Solar Power International’s Educational Posters Offer a Deep Dive into Solar’s Most Technical Topics

The Educational Posters at SPI this year were on display on the second floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center and this year the area was as busy as ever. The area included more than 100 individual posters that featured groundbreaking solar projects, research, and educational programs. This years’ fan favorites represent some of solar’s top innovative companies and informative topics. Enjoy!


Markets: Facilitating Sustainable Solar Energy Growth Through Field Service

Thomas Enzendorfer, Director, Fronius USA, Solar Energy Division

The true lifetime costs associated with solar ownership, replacement and repairs of a solar inverter are examined based on the type of inverter chosen as well as a time span of 25-30 years.

Fronius compared three systems with three different types of inverters: Field serviceable string inverters, traditional string inverters, and microinverters to determine the extended cost factor for each.

Download the poster here.


Policy & Regulation: Encouraging Solar PV Development Through Renewable Energy Tariffs for Large Utility Customers: Key Considerations and Emerging Practices   

Autumn Proudlove, Policy Analyst, NC Clean Energy Technology Center

Utilities can offer a special rate option to larger revenue-generating customers that are looking to source all or a portion of their electricity from a renewable energy source. These customers can opt in to a tariff program and pay a higher premium in order to support utility-owned or utility-produced third-party development of new renewable energy projects.

This approach encourages reduced costs, customer retention, expanded access as well as environmental improvements.

Download the poster here.


Storage: Optimizing Solar Energy Supply with Hybrid Energy Storage Systems

Wolfgang Beez, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Maxwell Technologies

With increasing amounts of intermittent power generation such as wind and solar, other power resources are necessary to respond and compensate quickly for grid stabilization. Today’s energy storage technology is challenged to provide fast response, voltage and power stabilization, firm power output as well as store energy for peak demand.

A Hybrid Energy Storage System (HESS) is best suited to provide fast response and backup energy in one system solution at lower initial investment costs and low maintenance costs by extending battery life.

Download the poster here.


Technology: PVSYST Post Processing – A Vital Approach to Plant Performance Analysis

Saurabh Chatterjee, Solar Engineer, RES Americas Inc

An in-depth look at a new post processing method to analyze plant performance, known as PVSYST post processing.

Using real field data, this poster includes techniques and processes to analyze the data collected from SCADA, which can then be used to compare the simulated energy yield and the actual measured conditions. It includes detailed steps to import and use data in PVSYST. This process allows for the opportunity to check the data and review the accuracy to determine a pass/fail. 

Download the poster here.


Utility & Grid Integration: Analytical Studies for Interconnection of Solar Generation

Saeed Kamalinia, Senior Engineer, S&C Electric Company

Using a series of studies throughout the stages of a solar project, stakeholders are able to ensure reliable and cost-effective interconnection of solar plants and the electrical grid.

These studies are important to ensure that the solar plant does not have adverse impacts on the grid and that federal and local requirements are met. Developers, utilities, financial institution, investors and regulators are all involved in the three-phase process, which includes the pre-project, during-the-project and post-project phases.

Download the poster here.


Finance & Business: Using the Seven Forms of Waste and Critical Path Method to Lower Residential Solar Soft Costs

Pamela Cargill, Principal and Founder, Chaolysti

Soft costs continue to be a concern for the residential solar market. According to a report published by NREL in December 2013, 64 percent of the costs of residential solar are soft costs. In order to remain competitive, residential solar market leaders are trying to reduce these costs, yet some of the methods are not appropriate for smaller installers. In some cases, a smaller installers business model does not follow the trends of the larger groups such as the DOE/SunShot.

This poster proposes using the Critical Path Method to identify wasteful steps so that installers can use a more individualized approach to identify their cost savings to increase their ROI.

Download the poster here.

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Former editor of I hold a MA in Professional Writing and BA in English from the University of Massachusetts and a certificate in Professional Communications: Writing from Emerson College.

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