The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Field Considerations for PV

In the quest to reach grid parity – generally defined as getting the cost of PV below $1/Watt – the focus has largely been on increasing cell and module efficiency, while reducing manufacturing costs. Another important aspect, however, is the cost of installation and maintenance, and the efficiency of the overall PV installation. A sharpened focus on the so-called "balance-of-systems", which includes wiring, switches, support racks, inverters and even the land, could result in significant cost savings.

In this issue of Photovoltaics World, Matt Denninger of Advance Energy Industries, describes how PV system operation and maintenance is often an overlooked factor by system designers (Read the Article). This isn’t rocket science: Issues such as unsealed enclosures and conduits, loose connections, and even damage caused by insects, reptiles and rodents can all detract from the performance of the PV system. It’s sobering to think about all the advanced technology being brought to bear on PV manufacturing, only for it to be derailed in the field by something as mundane as mouse droppings! The solution could be as simple as improved data collection and benchmarking.

This theme is continued in a second feature that delves into issues related specifically to inverters, including airflow/cooling, environmental protection, operations and maintenance concerns, and EMI shielding. Author Steven Leidig of Crenlo notes that the sun could be shining at optimum levels, but if the inverter is not converting that power to its full potential, the cost of that lost efficiency will be passed on to the end user (Read the Article).

While large, utility-level PV system installations are exciting in that they could lead to high growth for the PV industry, installations in rural areas are equally important. Srinivasamohan Narayanan of Hanwha SolarOne notes that the breakthrough of residential solar and mini-grid systems in the developing world may prove a more transformative event for the future of solar PV (Read the Article). Solar manufacturers should be prepared for surges in stand-alone system demand, independent of existing grid-tied demand, as the push for clean electric power increases in the developing world, he writes.

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now



Evaluating the Case for Module-Level Shutdown

Hannes Knopf With 2014 NEC adoption in full swing, many are anticipating what the next version of the code will hold for the PV in...

A Case Study in Energy-Transition Momentum

Tim King South Australia is clearly at the forefront of the global energy transition as it establishes a fast-moving model oth...

Listen Up: Can I Get Solar if my Roof is Shaded?

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World Rooftop solar panels only work when they are in direct sunlight. So if you have a partially shaded roof, the output o...

US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...


IREC Announces Changes in Regulatory Team

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), a not-for-profit organization which for...

Fronius Shifting the Limits in Solar-Plus: It’s not just about products, it’s about solutions.

Fronius USA, who just recently launched the all-new Fronius SnapINverter line this past...

Power Engineering and Renewable Energy World Magazines Name Projects of the Year Awards Finalists

Tulsa, Okla. and Nashua, N.H., Oct. 5, 2015 -- The editors of Power Engineering and Ren...

Solar Frontier's CIS Modules Selected For 14 MW Module Supply Agreement In The Midwestern US

Solar Frontier's advanced technology, CIS modules are selected for a 14 megawatt module...


ENER-G CHP technology selected for major London housing scheme

ENER-G has been selected to supply combined heat and power (CHP) technology for phase two of the Leopold Estate housi...


Necessity is the mother of innovation. Our planet is going through major changes in climate. This of course will affe...

New Study: Flexible Gensets Can Boost Solar- and Win-diesel Hybrid Solutions

The genset industry reacts to growing hybrid markets with a new approach that overcomes limitations of traditional ge...

New Hampshire Promotes Better Wood Heating

New Hampshire’s location in northern New England means that the winters are long and cold. Heating costs are hi...



Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Solar Power Northeast

  From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sol...

Solar Power Asset Management and Performance

SEIA and SEPA collaborated with industry leaders to present the first ev...


Fast facts: 4 things you need to know about the state of solar fina...

Fast facts: 4 things you need to know about the state of solar financing...

10 Questions You Should Be Asking

Tony Robbins is fond of saying that the quality of your life is directly...

Join us at the New Solar Power Northeast

From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sold out P...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now