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The New 1999 National Electrical Code Coupled with New Standards Clarify Requirements for Installations of Photovoltaic Systems in the U.S.

Description: The National Electrical Code@ (NEC@) focuses primarily on electrical system installation requirements in the U.S. The NEC addresses both fire and personnel safety. This paper will describe recent efforts of the PV industry in the U.S. and the resulting requirements in the 1999 National Electrical Code-- Article 690 --Solar Photovoltaic Systems. The Article 690 requirements spell out the PV-unique requirements for safe installations of PV systems in the U.S.A. This paper provides an overview of the most significant changes that appear in Article 690 of the 1999 edition of the NEC. The related and coordinated efforts of the other standards- making groups will also be briefly reviewed.
Date: January 8, 1999
Creator: Bower, W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National electrical code changes for 1996 and USA participation in International Energy Agency activities related to photovoltaics safety and grid interconnection

Description: As photovoltaic (PV) systems gain more acceptance in utility-interactive applications throughout the world, many organizations are placing increasingly higher priorities on writing guidelines, codes and standards. These guidelines and codes are being written to improve safety, installation, acceptance, listing or certification of the PV components or systems. Sandia National Laboratories` PV System Applications Department is working closely with the PV industry to address issues that are associated with fire and personnel safety and with National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements. Additionally, the United States has agreed to participate in two of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Annexes (topical tasks) of the Implementing Agreement for a Cooperative Programme on Photovoltaic Power Systems. This paper describes events and activities associated with the NEC and the IEA that are being led by Sandia National Laboratories with broad participation by the US PV industry.
Date: January 1, 1995
Creator: Bower, W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

What Changed in Article 690-Solar Photovoltaic Systems- of the 1999 National Electrical Code?

Description: Article 690, Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems, has been in the National Electrical Code (NEC) since 1984. An NFPA-appointed Task Group for Article 690 proposed changes to Article 690 for both the 1996 and 1999 codes. The Task Group, supported by more than 50 professionals from throughout the photovoltaic (PV) industry, met seven times during the 1999 code cycle to integrate the needs of the industry with the needs of electrical inspectors and end users to ensure the safety of PV systems. The Task Group proposed 57 changes to Article 690, and all the changes were accepted in the review process. The performance and cost of PV installations were always a consideration as these changes were formed but safety was the number-one priority. All of the proposals were well substantiated and coordinated throughout the PV industry and with representatives of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc (UL). The most significant changes that were made in Article 690 for the 1999 NEC along with some of the rationale are discussed in the remainder of this article.
Date: January 12, 1999
Creator: Bower, W. & Wiles, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-Penetration Photovoltaics Standards and Codes Workshop, Denver, Colorado, May 20, 2010: Workshop Proceedings

Description: Effectively interconnecting high-level penetration of photovoltaic (PV) systems requires careful technical attention to ensuring compatibility with electric power systems. Standards, codes, and implementation have been cited as major impediments to widespread use of PV within electric power systems. On May 20, 2010, in Denver, Colorado, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), held a workshop to examine the key technical issues and barriers associated with high PV penetration levels with an emphasis on codes and standards. This workshop included building upon results of the High Penetration of Photovoltaic (PV) Systems into the Distribution Grid workshop held in Ontario California on February 24-25, 2009, and upon the stimulating presentations of the diverse stakeholder presentations.
Date: September 1, 2010
Creator: Coddington, M.; Kroposki, B.; Basso, T.; Lynn, K.; Herig, C. & Bower, W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary of collaborative photovoltaic industry work to proactively improve codes and standards for photovoltaic power system applications

Description: Several important milestones in codes and standards pertaining to the design, installation and operation of photovoltaic (PV) systems have recently been completed with collaboration of participants from all sectors of the PV industry, utilities and the US Department of Energy`s National Photovoltaic Program. Codes and standards that have been proposed, written or modified include changes and additions for the 1999 National Electrical Code{reg_sign} (NEC{reg_sign}), standards for fire and personnel safety, system testing, component qualification, and utility interconnect. Project authorization requests with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) have resulted in standards for listing PV modules and balance-of-system components. Industry collaboration with Underwriter Laboratories, Inc. (UL), with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and through critical input and review for international standards with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have resulted in domestic and international standards for PV. Work related to the codes and standards activities through the International Energy Agency (IEA) is also being supported by the PV industry and the US DOE. This paper will concentrate on and summarize the important new NEC proposals for PV systems and will also describe and show the bonds between the activities in other standards writing activities. The paper will also provide an analysis of changes and resulting impacts of selected proposed NEC changes on PV designs, installations and performance.
Date: August 1, 1997
Creator: Bower, W.I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

New codes and standards for utility - interconnection of AC PV modules

Description: Photovoltaic (PV) modules that provide only ac power give new dimensions to the use of, and utility interface of, PV systems because all of the dc issues are virtually eliminated. These AC PV modules offer the important advantage that customers may now purchase a PV system without hiring a design engineer. A qualified electrician will be able to install a complete PV system that performs as expected and meets local electrical codes. Simple installations of additional AC PV modules will be possible once the proper branch circuit wiring and protection have been installed. Codes and standards are currently being written to address the utility-interconnect issues for AC PV modules and other interactive inverters. An industry-supported Task Group has recently written and submitted proposals for changes to bring Article 690 of the 1999 National Electrical Code{reg_sign} (NEC{reg_sign}) up to the state-of-the-art for PV devices such as AC PV modules. This paper summarizes the proposed code changes and standards related to the evolving AC PV module technology in the United States. Topics such as the need for dedicated branch circuits for AC PV modules in residential applications are discussed and analyzed. Requirements for limiting the number of AC modules on a branch circuit and the listing requirements that make safe installations are discussed. Coordination of all standards activities for AC module installations, the building-integrated perspectives, and utility-interface issues is discussed.
Date: October 1, 1997
Creator: Bower, W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress in photovoltaic components and systems

Description: The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Research and Development project is a government/industry partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy and members of the U.S. photovoltaic (PV) industry. The purpose of the project is to work with industry to improve manufacturing processes, reduce manufacturing costs, and improve the performance of PV products. This project is conducted through phased solicitations with industry participants selected through a competitive evaluation process. Starting in 1995, the two most recent solicitations include manufacturing improvements for balance-of-system (BOS) components, energy storage, and PV system design improvements. This paper surveys the work accomplished since that time, as well as BOS work currently in progress in the PV Manufacturing R&D project to identify areas of continued interest and product trends. Industry participants continue to work to improve inverters and to expand the features and capabilities of this key component. The industry also continues to advance fully integrated systems that meet standards for performance and safety. All participants included manufacturing improvements to reduce costs and improve reliability. Accomplishments of the project's participants are summarized to illustrate the product and manufacturing trends.
Date: May 5, 2000
Creator: Thomas, H.; Kroposki, B.; Witt, C. & Bower, W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Overview of PV balance-of-systems technology: Experience and guidelines for utility ties in the United States of America

Description: The U.S. National Photovoltaic Program began in 1975 by supporting the development of terrestrial PV modules and hardware associated with grid-connected PV systems. Early PV-system demonstration programs were also supported and cost shared by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). A wide variety of PV systems were deployed, usually with utility participation. The early demonstration projects provided, and continue to provide, valuable PV system experience to utilities, designers and suppliers. As a result of experience gained, several important milestones in codes and standards pertaining to the design, installation and operation of photovoltaic (PV) systems have been completed. These code and standard activities were conducted through collaboration of participants from all sectors of the PV industry, utilities and the US DOE National Photovoltaic Program. Codes and standards that have been proposed, written, or modified include changes and additions for the 1999 National Electric Code{reg_sign} (NEC{reg_sign}), standards for fire and personnel safety, system testing, field acceptance, component qualification, and utility interconnection. Project authorization requests with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) have resulted in standards for component qualification and were further adapted for standards used to list PV modules and balance-of-system components. Industry collaboration with Underwriter Laboratories, Inc., with the American Society for Testing and Materials, and through critical input and review for international standards with the International Electrotechnical Commission have resulted in new and revised domestic and international standards for PV applications. Activities related to work on codes and standards through the International Energy Agency are also being supported by the PV industry and the US DOE. The paper shows relationships between activities in standards writing.
Date: October 1, 1997
Creator: Bower, W. & Whitaker, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Balance-of-system improvements for photovoltaic applications resulting from the PVMaT phase 4A1 program

Description: The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology Program (PVMaT) program began in 1990 as a cost-shared partnership among the US photovoltaic industry and the US Photovoltaic Program. Balance-of-systems (BOS) components and concepts were included under Phase 4A1 of the program. BOS contracts ranged from newly developed AC PV modules to 100kW inverters for photovoltaic applications. Utility-interactive, stand-alone and hybrid components were also improved, while better manufacturing processes were developed. Specific products developed through Phase 4A1 contracts included AC modules and module integrated inverters, an advanced polymer system to reduce BOS costs, low cost integrated tracking PV systems, improved inverters, new concept inverters, communications links for BOS, and advanced modular PV systems for remote applications. This paper summarizes the research and development work, presents product and applications improvements, and describes manufacturing improvements while analyzing performance and cost benefits.
Date: June 1, 1997
Creator: Bower, W.; Bonn, R. & Hund, T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Photovoltaic industry proposed changes for the 1999 national electrical code for PV applications

Description: An industry supported task group has recently completed writing proposals for changes in bring Article 690 of the 1999 National Electrical Code (NEC{reg_sign}) up to the state-of-the-art in photovoltaic device and system technology. This paper summarizes proposed code changes, discusses background on both new and changed, and presents examples for the proposed changes. Topics such as the proposed new temperature compensation table for calculating maximum system voltage are analyzed. Procedures for calculating conductor sizes with the proposed changes are presented. Impacts on photovoltaic installations, building integrated systems, and AC module installations are also analyzed.
Date: June 1, 1997
Creator: Bower, W. & Wiles, J.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PV Manufacturing R&D Project -- Trends in the U.S. PV Industry

Description: To foster continued growth in the U.S. photovoltaic (PV) industry, the U.S. Department of Energy initiated the PV Manufacturing R&D (PVMR&D) Project--a partnership with U.S. PV industry participants to perform cost-shared manufacturing research and development. Throughout FY 2004, PVMR&D managed fourteen subcontracts across the industry. The impact of PVMR&D is quantified by reductions in direct module manufacturing costs, scale-up of existing PV production capacity, and accrual of cost savings to the public and industry. An analysis of public and industry investment shows that both recaptured funds by mid-1998 based on estimated manufacturing cost savings from PVMR&D participation. Since project inception, total PV manufacturing capacity has increased from 14 MW to 201 MW at the close of 2003, while direct manufacturing costs declined from $5.55/W to $2.49/W. These results demonstrate continued progress toward the overriding goals of the PVMR&D project.
Date: January 1, 2005
Creator: Brown, K. E.; Mitchell, R. L.; Bower, W. I. & King, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Battery compatibility with photovoltaic charge controllers

Description: Photovoltaic (PV) systems offer a cost-effective solution to provide electrical power for a wide variety of applications, with battery performance playing a major role in their success. This paper presents some of the results of an industry meeting regarding battery specifications and ratings that photovoltaic system designers require, but do not typically have available to them. Communications between the PV industry and the battery industry regarding appropriate specifications have been uncoordinated and poor in the past. This paper also discusses the effort under way involving the PV industry and battery manufacturers, and provides a working draft of specifications to develop and outline the information sorely needed on batteries. The development of this information is referred to as ``Application Notes for Batteries in Photovoltaic Systems.`` The content of these ``notes`` has been compiled from various sources, including the input from the results of a survey on battery use in the photovoltaic industry. Only lead-acid batteries are discussed
Date: December 31, 1992
Creator: Harrington, S. R. & Bower, W. I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Renewable Systems Interconnection: Executive Summary

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy launched the Renewable Systems Interconnection (RSI) study in 2007 to address the challenges to high penetrations of distributed renewable energy technologies. The RSI study consists of 14 additional reports.
Date: February 1, 2008
Creator: Kroposki, B.; Margolis, R.; Kuswa, G.; Torres, J.; Bower, W.; Key, T. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PV Manufacturing R&D Project Status and Accomplishments under 'In-Line Diagnostics and Intelligent Processing' and 'Yield, Durability and Reliability': Preprint

Description: The PV Manufacturing R&D (PVMR&D) Project conducts cost-shared research and development programs with U.S. PV industry partners. There are currently two active industry partnership activities. ''In-line Diagnostics and Intelligent Processing'', launched in 2002, supports development of new in-line diagnostics and monitoring with real-time feedback for optimal process control and increased yield in the fabrication of PV modules, systems, and other system components. ''Yield, Durability and Reliability'', launched in late 2004, supports enhancement of PV module, system component, and complete system reliability in high-volume manufacturing. A second key undertaking of the PVMR&D Project is the collection and analysis of module production cost-capacity metrics for the U.S. PV industry. In the period from 1992 through 2005, the average module manufacturing cost in 2005 dollars fell 54% (5.7% annualized) to $2.74/Wp, and the capacity increased 18.6-fold (25% annualized) to 253 MW/yr. An experience curve analysis gives progress ratios of 87% and 81%, respectively, for U.S. silicon and thin-film module production.
Date: May 1, 2006
Creator: Friedman, D. J.; Mitchell, R. L.; Keyes, B. M.; Bower, W. I.; King, R. & Mazer, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Testing to support improvements to PV components and systems

Description: The National Photovoltaic (PV) Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, and includes a PV Manufacturing Research and Development (R&D) project conducted with industry. This project includes advancements in PV components to improve reliability, reduce costs, and develop integrated PV systems. Participants submit prototypes, pre-production hardware products, and examples of the resulting final products for a range of tests conducted at several national laboratories, independent testing laboratories, and recognized listing agencies. The purpose of this testing is to use the results to assist industry in determining a product's performance and reliability, and to identify areas for potential improvement. This paper briefly describes the PV Manufacturing R&D project; participants in the area of PV systems, balance of systems, and components; and several examples of the different types of product and performance testing used to support and confirm product performance.
Date: May 15, 2000
Creator: Thomas, H., Kroposki, B.; Witt, C.; Bower, W.; Bonn, R.; Ginn, J. & Gonzales, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress in photovoltaic system and component improvements

Description: The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology (PVMaT) project is a partnership between the US government (through the US Department of Energy [DOE]) and the PV industry. Part of its purpose is to conduct manufacturing technology research and development to address the issues and opportunities identified by industry to advance photovoltaic (PV) systems and components. The project was initiated in 1990 and has been conducted in several phases to support the evolution of PV industrial manufacturing technology. Early phases of the project stressed PV module manufacturing. Starting with Phase 4A and continuing in Phase 5A, the goals were broadened to include improvement of component efficiency, energy storage and manufacturing and system or component integration to bring together all elements for a PV product. This paper summarizes PV manufacturers` accomplishments in components, system integration, and alternative manufacturing methods. Their approaches have resulted in improved hardware and PV system performance, better system compatibility, and new system capabilities. Results include new products such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-listed AC PV modules, modular inverters, and advanced inverter designs that use readily available and standard components. Work planned in Phase 5A1 includes integrated residential and commercial roof-top systems, PV systems with energy storage, and 300-Wac to 4-kWac inverters.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Thomas, H.P.; Kroposki, B.; McNutt, P.; Witt, C.E.; Bower, W.; Bonn, R. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress in photovoltaic system and component improvements

Description: The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology (PVMaT) project is a partnership between the US government (through the US Department of Energy [DOE]) and the PV industry. Part of its purpose is to conduct manufacturing technology research and development to address the issues and opportunities identified by industry to advance photovoltaic (PV) systems and components. The project was initiated in 1990 and has been conducted in several phases to support the evolution of PV industrial manufacturing technology. Early phases of the project stressed PV module manufacturing. Starting with Phase 4A and continuing in Phase 5A, the goals were broadened to include improvement of component efficiency, energy storage and manufacturing and system or component integration to bring together all elements for a PV product. This paper summarizes PV manufacturers` accomplishments in components, system integration, and alternative manufacturing methods. Their approaches have resulted in improved hardware and PV system performance, better system compatibility, and new system capabilities. Results include new products such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-listed AC PV modules, modular inverters, and advanced inverter designs that use readily available and standard components. Work planned in Phase 5A1 includes integrated residential and commercial roof-top systems, PV systems with energy storage, and 300-Wac to 4-kWac inverters.
Date: July 1, 1998
Creator: Thomas, H.P.; Kroposki, B.; McNutt, P.; Witt, C.E.; Bower, W.; Bonn, R. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Performance of battery charge controllers: First year test report

Description: The results of the first year of an evaluation of charge controllers for stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) systems are presented. The objectives of the test program are to positively influence the development of battery charge controllers for stand-alone PV applications and to develop design and application criteria that will improve PV system reliability and battery performance. Future goals are to expand the evaluation program to include various battery technologies and controller algorithms. Also, the information is being communicated to manufacturers to aid in the design of more effective and reliable charge controllers for PV systems. Eight different models of small (nominal 10 amp) charge controllers are being subjected to a comprehensive evaluation. These evaluations include operational tests in identical stand-alone PV systems and environmental and electrical cycling tests. Selected custom tests are also performed on the controllers to determine the response to transients, installation requirements and system design compatibilities. Data presented in this paper include measured electrical characteristics of the controllers, temperature effects on set points, and operational performance in PV systems both in the lab and in the field. A comparison is presented for four different charge controller algorithms which include array-shunt, series-interrupting, series-linear constant-voltage and series-linear-multistep constant-current. 9 refs., 11 figs., 2 tabs.
Date: January 1, 1991
Creator: Dunlop, J. (Florida Solar Energy Center, Cape Canaveral, FL (United States)); Bower, W. (Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)) & Harrington, S. (Ktech Corp., Albuquerque, NM (United States))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department