Solar Newsletter

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Sandia Research Aims to Enhance Understanding of Radiometric Instruments

Sandia and Photovoltaic Performance Labs, Inc. have partnered on the PVSENSOR project to measure, characterize, and understand modern radiometric instrument intricacies. Such instruments are used to measure the amount of sunlight impinging on a plane and are primarily used as reference devices for PV systems. Two identical sets of 21 radiometers are mounted on the [...]

Stion Commissions PV System at Sandia Regional Test Center

Stion PV system installed and the Sandia RTC site. Thin-film solar module manufacturer Stion has commissioned a 12 kW fixed latitude ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system at the DOE’s New Mexico Regional Test Center (RTC), located at Sandia. The system will be monitored and tested to collect a range of data related to the [...]

Sandia Rooftop PV Structural Report Webinar

A roof structure is made stronger by the system elements working together—much stronger than its main load-bearing element, the rafter, is alone. Current engineering analysis methods do not take this composite action into account when evaluating rooftop strength. Results from the Sandia research reports, “Structural Code Considerations of Solar Rooftop Installations” and “Empirically [...]

Sandia to Discuss Energy-Storage Test Protocols at the European PV Solar Energy Conference

A residential distributed energy-storage unit being installed (top) and inspected (bottom). Researchers from Sandia will give a plenary talk on energy storage test protocols at the European PV Solar Energy Conference (EU PVSEC), to be held in September in Hamburg, Germany. Plenary presentations are given to the entire conference and reserved for outstanding [...]

Sandia Research on Rooftop Structural Strength Gains Attention

A roof structure is made stronger by the system elements working together—much stronger than its main load-bearing element, the rafter, is alone. Current engineering analysis methods do not take this composite action into account when evaluating rooftop strength. Two Sandia research reports, “Structural Code Considerations of Solar Rooftop Installations” and “Empirically Derived Strength [...]

Navy/Marine Engineering Command Visits Sandia

Our nation relies upon a network of radars across the country to support the missions of homeland defense/ security, flight safety, and weather forecasting. The air-surveillance environment contains within it clutter, both stationary and moving. Wind turbines present a unique problem in that they can be both stationary and moving clutter and operate with [...]

Sandia Researcher Recognized at SunSpec Alliance Annual Meeting

Sandia solar researcher Jay Johnson (in Sandia’s Photovoltaics and Distributed Systems Dept.) attended the SunSpec Alliance Annual Member’s Meeting in San Francisco last Spring and received the 2015 SunSpec McCulloch-Pitts Award in recognition of “innovation, collaboration, and general technical excellence in the area of distributed energy resource control automation.” The award acknowledged Johnson’s collaborative research [...]

Sandia’s Continuously Recirculating Falling-Particle Receiver Emplaced at Top of Solar Tower

Sandia researchers are working to lower the cost of solar energy systems and improve efficiencies in a big way, thanks to a system of small particles. Technologists John Kelton and Daniel Ray (both in Sandia’s Concentrating Solar Technologies Dept.) perform inspection of the falling-particle receiver during a cloud delay atop the NSTTF’s Solar Tower [...]

Sandians Win ‘Best Paper’ Award at Photovoltaic Conference in Japan

A research team that included Sandians Clifford Hansen and Joshua Stein (in Sandia’s Photovoltaic & Distributed Systems Integration Dept.) and Katherine Klise (in Sandia’s Geotechnology and Engineering Dept.) received a Best Paper Award for their work “Photovoltaic System Model Calibration Using Monitored System Data,” presented at the 6th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC) [...]

Sandia Research on PV Arc-Fault Detection Submitted for US Patent

Different types of parallel arc-faults on the DC side of a PV array. Sandia National Laboratories/Tigo Energy researchers recently submitted an application for a US patent related to research on arc-fault detection and circuit interruption in solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Sandia’s patent-pending methods, filed as Identifying an Arc-Fault Type in Photovoltaic Arrays, allow [...]