You are previewing Introduction to Photovoltaic System Design.
O'Reilly logo
Introduction to Photovoltaic System Design

Book Description

Photovoltaic system design is both an art and a science. Good design requires the integration of many different forms of knowledge, including physics, aesthetics, business acumen, engineering, and architecture. It also requires a systems approach that combines and assimilates different technologies and structures. Good design is accomplished when art meets science to achieve higher-performance and more-efficient and effective systems. Introduction to Photovoltaic System Design provides readers with the knowledge they need to design high-performance PV systems. The text takes a systematic approach to designing PV, with emphasis on custom-design approaches for every system. Readers will encounter the latest, real-world information regarding site evaluations, strings and wire sizing, designing to code, PV components, and monitoring and testing. About the Series: The Photovoltaics (PV) industry stands on the brink of a revolution. The appeal of a new and growing industry has brought an influx of new PV professionals to the market, but the availability of educational resources has not kept pace with market demands. This gap has led to serious quality and performance issues that the industry will need to face in the decades ahead. The Art and Science of Photovoltaics series was developed to fill this education gap. Each book in the series goes beyond simple systematic processes by tackling performance challenges using a systems perspective. Readers do not learn PV design and installation steps in a vacuum; instead they gain the knowledge and expertise to understand interrelationships and discover new ways to improve their own systems and positively contribute to the industry.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Brief Contents
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
  7. Chapter 1 Introduction to Photovoltaic System Design
    1. Getting Started
      1. Overview of Photovoltaic Systems Development
      2. Components
      3. System Types
    2. PV Module and Circuit Design
      1. Identical Cells and Nonidentical Cells
      2. Nonidentical Modules
      3. Hot Spot Heating
      4. Module Structure
      5. Environmental Protection
      6. Thermal Considerations
      7. Mechanical Protection
      8. Degradation and Failure Modes
      9. Embodied Energy and Life Cycle Issues
    3. Conductors
    4. Insulators
    5. Semiconductors
    6. Types of Semiconductors
      1. Monocrystalline Silicon
      2. Multicrystalline Silicon
      3. Amorphous Silicon
      4. Solar Cell Manufacturing Techniques
      5. What You Need to Know About Contacts
      6. High-Performance Cells
      7. Concentrating Systems
      8. Solar Cell Types Comparison and Trends
    7. Rating Photovoltaic Modules
    8. Chapter 1 Summary
    9. Key Concepts and Terms
    10. Chapter 1 Assessment
  8. Chapter 2 System Design Considerations
    1. Effective and Ineffective PV Design
    2. The Path of the Sun
      1. Tilt and Rotation
      2. Incidence Angle
    3. Principles for Designing High-Quality PV Systems
      1. Load
      2. Suitability
      3. Site Adequacy
      4. Weather
      5. System Balance
      6. Additional Considerations
    4. Common PV System Design Types and Options
      1. Grid-Interactive PV Systems Without Storage
      2. Grid-Interactive PV Systems with Battery Storage
      3. Off-Grid PV Systems with Storage
      4. Autonomy
    5. Design Requirements
      1. Special Requirements of Grid-Connected PV Systems
    6. Chapter 2 Summary
    7. Key Concepts and Terms
    8. Chapter 2 Assessment
  9. Chapter 3 System Installation Considerations
    1. Installation Steps to Consider During the Design Phase
    2. Mounting Options
      1. Roof Mount
      2. Shade Structures
      3. Building-Integrated PV Arrays
    3. Estimating System Output
      1. Factors That Affect System Output
      2. System Energy Output Estimates
    4. Installation Labor Effort
    5. System and Supplier Qualifications
      1. Preengineered Systems
      2. Warranties
      3. Company Reputation
    6. Project Coordination
      1. Utility Considerations
      2. Performance Evaluations (Utility Commissioning)
      3. System Documentation
      4. System Monitoring
    7. Economic Analysis
      1. Incentives
      2. Estimating Utility Bill Savings
    8. Chapter 3 Summary
    9. Key Concepts and Terms
    10. Chapter 3 Assessment
  10. Chapter 4 Module Orientation, Tilt Angles, and Shading
    1. Microclimate, Shading Effect, and the Solar Window
    2. Shadow Types
    3. Shading Analysis
    4. Shading, System Concept, and PV Array Configuration
    5. Module Orientation and Tilt Angles
    6. Building Integration and Mounting Systems
      1. Roof Basics
      2. Sloping Roofs
      3. Flat Roof Systems
      4. Façades
    7. Chapter 4 Summary
    8. Key Concepts and Terms
    9. Chapter 4 Assessment
  11. Chapter 5 Solar Site Evaluation
    1. General Considerations
      1. Site Assessment
      2. Sun Hours
    2. Is This Site Adequate for PV?
      1. On-Site Visit and Site Survey
    3. Building Your Survey Checklists
      1. Customer Consultation
    4. Weather and PV Module Output
    5. Other Site Evaluation Considerations
      1. Insolation
      2. Space Requirements
      3. Economic Considerations
    6. Chapter 5 Summary
    7. Key Concepts and Terms
    8. Chapter 5 Assessment
  12. Chapter 6 Strings, Wire Sizing, and Protection
    1. Types of Wires
    2. Wire Sizing
      1. Ampacity
    3. Choosing the Combiner Box and DC Disconnect Switch
    4. Excess Ampacity Protection
    5. Safety Disconnects
    6. Safety Grounding
      1. Equipment Grounding
      2. System Grounding
      3. DC Ground-Fault Protection
      4. Sizing Equipment Grounding Conductors
      5. Sizing the Grounding Electrode Conductor
      6. About Grounding Electrodes
    7. Subduing Surges
    8. String Sizing
    9. Chapter 6 Summary
    10. Key Concepts and Terms
    11. Chapter 6 Assessment
  13. Chapter 7 National Electrical Code and Performance PV Design
    1. Planning for Longevity
    2. Regulatory Testing and Listing Approval
    3. NEC as It Applies to PV Modules
      1. Module Labeling
      2. Module Wiring
      3. NEC Tracking Module Considerations
      4. NEC Considerations of Terminals
      5. Transitions
      6. Connectors
      7. Connection Access
    4. Color-Coding Conductors
    5. Ground Fault Protection for PV Arrays
    6. NEC as It Applies to Installation and Service
    7. System Grounding
    8. The Conductor’s Ampacity
      1. Special Considerations for Inverters in Standalone Systems
    9. Overcurrent Protections
    10. Disconnect Methods
    11. Disconnect and Overcurrent Device Mounting
    12. Batteries
      1. Battery Placement
      2. Hazards
    13. Generators
    14. Charge Controllers
    15. Inverters
    16. Standalone Systems
    17. AC PV Modules
    18. Warnings and Labels
    19. Inspections
    20. Insurance
    21. Chapter 7 Summary
    22. Key Concepts and Terms
    23. Chapter 7 Assessment
  14. Chapter 8 Photovoltaic System Components I
    1. Cells
    2. Modules
    3. Arrays
    4. Mounts
      1. Ground Mounts
    5. Inverters
      1. Sine-Wave Inverters
      2. Modified Sine-Wave Inverters
      3. Square-Wave Inverters
    6. Selecting the Inverter
      1. Continuous Output
      2. Surge Capacity
      3. Inverter Efficiency
      4. Cooling
      5. Integrated Battery Chargers
      6. Additional Features
    7. Energy Storage Systems
    8. Charge Controllers
    9. Generators
    10. Balance-of-System Components
    11. Chapter 8 Summary
    12. Key Concepts and Terms
    13. Chapter 8 Assessment
  15. Chapter 9 Photovoltaic System Components II
    1. Cable Wiring
      1. DC Main Cable
      2. AC Connection Cable
    2. Connection Systems
    3. DC Load Switch, the DC Disconnect
    4. AC Switch Disconnect
    5. Wire Size and Type
    6. Switches and Fuses
    7. DC-to-AC Power Inverters
    8. System and Battery Controller
      1. Controller Types
    9. Balance-of-System (BOS) Hardware
      1. Wiring
      2. Overcurrent Protection
      3. Surge Protection
      4. Disconnect Devices
      5. Additional Power Processing Equipment
    10. Chapter 9 Summary
    11. Key Concepts and Terms
    12. Chapter 9 Assessment
  16. Chapter 10 Photovoltaic Configurations, Monitoring, and Testing
    1. Pros and Cons, and Other Considerations of Grid-Interactive PV Systems
      1. When Batteries Are Worthwhile in Grid-Interactive PV Systems
      2. Cell Stringing
      3. Cell Encapsulation
      4. Types of Modules
      5. Design Options for PV Modules
      6. Module Cable Outlets and Junction Boxes
      7. Wiring Symbols
      8. Characteristic I-V Curves for Modules
      9. Irradiance Dependence and Temperature Characteristics
      10. Quality Certification for Modules
      11. Interconnection of PV Modules
    2. Pros and Cons of Grid-Interactive PV Systems With Battery Backup
      1. Considerations of Including Battery Backup
    3. Pros and Cons of Standalone PV Systems
      1. Cost Considerations
    4. Hybrid Systems
    5. Maintenance for PV Systems
      1. Maintenance and Upkeep Checklist
      2. Array Maintenance
      3. Battery Maintenance
      4. Inverter and Charge Controller Maintenance
    6. Monitoring and Testing
    7. Troubleshooting
    8. Chapter 10 Summary
    9. Key Concepts and Terms
    10. Chapter 10 Assessment
  17. Answer Key
  18. Glossary
  19. References
  20. Index