucci/IEEE Spectrum)

On the ground, solar arrays can still be at risk of wind damage. Trackers have gotten better at handling high-wind events because of improved designs and advanced sensors. Instead of depending on heavy steel to keep systems in place, control sensors can optimize stow angles in relation to wind strength to safely position tracking arrays during storms.

“It is always a challenge to face extreme climatic conditions,” said José Alfonso Teruel, R&D manager for tracker manufacturer Soltec. “Our R&D team has re-designed the control electronics, and a new high-speed motor design moves the tracker from the maximum tilt (60˚) to the horizontal position (0˚) in less than three minutes for rapid stowing.”

Residential solar installations in tornado zones are also surviving because of good product selection and common-sense engineering.

“We make a point to select quality equipment and install with good craftsmanship to resist the heavy weather we get in our area, but there will always be outlier events that cannot be planned for,” said Chris Rogge, director of solar services for Cromwell Solar in Lawrence, Kansas—an area known for its higher concentration of tornadoes. “We did have a system take a glancing blow from a tornado, and it stayed in place. A few panels were punctured by flying metal debris, but so was the metal roof of that building.”

Flying debris does seem to be the larger concern. Even when a solar mounting system does its job and keeps panels mounted to roofs and the ground, an airborne lawn chair or rock could be what pulls a system down. In those situations, homeowner’s insurance should take care of the damaged panels.

Hailstorms

It’s also difficult to hide from hail. An April 2016 hailstorm in Texas damaged 4,000 panels at a 4.4-MW site. Baseball-sized hail hit Alamo 2 solar farm near San Antonio, and some panels saw multiple points of impact. The tracking system stowed horizontally when high winds came through, but that left the panels more exposed to falling hail. It was ultimately decided to replace all 18,000 panels in case there were undetected microcracks.

Just one PV panel out of more than 3,000 was damaged at NREL following a spring 2017 hailstorm. (Source: NREL)

Texas Green Energy was hired to replace the panels, and president Adam Burke said he wanted to prove to solar naysayers that damaged panels only have to be a slight inconvenience.

“I wanted to prove a point that these things happen and there are mechanisms in place to repair this just like anything else,” he said. “It’s minor downtime and the whole plant is renewed and restored.”

Freak accidents aside, hail damage is not a huge concern. NREL analyzed 50,000 solar systems installed between 2009 and 2012 and found the probability of damage from hail was below 0.05%. Solar panels are tested and certified to withstand 25-mm (1-in.) in diameter hailstones flying at 23 m/s (51 mph). And for the most part, hail doesn’t often fall larger or faster than that.

“We do get our fair share [of hail] around here. We’ve probably seen less than five panels with visible hail damage, though. We have seen great coverage from these customers by homeowner’s insurance,” said Cromwell Solar’s Rogge. “We had a good amount of hail this past spring, but it just led to a lot of removal and reinstallations for roof replacements. The arrays have been fine.”

Blizzards ❄  ☃   

Earlier this winter, Erie, Pennsylvania, received an astounding 65 in. of snow in 60 hours—34 in. came on Christmas Day alone. While communities in the Great Lakes’ snowbelt are used to heavy snow, this was still a record-breaking event. No one wants 5 ft of snow sitting on top of solar panels.

Soltec trackers shed snow at a 150-MW installation in Minnesota. (Source: Soltec)

The weight of that snow will probably not harm a solar array, especially since tilted solar panels help to shed snow blankets (just watch your head below). Buffalo, New York’s CIR Electrical Construction always includes partial snow cover in customer solar production plans, and the installation company tells its customers to just let nature do its thing.

“We do not recommend our customers to clear snow off their panels,” said Ashley Regan, director of business development for CIR. “Using a shovel, brush or similar item could damage your panels and system. Your system warranties do not cover any c r a c k e d glass or disturbed electrical wiring that may result from a homeowner trying to remove snow, so it’s best to let them be.”

CIR installs solar year-round and can often be found shoveling snow off roofs and using leaf blowers to warm roofing shingles before beginning work. That’s where snow affects solar most: installation speed.

“Winter and other intensive weather conditions may slow down installation time due to additional steps and safety precautions,” Regan said. “If it’s too cold we don’t force our staff to stay out, especially on the roof. In severely bitter cold, we try to do inside work, including mounting the balance of system, mounting inverters, interior conduit runs and structural attic work if necessary.”

CIR uses power optimizers so each panel can produce independently, which helps with shading from snow coverage. The company also prefers elevated flashing to increase water mitigation from penetrations in case of heavy snowfall.

Snow is just as common as rain, and building codes and product tests account for that. While no one wants great amounts of snow to fall in a short period of time, the good news is that it’s not a permanent weight solar panels have to carry. Snow melts eventually.

Floods 💧🌊

Rising sea level maps show southern sections of Florida swallowed by the effects of global warming by as soon as 2100. New buildings in Miami are preparing for increased water and storm surge. The plaza level of the new Frost Museum of Science sits 21 ft, 8 in. above sea level, and the 66-kW solar system on its roof should never experience flood waters.

A NEXTracker system in Virginia experienced flood waters after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, but appropriate flood clearance design ensured the system was unharmed. (Source: NEXTracker)

For those unplanned, temporary floods, solar developers are adapting. Mauricio Añón, brand ambassador at utility-scale contractor Inovateus Solar, said civil engineers will suggest raising array heights or redirecting flooding channels to allow for ground-mounts to work in floodplains, but it really comes down to costs.

“We get an audit when there is land with potential problems,” he said. “Sometimes [the solution] is just finding different land or a different place and moving the project. If the outcome is not promising, you don’t want to do all that work and not have the warranties [for system protection].”

Executives with Soltec claim that its SF7 tracker has the highest mounting height for the tracking motor and electronics in the industry at a minimum of 5.9 ft, which should keep equipment high enough even in floodplain applications. Soltec also uses torque tubes to protect wires from external threats. Flood-level sensors will activate a tracker to adjust to safe angles in case water levels start to rise.

“The standard height of the tracker, together with additional sensors and an improved tracker control algorithm, allow the tracker rotation to adjust to the flood stage and prevent the tracker from the harmful action of water runoffs while the plant keeps functioning,” said Soltec’s Teruel.

For residential installations, flood waters affect the inverter more than the panels.

“The flooding that we normally see is a few feet and typically will not reach the solar inverter that is wall-mounted on our homes,” said David Dixon, business development manager for Texas installer NATiVE. “Because homeowners are not typically building in flood plains, this has not been a major issue for us, yet.

“I do see this becoming more problematic with coastal installations and the more and more frequent occurrence of extreme weather that we see,” Dixon continued. “Because our equipment is up on walls and roofs, it is usually out of harm’s way. I am beginning to think about battery systems though, which are typically heavy and mounted on grade. They will be vulnerable to even minor flooding events.”

Richard Sherwood with Houston-based installer Adaptive Solar said the region’s four days of heavy rain (peak accumulations reached 60.58 in.) from Hurricane Harvey in late August 2017 really opened up the conversation of battery backup.

“I was bracing for the worst; I didn’t think anyone would be looking at solar for the next three months. [The hurricane] has piqued interest, and we’re seeing a lot more leads but almost exclusively with the battery backup right now,” he said.

Where to house these energy storage technologies may be the next big concern when considering disastrous weather.

As extreme weather events continue to plague the United States, solar installers will have to keep innovating to ensure systems last through hurricanes, hail and tornadoes. Perhaps an increase in solar panel installations will mean a decrease in climate change and wild weather, but only time will tell.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Pickerel is managing editor of Solar Power World.


https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/01/solar-industry-responding-increasing-intensity-natural-disasters/
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #278 on: April 07, 2018, 06:50:13 pm »
Agelbert COMMENT: I like these solar panels due to their ease of installation but I would not recommend them for a place that would experience hurricane force winds. In the video they mention that they can handle 115 mph winds. That means that in high wind prone areas these panels would require stronger attachment hardware to properly secure them to the roof.

Beamreach solar panels

$0.41/Watt Container
 
280 Watt 60 Cell Mono
25 Year Warranty
 
$0.41/Watt 728 per container 
$0.48/Watt 26 per pallet
$0.58/Watt less than pallet

Watch the video about the Beamreach solar panels
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #279 on: April 07, 2018, 07:53:13 pm »
Best Renewable Energy Projects In the World You've Never Seen Before


Richard Aguilar

Published on Jan 11, 2018
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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #280 on: April 08, 2018, 01:58:36 pm »
Agelbert COMMENT: I like these solar panels due to their ease of installation but I would not recommend them for a place that would experience hurricane force winds. In the video they mention that they can handle 115 mph winds. That means that in high wind prone areas these panels would require stronger attachment hardware to properly secure them to the roof.

Beamreach solar panels

$0.41/Watt Container
 
280 Watt 60 Cell Mono
25 Year Warranty
 
$0.41/Watt 728 per container 
$0.48/Watt 26 per pallet
$0.58/Watt less than pallet

Watch the video about the Beamreach solar panels
looks like they cut the weight from the racking and ballast. Nothing new in the cells themselves. I don't like the stick on mounts that is the cleanest roof I've ever seen! Good for southern flat roofs not built for snow loads. I'd have to see pricing to figure out if it's worth the premium

I don't like that stick on system either. If you find out more about these Beamreach panels and their pricing, please post about it here.  8)
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #281 on: April 25, 2018, 02:46:49 pm »
China Installs Nearly 10 Gigawatts Of Solar In First Quarter, Up 22%

April 24th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill

China’s National Energy Administration announced on Tuesday that the country installed an impressive 9.65 gigawatts (GW) of new solar PV capacity in the first quarter of 2018, up 22% on the same period a year earlier and up on analysts’ projections.

At a press conference held on Tuesday, China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) published new data revealing the country’s solar PV performance for the first quarter. The data comes to us courtesy of Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory, (AECEA), based in Beijing, which covers the Chinese solar industry closer than many non-Chinese analysts are capable of doing.

Apple Solar Farm in China

Specifically, China installed a total of 9.65 GW worth of new solar PV capacity in the first quarter, made up of 1.97 GW worth of utility-scale solar capacity, and 7.68 GW worth of distributed solar capacity. This represents a 22% increase on the same quarter a year earlier, however, this doesn’t tell the whole story.

Frank Haugwitz, Director of the AECEA, explained that China’s utility-scale segment actually decreased by 64% in the first quarter, as compared to a year earlier, while the country’s distributed solar segment increased by a mind-boggling 217%.

AECEA also hinted at the fact that grid curtailment issues, which have plagued China’s solar industry for several years now, is beginning to improve — especially in regions such as Xinjiang and the province of Gansu, where grid curtailment levels in 2017 had stayed above 20% for the whole year.

It’s a strong start to the year for China’s solar industry, which broke all sorts of records in 2017 by installing a massive 52.83 GW worth of solar capacity after a year of repeated revisions to analyst expectations. Looking forward, there is no communal agreement on how much solar China will install in 2018, but AECEA currently expects China to install between 40 GW and 45 GW.  :o   

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/04/24/china-installs-nearly-10-gigawatts-of-solar-in-first-quarter-up-22/
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #282 on: April 26, 2018, 02:13:48 pm »
India Beats North America, Europe, & Japan In 2017 Solar Additions

April 24th, 2018 by Saurabh Mahapatra

Those aggressive auction timelines by the central and several state governments in India have finally resulted in the Asian giant taking the limelight in the global solar power market.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), India overtook the continents of North America and Europe, as well as Japan, in terms of solar power capacity added during 2017. This is no mean feat given these continents and countries have several times India’s installed solar power capacity.


India added 9,628 megawatts of solar power capacity in 2017, up from 4,251 megawatts in 2016. The United States added 8,173 megawatts of solar power capacity last year compared to 11,274 megawatts in 2016. The total solar power capacity added in North America (the United States, Canada, and Mexico) was 8,584 megawatts.

All the countries in Europe added a cumulative 5,912 megawatts last year, while Japan added 7,000 megawatts, down from 8,300 megawatts in 2016. We had reported last year that India would be likely to overtake Japan as the third-largest solar power market in terms of new capacity added. However, the slowdown in capacity addition in the United States has put India right behind China.

India is third in Asia in terms of operational solar power capacity, behind China and Japan. China added just over 53 gigawatts of solar power capacity in 2017, and retained the leadership position. Just over 72 gigawatts of solar power capacity was added in all of the Asian countries.

Globally, a total of 93,752 megawatts of solar power capacity was added last year. [

India could manage to beat some of the most developed solar power markets globally due to the government’s thrust to push solar power as a major source of power generation. The central government set very ambitious solar power targets which percolated to the states.


India plans to hold auctions for 30 gigawatts of solar power capacity each in FY2018-19 and FY2019-20 in an attempt to reach the 100 gigawatt operational solar power capacity target by March 2022.

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/04/24/india-beats-north-america-europe-japan-in-2017-solar-additions/

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #283 on: May 05, 2018, 06:51:56 pm »


May 3, 2018

The Puerto Rican Families Who've Gone Off the Grid

SNIPPET 1:

When Puerto Rico went dark a couple weeks ago, Mayra Nieves Rosa didn’t even notice. She was too wrapped up working from her home office in the San Juan metro area. It’s not like her lights went out. 

You see, the sun powers Rosa’s home—enough of it, at least. Any time the lights go out across the island, her nine solar panels keep her at-home office and fridge energized. Rosa and her partner are among a growing number of Puerto Ricans who went off the grid after Hurricane Maria, and aren’t looking back.


SNIPPET 2:

“There’s an understanding around the necessity to embrace a new energy source,” said Arturo Massol, a director at the organization, to Earther in Spanish. “People understand there’s a need. I think people understand it more now that they’ve suffered.”

Massol said he’s seen more panels pop up around the island since the hurricane—both thanks to Casa Pueblo’s initiative and through other private and nonprofit efforts.

In March, Casa Pueblo gifted a solar system to a family in Adjuntas to support 88-year old Martina Santana, who suffers from a respiratory illness, and whose medicine requires refrigeration.

“When I found out that Casa Pueblo was going to give her this system because ‘she deserves that and more,’ I felt like it was a fairytale,” said Martin Santana, her son who lives in the home with his mother and older sister, to Earther. “And, then, the next day, three people came and brought me six solar panels, two batteries and a system to operate them.”

Full article:

https://earther.com/the-puerto-rican-families-whove-gone-off-the-grid-1825722603
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #284 on: May 08, 2018, 08:15:49 pm »


Uzbekistan Takes Giant Leap for Climate Goals with 1-GW Solar Project

May 4, 2018

By Jennifer Delony [Associate Editor]

Uzbekistan
         
Toronto-based SkyPower today said it has reached an agreement to build 1 GW of solar power generation throughout Uzbekistan, bringing the country’s renewable generation to 10 percent of total generating capacity.

Uzbekistan in April 2017 submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change with a commitment to “bring up the share of solar energy in the total energy balance of the country to 6 percent by 2030.” The 10 percent total generating capacity that will result from the new agreement will be made up of 2 percent existing hydropower generation and 8 percent solar generation, SkyPower said.

Uzbekistan and SkyPower also signed the first power purchase agreement in the country’s history, according to SkyPower. The agreement makes SkyPower the first independent power producer in the history of Uzbekistan, working closely with state-owned utility company Uzbekenergo, the company said.

“This is a historic partnership that will benefit both the Government of Uzbekistan and SkyPower, and we are happy to be building Uzbekistan’s first solar power installation,” SkyPower CEO Kerry Adler said in a statement. “President Mirziyoyev’s forward-thinking vision for Uzbekistan, along with the commitment of the Deputy Prime Ministers and the leadership of the National Project Management Office in concert with Uzbekenergo leadership, together have really helped move this project forward.”

According to Uzbekistan’s NDC, the country is one of the most vulnerable to climate change.

“Without additional resource saving measures, the country may face deficiency of water resources, growth in land desertification and degradation, increase in occurrence of droughts and other dangerous phenomena, leading to instability of agricultural production and threatening to the country’s food security,” the NDC said.

Arian Zwegers | Flickr

The NDC referenced the unprecedented losses of the Aral Sea, which lies partially along Northern Uzbekistan: “The Aral Sea, once the unique and one of the most beautiful and largest inland water bodies in the world, has turned out to be at the edge of total disappearance during the life of one generation. This has caused unprecedented disaster and irreversible damage to the local population, ecosystem and biodiversity of the Priaralie.”

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/05/uzbekistan-takes-giant-leap-for-climate-goals-with-1gw-solar-project.html
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