Solar Washington

Advancing Solar Energy in Washington State

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Welcome

Solar Washington is a nonprofit organization composed of people, companies, programs and organizations working to advance the solar industry in our state. We are an association of solar energy equipment manufacturers, system integrators, distributors, dealers, designers, installers, consultants, students, teachers, and solar enthusiasts. Through education and networking, we promote the development and effective use of solar and renewable energy with concern for the economic, environmental and social fabric of Washington.

NW Solar Summit Dates Announced

The Washington State Solar Summit has historically been the venue to bring together all of the stakeholders in the Washington State solar industry. This year the solar community gets together May 2 and 3 at the Brightwater Center in Woodinville, WA to discuss the future of solar in Washington after 2020. This includes experienced solar contractors and installers, architects, engineers, project managers, utility representatives, sales persons, environmentalists, and the impassioned advocates. Each year these groups have come together to discuss and create solutions to the unique issues they face promoting and expanding the use of solar energy in Washington.

Click for more information and to register.

March 2014

Following is a recap of Solar Washington's March 2014 General Meeting held at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. The March meeting featured presenters from local inverter manufacturers reviewing the history and future of inverter technology in Washington State.

 

Presentations from the meeting


Solar in Washington

Jeremy Smithson representing Solar Installers of Washington (SIW) giving a presentation mainly on current legislative news and updates.
Click to view his presentation. (PDF file; 874KB)

Project of the Month - March 2014

Seattle Aquarium -  49.4kW Solar PV Installation

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The Seattle Aquarium's PV array is the largest aquarium solar installation on the West Coast.  The project is a partnership between the Aquarium and Seattle City Light and is the second solar project in their Community Solar program.   NW Wind & Solar, a division of SME Inc. of Seattle designed and installed the PV array on historic Pier 59.

IMG_3681.JPGProject Details

247-PV modules and 10-string inverters, all Made in Washington, make this an all around local community project that qualifies for Washington’s highest production incentive rates available.

The 200 watt Cascade Series solar modules  are manufactured by Silicon Energy in Marysville , as were the two SiE3840 and eight SiE5300 solar inverters.  Silicon Energy produces the most durable glass on glass PV modules available making them an excellent  application for this marine installation.  Further, only marine grade hardware, conduit, wire management and stainless steel rooftop junction boxes were used to guarantee a corrosion resistant lifetime installation maximizing production for all stake holders. 

 

The Seattle Aquarium's racking assembly required 350 stainless lag bolts that were two inches longer than the largest standard 12-inch bolts. The custom lag bolts were machined specifically for this project. NW Wind & Solar, to assure that the bolts would be perfectly perpendicular with the roof, created templates, or jigs, to guide our drill bits for exact placement every time and enhanced installation efficiency.

 

Minimum Import Relay?

The Seattle Aquarium is located on Seattle City Light's sensitive downtown grid network.  Back-feeding onsite generation onto the utility grid on this project became prohibited.  As a solution, NW Wind & Solar coordinated with Seattle City Light and designed a minimum import relay scheme.  This first of its kind solution for solar PV in SCL's service territory monitors onsite load and if the electrical consumption reaches a minimum value an engineered relay communicates with a set of contactors to physically shut the PV system down and eliminate potential for Net Metering. 

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Viewing Energy Production

The energy production from the Aquarium’s solar system can be tracked in real time with a Deck Monitoring system (works in Chrome and IE anyway).

Click any image in this article for a full size display.

This month's article sponsor is

 

Your support helps Solar Washington advance solar energy use in Washington State. Consider making a donation or becoming a member or sponsor of Solar Washington today.

Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

 
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We're the Washington chapter of the American Solar Energy Society

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Solar 101