Solar PV

The U.S. Solar industry achieved another record year in 2014, growing by 34% over 2013 to install nearly 7,000 megawatts (MW) of solar electric capacity. Within the photovoltaic (PV) sector, over 6,200 MW of capacity was installed, led by the residential and utility segments, which grew by 51% and 38%, respectively. The concentrating solar power segment enjoyed its largest year ever with 767 MW of capacity installed. Together, the solar industry istalled 32% of all new electricity generating capacity in the U.S. – second only to natural gas. This growth is expected to continue, with an additional 20,000 MW of solar capacity projected over the next two years.

New to solar? Start with this great free course: Solar PV Design, Code, Economics, Sales, and Site Visits

Free Tools to Start Learning:

Shading Losses for PV Systems, and Techniques to Mitigate Them

Shading Effects on PV Output
Since PV systems generate electricity based on the amount of sunlight they are receiving, it makes sense that when a shadow is cast on a panel, from either a passing cloud or nearby tree, the power output decreases. However, the decrease in power […]

Solar O&M: Tips for Contractors, The Future of Solar & Workforce Development

The solar industry is booming, and there’s a lot to keep track of. From system configuration to energy storage, O&M (Operations and Maintenance) and beyond, the job of Franklin Beach Energy’s Managing Director Carter Wall is never really done. Sustainable woman Carter discusses her career, trends in solar, tips for contractors, faulty O&M contracts, preventative maintenance and […]

Infrared Imaging & The Future of Solar PV: A 30 Year Industry Veteran Reflects

Dr. James rand is a 30-year solar veteran, president of Core Energy Works, a HeatSpring expert instructor AND a Sustainable Scholar. He spoke with us about his professional journey, how the industry has changed, his HeatSpring courses and the future of solar PV.
Why do you care about sustainability? What drives you to continue your work in this field?
I […]

Solar + Storage Battery Considerations: Chemistry, Design & Charge

Expert instructor Wes Kennedy answers 3 battery consideration questions in his Advanced Solar + Storage course discussion board…
Student 1: One of the biggest hurdles we deal with on the commercial side of storage is the Authority Having Jurisdiction, or AHJ. Most often, these issues come up with the Department of Buildings (DOB) and local Fire Departments, as […]

Megawatt Systems: 3 Design Considerations

On the Megawatt Design discussion board, Ryan Mayfield answers student questions about designing systems. He discusses surge protection, tilted arrays, and “levelized cost of energy.”
Student 1: Do any of you specify surge or lightning-protective devices for your systems? Either on the DC or AC side of the inverter? Have any of you had cases where array equipment […]