Matching Items (4)

A Consequential Life Cycle Assessment of the SCEIP Financing Program for Residential Photovoltaics in Sonoma County, CA: Determining the Life Cycle Carbon and Energy Cost Benefit

Description

Sonoma County, CA is on an ambitious pathway to meeting stringent carbon emissions goals that are part of California Assembly Bill 32. At the county-level, climate planners are currently evaluating

Sonoma County, CA is on an ambitious pathway to meeting stringent carbon emissions goals that are part of California Assembly Bill 32. At the county-level, climate planners are currently evaluating options to assist residents of the county in reducing their carbon footprint and also for saving money. The Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) is one such county-level measure that is currently underway. SCEIP is a revolving loan fund that eligible residents may utilize to install distributed solar energy on their property. The fund operates like a property tax assessment, except that it only remains for a period of 20 years rather than in perpetuity.

This analysis intends to estimate the potential countywide effect that the $100M SCEIP fund might achieve on the C02 and cost footprint for the residential building energy sector. A functional unit of one typical home in the county is selected for a 25 year analysis period. Outside source data for the lifecycle emissions generated by the production, installation and operations of a PV system are utilized. Recent home energy survey data for the region is also utilized to predict a “typical” system size and profile that might be funded by the SCEIP program. A marginal cost-benefit calculation is employed to determine what size solar system a typical resident might purchase, which drives the life cycle assessment of the functional unit. Next, the total number of homes that might be financed by the SCEIP bond is determined in order to forecast the potential totalized effect on the County’s lifecycle emissions and cost profile.

The final results are evaluated and it is determined that the analysis is likely conservative in its estimation of the effects of the SCEIP program. This is due to the fact that currently offered subsidies are not utilized in the marginal benefit calculation for the solar system but do exist, the efficiency of solar technology is increasing, and the cost of a system over its lifecycle is currently decreasing. The final results show that financing distributed solar energy systems using Sonoma County money is a viable option for helping to meet state mandated goals and should be further pursued.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012-05

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Building applied photovoltaic arrays: side-by-side array comparison with and without fan cooling

Description

Building Applied Photovoltaics (BAPV) form an essential part of today's solar economy. This thesis is an effort to compare and understand the effect of fan cooling on the temperature of

Building Applied Photovoltaics (BAPV) form an essential part of today's solar economy. This thesis is an effort to compare and understand the effect of fan cooling on the temperature of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) modules by comparing two side-by-side arrays (test array and control array) under identical ambient conditions of irradiance, air temperature, wind speed and wind direction. The lower operating temperature of PV modules due to fan operation mitigates array non uniformity and improves on performance. A crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV module has a light to electrical conversion efficiency of 14-20%. So on a cool sunny day with incident solar irradiance of 1000 W/m2, a PV module with 15% efficiency, will produce about only 150 watts. The rest of the energy is primarily lost in the form of heat. Heat extraction methods for BAPV systems may become increasingly higher in demand as the hot stagnant air underneath the array can be extracted to improve the array efficiency and the extracted low-temperature heat can also be used for residential space heating and water heating. Poly c-Si modules experience a negative temperature coefficient of power at about -0.5% /o C. A typical poly c-Si module would experience power loss due to elevation in temperature, which may be in the range of 25 to 30% for desert conditions such as that of Mesa, Arizona. This thesis investigates the effect of fan cooling on the previously developed thermal models at Arizona State University and on the performance of PV modules/arrays. Ambient conditions are continuously monitored and collected to calculate module temperature using the thermal model and to compare with actually measured temperature of individual modules. Including baseline analysis, the thesis has also looked into the effect of fan on the test array in three stages of 14 continuous days each. Multiple Thermal models are developed in order to identify the effect of fan cooling on performance and temperature uniformity. Although the fan did not prove to have much significant cooling effect on the system, but when combined with wind blocks it helped improve the thermal mismatch both under low and high wind speed conditions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Building applied and back insulated photovoltaic modules: thermal models

Description

Building applied photovoltaics (BAPV) is a major application sector for photovoltaics (PV). Due to the negative temperature coefficient of power output, the performance of a PV module decreases as the

Building applied photovoltaics (BAPV) is a major application sector for photovoltaics (PV). Due to the negative temperature coefficient of power output, the performance of a PV module decreases as the temperature of the module increases. In hot climatic conditions, such as the summer in Arizona, the operating temperature of a BAPV module can reach as high as 90°C. Considering a typical 0.5%/°C power drop for crystalline silicon (c-Si) modules, a performance decrease of approximately 30% would be expected during peak summer temperatures due to the difference between rated temperature (25°C) and operating temperature (~90°C) of the modules. Also, in a worst-case scenario, such as partial shading of the PV cells of air gap-free BAPV modules, some of the components could attain temperatures that would be high enough to compromise the safety and functionality requirements of the module and its components. Based on the temperature and weather data collected over a year in Arizona, a mathematical thermal model has been developed and presented in this paper to predict module temperature for five different air gaps (0", 1", 2", 3", and 4"). For comparison, modules with a thermally-insulated (R30) back were evaluated to determine the worst-case scenario. This thesis also provides key technical details related to the specially-built, simulated rooftop structure; the mounting configuration of the PV modules on the rooftop structure; the LabVIEW program that was developed for data acquisition and the MATLAB program for developing the thermal models. In order to address the safety issue, temperature test results (obtained in accordance with IEC 61730-2 and UL 1703 safety standards) are presented and analyzed for nine different components of a PV module, i.e., the front glass, substrate/backsheet (polymer), PV cell, j-box ambient, j-box surface, positive terminal, backsheet inside j-box, field wiring, and diode. The temperature test results obtained for about 140 crystalline silicon modules from a large number of manufacturers who tested modules between 2006 and 2009 at ASU/TÜV-PTL were analyzed and presented in this paper under three test conditions, i.e., short-circuit, open-circuit, and short-circuit and shaded. Also, the nominal operating cell temperatures (NOCTs) of the BAPV modules and insulated-back PV modules are presented in this paper for use by BAPV module designers and installers.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2010

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Building applied photovoltaic array: thermal modeling and fan cooling

Description

Thermal modeling and investigation into heat extraction methods for building-applied photovoltaic (BAPV) systems have become important for the industry in order to predict energy production and lower the cost per

Thermal modeling and investigation into heat extraction methods for building-applied photovoltaic (BAPV) systems have become important for the industry in order to predict energy production and lower the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of generating electricity from these types of systems. High operating temperatures have a direct impact on the performance of BAPV systems and can reduce power output by as much as 10 to 20%. The traditional method of minimizing the operating temperature of BAPV modules has been to include a suitable air gap for ventilation between the rooftop and the modules. There has been research done at Arizona State University (ASU) which investigates the optimum air gap spacing on sufficiently spaced (2-6 inch vertical; 2-inch lateral) modules of four columns. However, the thermal modeling of a large continuous array (with multiple modules of the same type and size and at the same air gap) had yet to be done at ASU prior to this project. In addition to the air gap effect analysis, the industry is exploring different ways of extracting the heat from PV modules including hybrid photovoltaic-thermal systems (PV/T). The goal of this project was to develop a thermal model for a small residential BAPV array consisting of 12 identical polycrystalline silicon modules at an air gap of 2.5 inches from the rooftop. The thermal model coefficients are empirically derived from a simulated field test setup at ASU and are presented in this thesis. Additionally, this project investigates the effects of cooling the array with a 40-Watt exhaust fan. The fan had negligible effect on power output or efficiency for this 2.5-inch air gap array, but provided slightly lower temperatures and better temperature uniformity across the array.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2010