Solar Energy Systems Course Class 9
I've neglected to post details of the last few solar energy courses because, as the class has progressed, we have not been introduced to new topics as much as we have drilled down deeper into the world of details and calculations around system sizing, wire sizing, balance of system components. All of which I've touched on in previous posts.
While producing electricity from solar cells is fairly simple, the devil is in the details. System efficiency is obviously critical to the long-term success (and ROI) of any residential solar system. To that end, quite a bit of time and thought needs to go into the size of system components (especially inverters), the amperage of conductors, voltage drop in a conductor over distance and batteries (on a battery backup system).
In Class 9 we did cover some new ground. We discussed bypass diodes, which are integrated into solar panels and activate when the panel becomes shaded. The idea is that the shaded portion of the circuit is not flowing current, so the diode bypasses that section of the circuit to maintain current flow through the panel and array. Pretty neat.
We also reviewed trigonometry. SOH CAH TOA mean anything to you? Well, it comes in quite handy when you need to figure out how to space out rows of tilted panels so the row in front doesn't shade the row in back. Commonly used for flat roof systems where the rack mount tilts the panel up to the sun at some angle.
If nothing else comes of my solar energy course, at least I can say I was reminded how to figure out the length of the sides of a right triangle. Awesome ...
Last class happens tonight and then comes the NABCEP test on Saturday. Wish me luck ... think I'm gonna need it
Notes from previous classes: