Evaluation of Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Systems at The Nature Conservancy - Disney Wilderness Preserve
This report presents the results of an evaluation of two grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems installed at the Disney Wilderness Preserve, in Kissimmee, FL. Conducted by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), this evaluation consisted of visual inspection of the equipment and installation, as well as electrical performance measurements on the PV array and operating system. Following lists the key results from this evaluation. The two grid-connected PV systems at this site were functioning properly and their operational performance is within expectations. The photovoltaic array installation is generally pleasing and complete, and uses listed equipment (PV panels, inverter and combiner box). With a few exceptions the system installations meet National Electrical Code requirements such as wire sizing, overcurrent protection, disconnect requirements and grounding. The exceptions include labeling and identification requirements for PV system equipment, source circuits and back-feed breakers at the service panels. The open junction box for the System #2 inverter AC output circuit wiring should be covered. Readily accessible on-site documentation is needed for these systems, including the inverter user manual, drawings, and operation and maintenance procedures. Some of the information in this report may also be appropriate for on-site documentation. Two types of shading concerns exist for the array installations - shading from the ridge cap at the top and shading from the standing seams between the roofing panels. Simulated shading tests were conducted on a sample panel to quantify the effects of this shading on array and system performance. It is suggested that minimal AC output monitoring (watt-hour meters) be installed on these systems, and readings and other observations be recorded at least once per week by on-site caretakers to help document the long-term performance of these systems. This is particularly important for System #2, where the difficult attic access to the inverter and combiner box make it likely that any system problems will go undetected. These meters could be part of an informative and interactive public display, allowing interested parties to readily evaluate daily and seasonal energy production, as well as the power output as a function of time of day and as clouds pass by.
Florida Solar Energy Center and Dunlop, James, "Evaluation of Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Systems at The Nature Conservancy - Disney Wilderness Preserve" (1999). FSEC Energy Research Center®. 665.