2016 Renewable Energy Handbook Solar


Welcome to the sixth edition of the annual Solar Power World and Windpower Engineering and Development Renewable Energy Handbook. It’s stunning to think we’ve produced six editions now—each one more useful and comprehensive than the last. Whether you’re a long-time reader—with a half-dozen issues organized on your bookshelf, declaring your renewable energy authority to anyone who sees them—or enjoying the handbook for the first time, we thank you for reading. We hope you learn a lot!

This handbook is a reflection of my career in renewable energy. I joined this industry as an editorial intern, way back in 2011 (when most of today’s solar projects were just a twinkle in developer’s eyes). My boss told me if I put together the inaugural edition of the handbook, it would earn me a full-time position. What I didn’t know is that it would become an annual tradition, or that I would enjoy it more with each passing year.

The Renewable Energy Handbook forces me to learn as much as I can, perfecting and refreshing my knowledge every year (“How do solar meters work again?”). It also offers a chance to work with the many industry veterans who are kind enough to share their expertise. And because this is a year-round team effort (the fruit of the labors of all Windpower Engineering & Development and Solar Power World editors—and intrepid interns), I’m constantly reminded that I’m lucky to be part of such a hard working, knowledgeable team.

While my career has been on a steady rise, the wind and solar industries have had ups and downs since we first published the handbook. Despite uncertainty, or perhaps because of it, it’s still an exciting time to be in renewables. No one can argue with the longterm viability of renewable energy. We know how this will end.

In the first three quarters of this year, the U.S. has more the doubled the number of wind-powered electricity brought to the grid, compared with the same time period in 2014. The total wind capacity across the country stands at just over 69,470 MW. An additional 4,100 MW is in advanced stages of development, and offshore wind is getting closer to reality in U.S. waters. What’s more, wind energy pricing has reached an all-time low.

Likewise, great advances are being made in the solar industry. We should see a million U.S. homes with solar panels in February 2016. It’s true the industry might look a little different in 2017 if the ITC isn’t renewed, with the utilityscale market expected to take the biggest hit. But smaller projects should stay on track, in large part because the industry has worked hard to lower component and installation costs.

kathie-zippIt’s a great time to be part of these industries, and we’re here to help you succeed. We have more than 45 articles answering common questions about projects and components. What do you need to know before you order cables? How has O&M changed? What type of battery is best for your project? A section with component charts will help you compare equipment specification with a glance. And new sections include maps to help you understand where renewables are working now and could work in the future.

As always, we welcome feedback— please feel free to share it. We look forward to the hard work you’ll do for renewables in 2016.

Kathie Zipp
Managing Editor
Solar Power World
kzipp@wtwhmedia.com


Welcome to the Renewable Energy Handbook

Editor’s welcome to the solar section…………. p.73
Solar Basics…………………………………p.74
Top solar stats and resource map………………. p.75

Solar inverter models data

Central……………………………………………………..p.78
String……………………………………………………….p.86
Off-grid…………………………………………………….p.96
Microinverters………………………………………….p.100
Power optimizers……………………………………..p.102

Solar articles

Generation technologies…………………………..p.104
Power optimizers……………………………………..p.108
Microinverters………………………………………….p.110
String inverters…………………………………………p.114
Central inverters………………………………………p.118
Flat roof racking & mounting……………………..p.122
Sloped roof racking & mounting………………..p.126
Rail-less mounts……………………………………….p.130
Trackers…………………………………………………..p.132
Ground mounts………………………………………..p.136
Carports………………………………………………….p.140
Cables…………………………………………………….p.142
Charge controllers……………………………………p.146
Combiner boxes………………………………………p.148
Connectors……………………………………………..p.149
Enclosures……………………………………………….p.150
Grounding………………………………………………p.151
Meters…………………………………………………….p.153
Pyranometers…………………………………………..p.154
Batteries & storage…………………………………..p.156
Software………………………………………………….p.160
Off-grid solar…………………………………………..p.164
Insurance………………………………………………..p.165
Site assessment……………………………………….p.166
Construction/installation/development……….p.168
Asset management…………………………………..p.171
Operations & maintenance………………………..p.172

Comments

  1. Don Osborn says:

    Tank you. This very helpful to the experienced solar professional (to have so much resource at hand), as well as a must for newer ones.

  2. Rajesh Patil says:

    Excellent source of latest information. Nicely Compiled.