NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: How To Make Solar Power Plants Better

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YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Colbert On The Newest Climate Fiasco
  • Weekend Video: Consumer Reports’ Tesla Vs. Bolt Face-Off
  • Weekend Video: All About The Eclipse And The Power Grid
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Is ‘Game Of Thrones’ About Climate Change?
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Surprises In The New Global Solar Rankings
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Denmark’s Vestas Wins Mexico’s Biggest Wind Deal
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Supervolcanoes Could Grow Cars With Plugs
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, August 17:

  • TTTA Thursday-Is The White House Hiding DOE’s Grid Study?
  • TTTA Thursday-Will The White House Hide The Climate Report?
  • TTTA Thursday-Crucial Transmission Line For Wind Denied
  • TTTA Thursday-Wind And Solar Are Saving Lives
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Organizing California’s Distributed Energy Efforts
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Deep Look At Evolving U.S. Efforts To Support Solar
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Big Growth In Customer-Sited Wind
  • QUICK NEWS, August 15: New Forest To Offset Bad U.S. Climate Policies Has 120,000 Pledges; Wind Becoming The Go-To Power; 88,000 Jobs And The Fight Over Solar Imports
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Work On Tomorrow’s Grid So Far
  • QUICK NEWS, August 14: Climate Is The Elephant In The Room; Long-Term, NatGas Is Not The Answer; Why Wind Is Such A Good Choice
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    Research Associate and Contributing Editor Jessica R. Wunder

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, August 21:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Wind Market Now
  • QUICK NEWS, August 21: Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ Is A ‘Teaching Tool’; Target Targets Big Wind Buy; Michigan Grows Its Solar Garden

    Wednesday, January 04, 2017

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: How To Make Solar Power Plants Better

    The 3 factors that determine solar plant performance; A new LBNL report outlines 3 variables that it says explain 92% of output differences between solar projects

    Herman K. Trabish, April 21, 2016 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: As solar power plant costs get lower and therefore harder to cut further, getting more bang for the buck increases in importance.

    Figuring out methods to maximize electricity output from solar panels is a challenge for utilities and solar developers alike. Small variations in daily performance can significantly affect the long-term output of an array. The three factors that can help power providers manage expectations and maximize performance of utility-scale plants are the amount of sun hitting the panels, the use of tracking, and how much load is on the inverter (inverter load ratio). Together, they account for 92% of the performance variation, according to a new report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

    With this data, utilities making rate-based investments or signing long-term contracts can better understand where these projects fall in the capacity factor spectrum. That will allow them to plan how they will invest with more confidence in to the profitability of the projects. The strength and concentration of solar energy hitting a panel, technically called the global horizontal irradiance (GHI), accounts for 71.6% of performance variations. The biggest determinant of GHI is a project’s location. Tracking, or the way a panel follows the sun, will also play a part in how well the solar array performs. For each 1 kWh/m2/day increase in GHI, measured in 2014, the model predicts a 4.23% increase in 2014 capacity factor for fixed tilt arrays, compared with a 6.08% increase for projects built with tracking. The third major factor, the inverter load ratio (ILR), describes how much direct current generation from a project’s modules is converted to alternating current by the inverters and sent to the grid…

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