Ideation

Solar energy systems can't fully realize demand response potential

The current solar grid management solutions are sub-optimized because they generally fail to facilitate communications between products from different companies. There is no solution enables Demand- Response of the loads connected into the Solar Micro-Grid via load-level power-monitoring and direct control of the loads. Manycommunication-enabled energy/demand management devices (sensors, actuators, controllers) that originate from different manufacturers have limited options for interconnection between devices operating on diverse wireless-network protocols (ZigBee, WiFi, EnOcean, Blutooth, ZWave, etc.), and are thus unable to function as a cohesive ecosystem. There are currently no applications that reside on demand response load management systems that efficiently interact with the solar grid system. Although the solar energy industry has experienced rapid growth, high-level management of photovoltaic (PV) arrays has remained an open problem. As sensing and monitoring technology continues to improve, there is an opportunity to deploy sensors in PV arrays in order to improve their management. We examine the potential role of sensing and monitoring Solar technology, focusing on the areas of fault detection, topology optimization, and performance evaluation/data visualization. First, several types of commonly occurring PV array faults are considered and detection algorithms are monitored where solutions can be exercised for positive results. The potential for dynamic optimization of an array's topology analyzed with a focus on mitigation of fault conditions and optimization of power output under non-fault conditions. Finally, the N2 monitoring system design considerations such as type and accuracy of measurements, sampling rate, and communication protocols are considered in identifying a potential solution. It is our belief that the benefits of optimizing solar array and inverter storage levels will be sufficient to offset the small additional cost of sensing solar systems, and that such systems will become a necessity as N2 product commercialize in the very near future.

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Idea No. 347