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Interesting Technology Updates -Click on a title below

  • - A radical idea to get a high-renewable electric grid

    This is an interesting approach to optaining very high penetration of renewables such as photovoltaics and wind.  At present most large installations operate under Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) wherein the economics are based on a sell all output at predetermined prices. This contrasts with standalone systems wherein the system size Read More
  • - Breakthrough Batteries Powering the Era of Clean Electrification

    - Breakthrough Batteries Powering the Era of Clean Electrification Battery Storage Costs Drop Dramatically, Making Way to a New Era. A recent Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) report continues to confirm that clean electrification through batteries is advancing at impressive rates. Very interesting report: Breakthrough Batteries- Powering the Era of Clean Electrification Read More
  • - Interesting Technology

    An assortment of links to interesting information   Semiconductor Nanowires Could Double the Efficiency of Silicon Solar Cells A p/n semiconductor junction is not the only way of converting sunshine into useful electrical energy.  Light consists of a flow of photons of various energy levels (colors).  See this article-Solar Cells.  Nanowires Read More
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Interesting Videos

Arizona Corporation Commission to Hold Two Energy Rules Public Comment Sessions

PHOENIX – The Arizona Corporation Commission will be holding two telephonic oral proceedings next week to solicit public comment on its proposed Energy Rules. The telephonic oral proceedings will be held on Monday August 16 and Thursday August 19 at 10 a.m. Written public comments can be filed into the docket until August 20, 2021.

At a May 26, 2021 Special Open Meeting the Corporation Commission voted 3-2 to advance an amended package of Energy Rules. Due to the substantive changes made by various amendments, the rules are now moving through a supplemental rulemaking process which provides for additional public comment opportunities. Commission Utilities Division Staff will then file a response to comments received and a revised Economic Impact Statement by September 20, 2021. Following the Staff Report, an Administrative Law Judge will prepare a new Recommended Opinion and Order which will come back before the Commission for a final vote sometime this fall.

To participate in the oral proceedings, dial 1-888-450-5996, to speak use passcode 457395#, and to listen only use passcode 4208475#. You may file written comments into docket number RU-00000A-18-0284. To watch live visit azcc.gov/live.

PV Rapid Shutdown Signage- Phoenix

PhoenixFireLogo smThe City of Phoenix has issued further requirements on PV Rapid Shutdown Signage.  The fire code (2018 INTERNATIONAL FIRE CODE WITH PHOENIX AMENDMENTS) states exactly what these signs should say and exactly what they should look like.  Installers must ensure that the following rapid shutdown signage is in place before requesting an fire inspection.  Below is the code language and pictures of the signs.  

1204.5 Buildings with rapid shutdown. Buildings with rapid shutdown solar photovoltaic systems shall have permanent labels in accordance with Sections 1204.5.1 through 1204.5.3.

1204.5.1   Rapid   shutdown   type.   The   type   of   solar photovoltaic system rapid shutdown shall be labeled with one of the following:

1.    For solar photovoltaic systems that shut down the array and the conductors leaving the array, a label shall be provided. The first two lines of the label shall be uppercase characters with a minimum height of 3⁄8 inch (10 mm) in black on a yellow background. The remaining characters shall be uppercase with a minimum height of 3/16 inch (5 mm) in black on a white background. The label shall be in accordance with Figure 1204.5.1(1) and state the following:

SOLAR PV SYSTEM EQUIPPED WITH

RAPID SHUTDOWN. TURN RAPID

SHUTDOWN SWITCH TO THE “OFF”

POSITION TO SHUT DOWN PV SYSTEM

AND REDUCE SHOCK HAZARD IN ARRAY.

Phoenix Label 1

2. For photovoltaic systems that only shut down conductors leaving the array, a label shall be provided. The first two lines of the label shall be uppercase characters with a minimum height of 3/8 inch (10 mm) in white on a red background and the remaining characters shall be capitalized with a minimum height of 3/16 inch (5 mm) in black on a white back-ground.

THIS SOLAR PV SYSTEM EQUIPPED WITH

RAPID SHUTDOWN. TURN RAPID

SHUTDOWN SWITCH TO THE “OFF”

POSITION TO SHUT DOWN CONDUCTORS

OUTSIDE THE ARRAY. CONDUCTORS

WITHIN ARRAY REMAIN

ENERGIZED IN SUNLIGHT.

Phoenix Label 2

1204.5.1.1 Diagram. The labels in Section 1204.5.1 shall include a simple diagram of a building with a roof. Diagram sections in red signify sections of the solar photovoltaic system that are not shut down when the rapid shutdown switch is turned off.

1204.5.1.2 Location. The rapid shutdown label in Section 1204.5.1 shall be located not greater than 3 feet (914 mm) from the service disconnecting means to which the photovoltaic systems are connected, and shall indicate the location of all identified rapid shutdown switches if not at the same location.

1204.5.2 Buildings with more than one rapid shutdown type. Solar photovoltaic systems that contain rapid shutdown in accordance with both Items 1 and 2 of Section 1204.5.1 or solar photovoltaic systems where only portions of the systems on the building contain rapid shutdown, shall provide a detailed plan view diagram of the roof showing each different photovoltaic system and a dotted line around areas that remain energized after the rapid shutdown switch is operated.

1204.5.3 Rapid shutdown switch. A rapid shutdown switch shall have a label located not greater than 3 feet (914 mm) from the switch that states the following:

RAPID SHUTDOWN SWITCH

FOR SOLAR PV SYSTEM

Submitted by:

Brian Scholl

602-319-2297 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deputy Fire Marshal

Fire Prevention

Phoenix Fire Department

Too Much Renewable Energy in Australia?

Electric Utilities worldwide are experiencing problems with system management with large PV systems being added to their generation mix.

In Australia Nine more solar farms could have output cut to zero due to system strength issues

Earlier in Australia AEMO slashes output of five big solar farms by half due to voltage issues

The above articles reference additional similar problems.

In Arizona TEP has identified areas in there service territory that are already saturated with PV systems TEP PV Saturation Maps

Understanding your APS Connected Photovoltaic System- Net Metering

If you have a photovoltaic (PV) system connected to APS and do not have other monitoring of the PV system such as that provided by most inverter manufacturers, it is not easy to determine the solar production that corresponds with the monthly electric bill.  APS requires a solar production meter and this data is recorded and made available to the customer, but with a little difficulty.  The following example is based on the now grandfathered 'Net Metering' (rate rider EPR-6) wherein any excess PV production, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) is used to offset energy delivered by APS.  This method has been replaced by a system APS calls RCP, utility speak called 'Resource Comparison Proxy' (note that the APS website was developed by utility personnel using their view of the situation, not the customer view). The Solar Center intends to repeat the following procedure later with examples based on RCP.

Look at the recent example of an APS electric bill and see if you can determine the solar production:

APS web 6m

The APS bills show only that 186 kWh in this case was net metered.  The bill does not show the solar production that was directly used, to determine this one has to have an APS web account (free) and has to go online to learn more. There is a lot of data available.  Note the 'Meter reading' dates above, this will be used later to calculate the solar production. Using a browser such as you are using to view this article, go to https://www.aps.com/

There is presently a Capcha screen to prove that a person and not an automated computer is accessing the website.  Enter the requested data.  

APS web 1b

Enter your APS username/password then click login.  If you do not already have a username and password, click on 'register'. The following is typical.

APS web 1

Next select 'daily and hourly usage'.  Solar production is a subset of usage for some APS reason.

APS web 1a

There are four types of data available and a calendar to select the dates to view.  See the red instructions in the examples below.  In APS jargon 'received usage' is solar production. This screen shows the solar production graphically, good for seeing relative production that depends on the sunshine and to a lesser extent the air temperature. Clicking on the 'Day' tab will expand that day, otherwise a month (or the current month to date) is displayed.

APS web 2

This view shows the pattern of the energy drawn from APS.  Actual total usage at a specific time will be higher since PV system production will be used directly if there is enough usage at the specific instant.

APS web 3

 APS web 4

APS web 5

Note that on each of the above examples, there is a down arrow next to the 'for service at' section and that clicking on this down arrow shows a second service, the PV production Meter with an '*'. The address is blurred in this example. Select the line with the *.

APS web 11

The production data is displayed in two formats, a bar graph for the month, and a graphical format for the week.

Hal Jul 2019 PV

Hal Aug 2019 PV Hr

In order to get values for calculations, the monthly summary data needs to be downloaded as Excel files, usually for the two months that include the date range of the electric bill.  With the 'daily energy useage' tab selected, select the first month of the range (click on any date), then click on the 'download meter data' text link over the calendar.  This will download a file named 'Excel.xlsx' ( or Excel(y).xlsx where 'y' is a digit, added by your computer when 'Excel.xlsx' already exists).  A spreadsheet program is needed to open and view these files, Excel for example.  Select the 'daily energy usage' and 'delivered useage' tabs.  The Excel data will look like this:

APS web 8 The values for the billing date range, July 25 to August 23 in this example, need to be added.  This can be done with the spreadsheet program or manually.  In this example the sum is 711.5 kWh. This is not straight forward since the values shown are actually text and Excel can not directly add them.  Use the =value(cell) function in another column to convert the text to actual values.  Now that the actual solar production is known, the below  chart shows the relationship of these values.

APS web 9

The calculation of Home useage is (Solar Production) + (Purchased from APS) - (Sold or net metered to APS).

 

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  • Welcome to the Arizona Solar Center

     This is your source for solar and renewable energy information in Arizona. Explore various technologies, including photovoltaics, solar water heating, solar architecture, solar cooking and wind power. Keep up to date on the latest industry news. Follow relevant lectures, expositions and tours. Whether you are a homeowner looking to become more energy efficient, a student learning the science behind the technologies or an industry professional, you will find valuable information here.
  • About The Arizona Solar Center

    About The Arizona Solar Center Arizona Solar Center Mission- The mission of the Arizona Solar Center is to enhance the utilization of renewable energy, educate Arizona's residents on solar technology developments, support commerce and industry in the development of solar and other sustainable technologies and coordinate these efforts throughout the state of Arizona. About the Arizona Solar Center- The Arizona Solar Center (AzSC) provides a broad-based understanding of solar energy, especially as it pertains to Arizona. Registered Read More
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