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Case Study: SolarEdge7600 Energy Production
Jul21

Case Study: SolarEdge7600 Energy Production

A 10.2 kW system using the SolarEdge 7600 Inverter was evaluated to compare the actual production against the production estimates produced by the layout design tool. The system evaluated was commissioned to operate since February, so the production values were compared from February to June of the year 2016. The results show that the estimates are very close to the actual production values. The system produced about 3.5% more than the estimates show overall in the time period from February to June. The results also show that the system actually produces about 3.5% percent more overall than the estimates in the PV layouts. This shows that the estimates attained via the PVWatts government website through our design tool are indeed accurate. The case study also shows that the SolarEdge 7600 Inverter is capable of handling a 10 kW system.   Equipment: 40x Gigawatt 255W Solar Panels 40x SolarEdge P300 Power Optimizers 1x SolarEdge 7.6kW Inverter w/ Zigbee Wireless Monitoring Location: Camaloa Avenue,Lake View Terrace CA...

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Arizona: Last call for solar?
Jul14

Arizona: Last call for solar?

Opposition to the solar industry in Arizona by its largest privatized public utility company could effectively eliminate monetary incentives for homeowners that aren’t grandfathered in under current rates.   For the past three years, Arizona Public Service has fought relentlessly to either eliminate or reduce net-metering credits and incur additional costs on solar homeowners in the state.   This past July the company filed for a solar rate review with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), increasing new solar homeowner’s bill by an average of $133 and seeking to end net-metering.   What separates APS’s recent efforts from attempts in the past, is that it has positioned politicians into some of the five elected seats on the ACC.   The move, however, did not go unnoticed: State news outlets slammed the ACC for its allegedly shading dealings, bringing it under scrutiny from the FBI.   Still, if history is any indication, it’s that the APS is not one to back down. In 2013, the utility company was the first successful one in the United States to impose discriminatory charges on solar customers. Sources indicate that the APS’s current attack has a good chance of getting its desired legislation moved through the ACC, all current commissioners, of which, are Republicans.   If there is a bright side to this dark period Arizona solar homeowners are facing, it’s that the proposed bill would not be retroactive. This means that changes to the state’s net metering and additional rates would not go into effect until July 2017, giving solar homeowners and homeowners thinking of changing to solar the chance to be grandfathered in under the old benefits for 20...

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Burbank residents can make bank on extended rebates
Jul07

Burbank residents can make bank on extended rebates

In an effort to inspire solar savvy residents to generate more power during afternoon hours, the city of Burbank, CA has rolled out a new solar rebate program that lasts until July 31 and gives money to homeowners if they point their panels westward. In the Northern Hemisphere, south facing panels produce 10% more electricity than their west facing counterparts. As the sun sets in the evening, however, west facing solar arrays are able to milk the last of the sun’s rays and produce more electricity during the critical hours of 4-7pm, when Burbank’s energy consumption is at its peak. This graph illustrates the difference of solar energy production on March 31, 2016: To qualify for the Burbank’s rebate program in California, a home’s panels need to fall within the span of 200-270 degrees and have a minimum tilt of 5 degrees. If you’re a solar homeowner or considering becoming one in California, the city allows rebates for portions of systems that meet its requirements. You can go to this link to find out how much money the city will give you. Like the majority of rebate programs, this one is open only for a short time, until the end of the month or when funding is exhausted. You can start the rebate process by emailing Burbank’s Solar Support program manager, Alfred Antoun...

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World’s Oldest Solar Power Plant
Jun27

World’s Oldest Solar Power Plant

When it comes to having the “world’s oldest”…well, anything, California doesn’t hold many distinctions.     Somewhere hidden in the state’s White Mountains there’s a 5,068 year old tree that’s the world’s oldest bristlecone pine.   and somewhere in Downey there’s the world’s oldest McDonald’s. But conifers and Big Macs aside, California also has the distinction for housing the world’s first and oldest solar power plant, which was built way back in 1985. Owned and built by NextEra Energy Resources, the 354 MW facility houses nine operational solar plants, with the newest being completed in 1990. It facility covers 1,600 acres and houses nearly a million parabolic mirrors. According to NextEra, it can power over 230,000 homes during peak energy production. The plants, which are referred to as Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS), use panels that are different than the more commonly used photovoltaic ones, which transfer and store energy into batteries. Instead, the SEGS use mirrors that are 94% reflective (compared to typical mirrors with a 70% reflection rate) to direct the sun to heat a synthetic oil called Therminol. The focused light is nearly 80 times more powerful than normal sunlight. The heated oil then super-heats water, producing steam to power a turbine. The plant is estimated to displace about 3,800 tons of pollution per a year, which, when added up over the decades is a savings of about 60,000 tons of waste. So next time you’re driving through the Mojave desert and want to make a historical pit stop, check out the oldest solar fields in the world. And be sure to bring your sunglasses!...

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How to make more than rebate $ off your surplus energy
Jun23

How to make more than rebate $ off your surplus energy

In the old days, the days of the 20th century, we all used to be energy deficient and needed to rely on large companies to generate energy for us, paying them a premium for its use.   But now, at the dawn of the age of renewable energy, we’re beginning to generate our own energy, and during those times when we’re left with a surplus, there’s evolved new ways to use it.   We’re not just talking your standard Net Metering government rebates here. One company, Xcel Energy, has taken the idea of a renewable energy surplus one step further and created a program that, in essence, can be called an energy bank and pays an annual incentive.   If you’re lucky enough to live in the states of Minnesota, Colorado and New Mexico, you might know what we’re talking about.   Currently, these three states are the only ones in the US that Xcel Energy operates or, in the case of New Mexico, has operated in.   The idea is simple, a spokesperson for the company explained:   “When people produce excess electricity it gets put into solar bank. If they produce more every month, their credits will grow, and if they use more, they can draw from it.”   At the end of each year homeowners have the option to roll their saved energy hours over into the next year’s account to draw from, or can choose to get a check back for however much excess energy the have left stored in their account. Such novel performance based incentives are paying homeowners in New Mexico that use solar $0.08 per a KW hour for the next 10 years. And that’s in addition to the normal net metering and solar government rebates being dished out, resulting in some residents producing a positive cash flow for their energy consumption!   In Colorado, Xcel’s Solar Rewards Program, works on independent contracts with homeowners with rates that vary from person to person. And in New Mexico, Excel closed is program to new users in 2014 when the state Public Utilities announced it met its solar capacity.   After reading about how the company operates it appears that its state programs have a cap of solar depositors, which, once certain megawatt capacities are reached, it no longer becomes profitable for the company to store and sell off people’s excess energy.   People who managed to get a foot in before that window of opportunity closes, however, are able to reap the benefits of the annual payments for years until their contract...

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