Sean Gets interviewed on the Clean Power Hour Podcast

• July 20th, 2022
This is a re-posting of a podcast where Sean White is interviewed by Tim Montegue on the Clean Power Hour Podcast.
 
If you have not already, be sure to save the Clean Power Hour podcast to your favorites. Tim is very active and has all kinds of experts on his podcast, including Jigar Shaw of the Department of Energy (Episode 83). I was honored to be interviewed on the Clean Power Hour and listen to the Clean Power Hour religiously.
 
Tim took my NABCEP PV Technical Sales Course at HeatSpring, so if it is good enough for Tim, it is good enough for you!

 

Show Notes From Clean Power Hour:

Get a 15% discount to attend Midwest Solar Expo with discount code: CPH15. www.MidwestSolarExpo.com/, the premier B2B solar and clean energy event in the region.

As innovation in solar chugs along and consumer perception climbs and falls, one thing is true.  New terminology – with accompanying acronyms – appears almost daily right now in solar industry.  From “solar economics” to “virtual power plants (VPP) ” to “frequency regulation” and “vehicle to grid (V2G),” these terms are the future of solar.  And solar is climbing high.

Sean White is an award-winning solar photovoltaic (PV) professor, master trainer, solar contractor and author of several books, including Solar Photovoltaic Basics, Solar PV Engineering and Installation, PV Technical Sales, PV and the NEC and Energy Storage Basics.  

On this episode of Clean Power Hour, Sean joins Tim to talk about important milestones in the history of solar technology from its inception in the 1950’s to its maturity today.  They discuss solar energy storage, bidirectional car batteries, self-consumption systems, V2G, VPPs, getting to cash positive, plus details on important upcoming industry conferences.

Listen in to bring that expertise to the forefront to tackle any business challenge, hire new talent, acquire new business and so much more.

Key Takeaways

Milestones in PV cell development from its invention in 1954 to one gigawatt installed worldwide in 2000 to one terawatt installed worldwide in 2022 

How the price adoption curve has played a major role in the solar industry

How battery size and availability introduce the new frontier of solar: “solar plus storage” 

Why California has half of solar energy production and its likely status-change to a “self-consumption system” in the very near future

Sean’s predicted boom of self-consumption systems and how the “price is right” for bidirectional batteries in electric vehicles 

The essential missing piece that is the main barrier to V2G technology

Which mainstream car company is actively working on a V2G-ready car

How solar energy will become economical in 5-10 years

Why energy storage can assist with “frequency regulation” (injecting extra power into the grid or holding back when necessary)

How the “solar coaster” came to be and why solar could be the next massive money-maker

How utilities pushing back sends consumers migrating off grid

Connect with Sean

SolarSEAN.com

Sean on LinkedIn

Books by Sean

White House Solar 

Connect with Tim  

Clean Power Hour  

Clean Power Hour on YouTube

Tim on Twitter

Tim on LinkedIn 

Email tgmontague@gmail.com 

Review Clean Power Hour on Apple Podcasts

Resources 

HeatSpring.com

Grid Alternatives

RE+ Southeast Conference, May 11-12, 2022

Re+ Conference, September 19-22, 2022

InterSolar North America Conference, February 14-16, 2023

RE+ Northeast Confe

The Clean Power Hour is produced by the Clean Power Consulting Group and created by Tim Montague. Please subscribe on your favorite audio platform and on Youtube: bit.ly/cph-sub | www.CleanPowerHour.com | contact us by email:  CleanPowerHour@gmail.com | Speeding the energy transition!


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2023 NEC preview with Bill Brooks at Intersolar 2022 Part 3

• June 15th, 2022

Some of the areas of the NEC that we cover in this podcast are:

NEC Article 702 Optional Standby Systems, Load Control, Disconnecting Means, UL 1741 for Power Control Systems, 706.15 Location Control for 1 and 2-family Dwellings

Quotes: Bill Brooks (soon to be famous quotes).

“Tesla, Enphase, SolarEdge, are all getting listed as energy management systems.”

“You will damage most generators if you run out of fuel under load.”

“Hey Siri, turn off my ESS.”

“Here’s what happened in the 2023 Code.”

“706.15 Location Control for 1- and 2-Family Dwellings, an ESS shall include an emergency shutdown function to cease the export of power from the ESS to the premises wiring of other systems.”

“You could have a device that could have rapid shutdown and ESS emergency shutdown” “you could use the same switch”

This is a recording of part of an NEC workshop at the Intersolar 2022 conference at the Long Beach California Convention Center in January 2022.

 

The workshop was titled:
Energy Storage, PV and the NEC.

 

Bill Brooks is instrumental in the process of coming up with material for the NEC for renewable energy systems, especially for solar, energy storage and interconnections. Although the 2023 NEC has not been finalized or published, this is as good of a preview as you can get for knowing what the future will bring. Many manufacturers, engineers, CEOs and other decisionmakers can make better informed decisions about the future, knowing what will be in the National Electrical Code.

Bill Brooks is on NEC Code Making Panel 4 (the alternative energy panel) and has been perhaps the most active member of the PV Industry Forum, which is where new material for the NEC for Solar PV, Energy Storage and Interconnections are made. Bill has been working on Codes and Standards for 34 years. Bill Brooks and Sean White also published the book PV and the NEC.

Note: This podcast was recorded on an iPhone 13 and to my surprise the recording quality was way better than expected, so we decided to podcast it!

WARNING: Bill Brooks and Sean White sometimes think they are funny. If you disagree with this and do not like dad jokes, do not listen to this podcast.

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Part 2: 2023 NEC preview with Bill Brooks at Intersolar 2022

• June 1st, 2022

Some of the areas of the NEC that we cover in this podcast are:

Ground Fault Protection, Ground Fault Detection and interruption (GFDI) term clarified (not to be confused with GFCI), 690.45 Equipment Grounding Conductors (EGC) includes DC and AC not having to increase size of EGC when upsizing current carrying conductor for voltage drop (now also applies to AC PV and modifies NEC 250.122), 250.122 EGC sized based on OCPD, Microgrid Interconnect Device (MID), Interactive Mode vs. Voltage Mode, putting multiple inverters prior to the first OCPD, 705.13 Power Control Systems (PCS) was changed to Energy Management Systems (EMS), EMS was previously just for loads, Tesla Powerwall, PCS is not the part of the EMS that is controlling sources, Batteries as Source and Load, EVs Article 625, and more!

Quotes: Bill Brooks (soon to be famous quotes).

“Changes in size for voltage drop do not have to increase the size of the equipment grounding conductor”

“It’s penalizing you for doing the right thing” Bill on 250.122 upsizing the EGC for voltage drop."

“All we’ve done is we’ve taken the microgrid interconnect device and stuck it inside the inverter” Bill on multimode inverter with 2 AC outputs."

“We could have a system that was 50kW going into a 100A service.” 

“We have large systems right now, that have a 5MW interconnection that have a 30 PV array on them.” 

“You can run a 400A feed to a large EV charging area, you can put 20 cars on it.” “The controller would never allow you to draw more than 400A.”

“You have a controller that prevents the conductors from receiving too much current.”

“At the end of the day, the NEC is all about safety. It’s all about, we do not burn buildings down with correctly installed electrical equipment.”

This is a recording of part of an NEC workshop at the Intersolar 2022 conference at the Long Beach California Convention Center in January 2022.

 

The workshop was titled:

Energy Storage, PV and the NEC.

 

Bill Brooks is instrumental in the process of coming up with material for the NEC for renewable energy systems, especially for solar, energy storage and interconnections. Although the 2023 NEC has not been finalized or published, this is as good of a preview as you can get for knowing what the future will bring. Many manufacturers, engineers, CEOs and other decisionmakers can make better informed decisions about the future, knowing what will be in the National Electrical Code.

Bill Brooks is on NEC Code Making Panel 4 (the alternative energy panel) and has been perhaps the most active member of the PV Industry Forum, which is where new material for the NEC for Solar PV, Energy Storage and Interconnections are made. Bill has been working on Codes and Standards for 34 years. Bill Brooks and Sean White also published the book PV and the NEC.

Note: This podcast was recorded on an iPhone 13 and to my surprise the recording quality was way better than expected, so we decided to podcast it!

WARNING: Bill Brooks and Sean White sometimes think they are funny. If you disagree with this and do not like dad jokes, do not listen to this podcast.

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2023 NEC preview with Bill Brooks at Intersolar 2022 Part 1

• May 17th, 2022

Bill Brooks is instrumental in the process of coming up with material for the NEC for renewable energy systems, especially for solar, energy storage and interconnections. Although the 2023 NEC has not been finalized or published, this is as good of a preview as you can get for knowing what the future will bring. Many manufacturers, engineers, CEOs and other decisionmakers can make better informed decisions about the future, knowing what will be in the National Electrical Code.

Bill Brooks is on NEC Code Making Panel 4 (the alternative energy panel) and has been perhaps the most active member of the PV Industry Forum, which is where new material for the NEC for Solar PV, Energy Storage and Interconnections are made. Bill has been working on Codes and Standards for 34 years. Bill Brooks and Sean White also published the book PV and the NEC.

Some of the areas of the NEC that we cover in this podcast are:

NEC Article 100 Definitions. All definitions moving to article 100 (no more 690.2 definitions), Electronic Power Converter, Electronic Transformer, Inverter Definition, PV Hazard Control UL 3741, Rapid Shutdown, 690.4, 690.12, NEC 750 Energy Management Systems (EMS), NEC 705.13 Power Control Systems (PCS), Net-Metering 3.0 Protest, NEC 712 DC Microgrids removed from the NEC and you use 705, PV String Circuits (strings now in NEC for first time), PV Output Circuit removed, PV System Output Circuit, Recombiner (Bill is not fond of this term), Paralleling Circuits in Harnesses, First Solar Modules, 2023 NEC PV Source Circuits go into and out of DC Combiner, String Circuit is series only (not parallel), DC-to-DC Converter Circuit, Wild PV, PV System Disconnect, 690.15 reorganized, Locking Requirements, Ground Fault Protection, Ground Fault Detection and interruption (GFDI) term clarified (not to be confused with GFCI), 690.45 Equipment Grounding Conductors (EGC) includes DC and AC not having to increase size of EGC when upsizing current carrying conductor for voltage drop (now also applies to AC).

Quotes: Bill Brooks (soon to be famous quotes).

“When you see a change in the Code, it does not mean that the requirements change.”

“90% of changes in the Code are not changes in requirements”

“We will never make a Code that will be clear to everyone”

“Codes are using text to convey fairly complex concepts to the public”

“Energy Management Systems (EMS) was unified with other parts of the Code”

“NEC Code Making Panel 4 is referred to now as the alternative energy panel”

“They’re putting maintenance requirements into a construction code”

“We got PV string circuits into the NEC”

“SolarEdge can put 100 PV modules on a Circuit”

This is a recording of part of an NEC workshop at the Intersolar 2022 conference at the Long Beach California Convention Center in January 2022.

 

The workshop was titled:

Energy Storage, PV and the NEC.

 

Note: This podcast was recorded on an iPhone 13 and to my surprise the recording quality was way better than expected, so we decided to podcast it!

WARNING: Bill Brooks and Sean White sometimes think they are funny. If you disagree with this and do not like dad jokes, do not listen to this podcast.

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Keith Cronin: Solar MBA instructor on HeatSpring!

• March 8th, 2022

Keith CroninSolar MBA instructor on HeatSpring!

 

Keith sold his Hawaii solar company Island Energy Solutions to Jigar Shaw of SunEdison in 2007 after knowing Jigar since 2002. 

 

Keith has been teaching his Solar MBA class for just over a decade with co-instructor and attorney Chris Lord. They have taught many students, including oil and gas refugees. 

 

Keith Cronin does consulting via his company Sun Hedge with clients all over the world, including the Department of Defense.  He has lived in many different countries throughout his solar career. 

 

Listening to this podcast will give you insight into the process for developing large solar projects and systems to run your growing business. 

 

Final wise words from Keith Cronin:

  1. Fail more quickly
  2. Stumble ahead
  3. Don’t be afraid
  4. Ask questions
  5. Learn from others and you’ll be glad you did!

Click here to find out more about Keith Cronin’s classes!

 

Make sure to stop by www.SolarSEAN.com for a life altering experience! Knowledge is power and power times time is energy!

 

Thanks,

Sean

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Pre-Celebrating 1TW of PV installed in 2022

• January 19th, 2022
Welcome to 2022, the year of the Terawatt! That's right, this year will cross the trillion watt mark!
 
2022 will be remembered as the year that humanity reached the magic number of 1 trillion watts, aka 1 terawatt or 1TW of solar installed since the beginning of time. We do not have to take into consideration the amount of solar taken out of service, since that is so low, it probably will be replaced in less than a month, so that means we will hit the milestone of installed 1TW since 1 million BC and we will also have 1TW that is installed and working every day.
 
1TW = 1000GW = a million megawatts!
 
According to a July 2021 article titles "Solar continues to break installation records, on track for Terawatt scale by 2022" by Solar Power Europe, Earth will hit 900 GW in 2021, 1.1 TW in 2022, 1.3 TW in 2023, 1.6 TW in 2023, and 1.8 TW in 2025. 
 
At a world population of 7.9 Billion, we are close to hitting another milestone too. 
 
To put a trillion watts into context, the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl was 1GW, so the power output of 1000 Chernobyls is about equal to the power output of solar on Earth sometime in 2022. There are a little over 2TW of coal plants operating in the world right now, so we are not there yet. I also do not want to fool you and have to mention that coal and nuclear do work at night, so we need more solar to make up for that, along with energy storage and high voltage DC lines across time zones, which is more easily engineered physically than politically. Can you imagine Middle America allowing the East and West Coasts sharing daylight electricity via power lines through their states? Perhaps we will have to stick to energy storage right now. 
 
I once saw a presentation by Dr. Shi who was the founder of Suntech in China, where he pointed out that we could have high voltage dc (HVDC) power lines that circle the globe. The pathway would be from South Africa, up to Eurasia and then across the Bering Straits to Alaska and down to Argentina. Once climate change hits, perhaps we can also have an HVDC extension to the green pastures of Antartica!
 
To put HVDC into context and using 1 million volts as an example, we would be able to carry a MW with 1 Amp! We would be able to carry a GW, which is all of the power that Chernobyl could produce with 1000A. There are many homes that are wired for 100A and many buildings that are wired for well over 1000A. Depending on your source, the largest PV project in the world is about 1GW, so now putting that into wire sizing terms, you can easily transport a GW using wire tables in the NEC (utilities do not have to follow the NEC and can size their wires smaller). 
 
The reason that HVDC is the perfect way to carry large amounts of power over long distances, is because Voltage x Current = Power, so with high voltage, you need much less current for the same amount of power and current is what heats up a wire, not voltage. The reason that we do not use high voltage in our houses is because high voltage is sparky.
 
Go to www.SolarSEAN.com to find out more!
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Net-metering, bypass diodes, solar & storage and NEC Article 480 vs. Article 706 Q&As

• December 15th, 2021
In this question we have the following questions and answers:
 
1. Net metering: Why it is different in different places whether or not you can and should feed energy back to the grid when you have an excess.
 
2. How bypass diodes work and also with half-cell PV modules.
 
3. Why solar goes so well with energy storage systems (ESS).
 
4. National Electrical Code (NEC) articles 480 Storage Batteries vs. 706 Energy Storage Systems and why you should use 706
 
For more info, go to www.solarSEAN.com
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Deep dive on Energy Storage and Renewables: Sean White Interview on Cory Vanderpool’s “Solar Broadcast” podcast.

• December 1st, 2021
Sean White (solarSEAN.com) is interviewed on his former student Cory Vanderpool's podcast
 
The talk about various subjects including:
 
Solar and wind are finally cheapest forms of electricity
 
EVs bringing down the cost of lithium-ion Energy Storage Systems (ESS)
 
Battery benefits including being a load, besides being a source of power 
 
Wind power’s cubed relationship to wind speed
 
Frequency regulation is the biggest use for energy storage right now
 
Negative energy pricing in Germany
 
Ramp rates of energy storage beating all other forms of energy by a long shot, especially underground mined resources (fossil fuels and nuclear)
 
EV to grid future
 
LG Batteries in cars vs. home ESS price being the same
 
Lithium-ion graphite anodes, silicon anodes, lithium metal anode, specific energy (energy per weight), dendrites, energy density (energy per volume)
 
Sean’s $0.20 to $0.40 per kWh battery price prediction in 10-years
 
Soldering home-made lithium-ion battery packs
 
Battery cells, battery modules, battery packs definition
 
Buying houses with pre-existing solar, real estate with solar, and knowing how to value them, solar valuation, solar asset value, solar offset value (offsetting electricity)
 
You can see Cory’s podcast home page at: https://sparkcertified.mykajabi.com/podcasts/solar-broadcast
 
Cory’s webpage:
 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn
 
 
Sean White's classes, books and everything else: www.solarSEAN.com
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Grounding, Microhydro Hybrid Systems, Batteries & Mono vs. Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells

• November 17th, 2021

In this podcast we answer 2 questions:

1) Grounding is important and can be confusing with many different theories of how and why it should be done. Here we are going to talk about the basics, including the neutral (grounded conductor), the equipment grounding conductor (EGC) and the grounding electrode conductor (GEC). We will even make a mention of SWER (single wire earth return), which means using 1 wire for transmission and using the Earth as a conductor! Here is a link about that last part, so you don’t think I am making it up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-wire_earth_return

2) Batteries were once always included with PV systems and not as the grid has more intermittent renewables, batteries are making a comeback. We will discuss energy storage, off grid PV systems in Haines Alaska’s Mud Bay and microhydro for generating electricity.

3) Monocrystalline PV has taken over the number 1 spot from polycrystalline silicon solar cells in the last few years. We will discuss the differences of how these solar cells are made and how they look.

To find out more about solar and storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com

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EV to home, Recycling Lithium Batteries & 30% Efficient PV questions answered

• November 5th, 2021

This podcast answers 3 questions on solar and storage.

1) EV to home can mean EV to grid and EV to backup. Ford has announced that their F-150 Lightning Electric Pickup will be released next year and will have the ability to backup a house. What does that mean? Will it be able to work with a PV system and keep the battery charged or will it only work as long as the battery is charged? Will it be able to send electricity to the grid?

2) Now that there are a tremendous amount of lithium-ion batteries being manufactured, what will happen at the end of their lives? Fortunately, lithium-ion battery materials are not very toxic, unlike lead-acid batteries. Just like with solar modules, if we accidentally throw the materials in the trash, it will not be a toxicity issue, just a waste issue. Lithium-ion batteries will get recycled and the most important aspect of this is the need for cobalt, since much of the cobalt comes from the Congo, where child labor is often used.

3) The average efficiency of PV being installed these days hovers somewhere under 20% and the super high efficiency that people buy for some rich people's homes can be 22% efficient. It is interesting that for space applications, you can see up to 40% efficient PV, which has to be super-efficient! Even the richest guy in the world (Elon Musk) thinks gallium arsenide PV is expensive for space and has mentioned that he is using some crystalline silicon PV on some satellites. To find out more about gallium arsenide space solar cells, go to https://www.spectrolab.com/photovoltaics.html and make sure you have a few million bitcoin on your credit card (joke).

To find out more about solar and storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com

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