Skip to main content

Grid-connected Pv systems integrated in educational and cultural facilities

Deliverables

Within the UNIVERSOL project, the Municipality of Chambéry installed 2 PV system: - a 6.6kWp PV roof integrated PV system on the "House of Energies", and - a 100kWp PV system on a flat roof. Although the power of the system of the "House of Energies" is rather small, this PV system is a BIPV case study for France as it is composed of semi-transparent PV shading elements. This building is under the ownership of the city of Chambéry but hosts the locally implanted but nationally recognised association for the promotion of renewable energies ASDER, which is known for its training course on demand side management, energy efficiency, renewable energies and waste management. The second system is much more larger as it is at the time of writing the largest PV system in operation in France. This PV system is particularly interesting as it is larger than 36kW, which is the power limit to benefit from the simplified procedure for grid connection and thus needed to follow a much more complicated procedure for the connection to the grid.
The overall objective of the monitoring task addresses three main issues: performance, grid interaction and social acceptance. Social acceptance is a long term activity which is being developed. Diffusion of monitoring results is expected to increase social awareness and public acceptance of renewable energy sources. On the other hand, grid interaction studies are also being developed, although with system sizes below 100kWp, it is probably not particularly useful. Finally, performance monitoring is a key issue for grid connected PV systems, particularly those with complex designs and sited in the urban environment. In that sense, it is important to take into account that building integration constitutes one of the most challenging aspects of photovoltaic industry. Monitoring studies are expected to provide helpful information on PV performance to research laboratories, system designers and public organisations. Thus, the behaviour of systems considered must be analysed in terms of operational performance and reliability, paying special attention to the fulfilment of the expected results, so that the suitability of the installation procedure can be evaluated. Different fundamental aspects are addressed in the current work: - Monitoring guidelines are developed to be used in the system design process, so the photovoltaic operation of photovoltaic utilities can be analysed. Thus, it was necessary to specify those details regarding data collection and their evaluation. - A system performance assessment procedure is developed to be in agreement with EU technical documents. In particular, the evaluation procedure is based on the European Guidelines and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard 61724 titled "Photovoltaic system performance monitoring - Guidelines for measurement, data exchange and analysis". - Monitoring data gathered from the different utilities are presented in graphs and tables in order to allow comparison between different PV plants in the project. This result is now complete and the report is available form inspection on request and can be used for further work in this field providing that reference is made to the eUnivresol project and the authors of the result.
Within the UNIVERSOL project, the Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat installed a 10kWp PV system. The tilt angle of this PV system can be changed so that students of the ENTPE can study the impact of the tilt angle on the annual energy output.
The installation process in itself has provided a useful learning experience in terms of the techniques, technology and design solutions used. The University is well placed to exploit this result by direct dissemination in the Environmental Science and Physics courses that includes modules on solar energy. The same is true of the ongoing monitoring of the project that makes data available for future research projects. The installation is visible and has an indirect dissemination impact on the campus users who pass underneath it every day.
Since the year 2000, the co-operative and ethical financial services bank La Nef and Hespul, a non-profit organisation for the promotion of renewable energies, occupy a small building opposite Lyon's (France) most important scientific university campus, La Doua. Combining their energies and finances, the two organisations have installed a grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of their building. Bearing the evocative name Soleil Marguerite (Sunshine Daisy), the solar electric system was commissioned in December 2003 by the local SME Enersun. Soleil Marguerite is one of 15 similar medium-to-large systems to be installed in the framework of the European funded (5th FP) UNIVERSOL Programme in France, for a total of 345kWp . The systems are integrated into educational or cultural facilities such as high schools, universities and demonstration centres. As well as the European Commission, both the Rhône Alpes regional delegation of the French ADEME (national environment agency) and the Rhône Alpes Regional Government Authority have contributed financially to the system. With a total power of 12.8 kWp (120m²), the system is composed of 128 modules divided into 3 groups from principle system suppliers in France (BP Solar: 6.1kWp, Total Energie: 4.1kWp, Sunwatt France: 4.6kWp) mounted in 17 rows on the 400m² flat roof. ConSole bucket supports, made of 100% chlorine-free recycled plastic, are weighed down by gravel ballast, specially designed without any fixing holes that could affect the weather tightness of flat roofs. The PV system is connected to the national distribution grid (EDF) via six inverters from SMA, Europe's leading manufacturer of electronic inverters that insure the compatibility and security of the grid. The entire production of the PV system is sold at 0.1525EUR/kWh, as provided for in national law. The Soleil Marguerite PV system has a real impact on the electricity needs of the buildings occupiers - the expected production of 13, 000kWh/year will provide the equivalent of 80% of La Nef and Hespul's consumption. In parallel, actions within the two organisations are progressively being put into place to reduce their electricity needs - notably the electricity use due to indoor lighting and the computer park are being reduced through the replacement of existing material with more energy-efficient models. A weather station has been installed in association with sophisticated production monitoring equipment for real-time monitoring. The monitoring data will be made available to students for practical sessions on grid connected photovoltaic systems. The monitoring will also be used to undertake a comparison of the technical performance of the three different subsystems from each supplier. The building's flat roof is also equipped with a fenced viewing zone so that students and the public can visit the site in complete safety. Over and above the technical and educational qualities of the systems, the Soleil Marguerite PV system is an illustration of the common preoccupation for a sustainable, ethical and social development for everyone today and in the future of the two organisations La Nef and Hespul. To demonstrate this commitment, all revenue from the sale of electricity will assist the financing of other renewable and sustainable projects in the earliest future possible.
The installation process in itself has provided a useful learning experience in terms of the techniques, technology and design solutions used. The University will exploit this result by direct dissemination in the courses that includes modules on solar energy. These courses are talking about quality of electric energy and about PV design applications. The same is true of the ongoing monitoring of the project that makes data available for future research projects. The installation is visible and has an indirect dissemination impact on the campus users and on surrounding areas.
Since April 2004 until December 2004, the Badalona town council PV installation at Can Casacoberta library has produced 8163kWh. The PV installation is working as expected and it hasn't had any technical problems. Our dissemination activities include an exhibition week of solar energy where this project was explained and showed. Nowadays we are finishing the design of a web site where the technical characteristics of the project will be shown as well as the monitoring on line of the results.
The main goals of this project are: - Commercial: In this case it isn't applied. - Social: To expand the knowledge of the renewable energy to the young students. The facility is visited and a teacher explain the main aspects of the solar energy. - Scientific: To develop and verify technical requirements that may serve as pre-normative technical guidelines for the network interconnection of building-integrated and other dispersed Photovoltaic (PV) systems. - Dissemination: The last years we had around 3, 000 visitors, one visit per day with a medium of 15 persons per day. We showed the several areas in S. Agustin (Solar energy, Fuel cells, Electrical cars, great system storage,...). - Expected benefits: With this kind of project we would like to disseminate the use of renewable energy in the benefit of us. This is the main point of our business strategy.
The installation process in itself has provided a useful learning experience in terms of the techniques, technology and design solutions used. The municipality is well placed to exploit this result by direct dissemination in the context of the local Agenda 21. The same is true of the ongoing monitoring of the project that makes data available for other local entities interested in making use of renewable energy. The installation is visible and has an indirect dissemination impact on the citizens who pass by every day.
The installation process in itself has provided a useful learning experience in terms of the techniques, technology and design solutions used. The University is well placed to exploit this result by direct dissemination in the undergraduate and postgraduate courses that include modules on solar energy. The same is true of the ongoing monitoring of the project that makes data available for future research projects. The installation is visible and has an indirect dissemination impact on the campus users who pass underneath it every day.
Participation in the UnivERsol project has been very instructive for the University of Leicester, not only through the realisation of a first-class demonstration and research facility for PV technology, but in particular through the exposure of senior management and Estates staff to the potential of PV integration in existing and future University buildings. This has resulted in a second PV system of 38.8kWp on the new extension of the Main Library on the campus. The participation has further enhanced the knowledge of academic and technical staff in the Engineering Department on the design and implementation of PV systems and the associated data monitoring equipment. This has placed the University in a strong position to offer consultancy services and carry out further research in this field in conjunction with industrial and academic partners. Information on PV technology and its potential for clean generation of electricity is being disseminated to Engineering students through appropriate modules (Power Systems and Energy Systems) and student projects, and also to the general public through visit days, using a purpose designed display arrangement in the building that houses the PV array and electrical installation.
The UnivERsol project had a very positive effect on the PV market in France. First, thanks to the support of the DG TREN of the European Commission, building owners could benefit from a subsidy of 35% of the system price which made possible either the installation of very well integrated PV systems or large PV systems. The "Energy House" of the City of Chambéry in the Alps, which hosts ASDER, a very dynamic association for the promotion of renewable, and the Gresivaudan High School situated in Meylan next to Grenoble also in the Alps are both Building Integrated Photovoltaic Show Cases for France. The construction of such integrated PV systems shows the weakness of the young French PV Industry when it deals with building integration and the experienced building industry but also makes it possible for PV installers to improve themselves and to learn from such experiences. Also, larger systems such as the 100kWp PV system of the City of Chambéry, which is the largest PV system in operation in France, were possible thanks to the UnivERsol project. This PV system is particularly interesting as it is larger than 36kW, which is the power limit to benefit from the simplified procedure for grid connection. Both procedures to connect PV systems to the grid, the simplified one and the standard one, are much too much complicated for PV owners and need to be drastically simplified in order to mainstream PV in France. Dissemination toward teachers and students has been taken as a very important part of the UnivERsol project in France. For instance, a brochure to promote the project, a specific web site in French and a tool to evaluate irradiation according to orientation and tilt angle called an "Irradiation Disk" were designed for this project in order to give satisfaction to the high level of interest for that technology within the education sector. As there is still a lack of information available in French on this topic which allows "PV detractors" to disseminate wrong information on PV such as the fact that PV systems can not recover during their lifetime the amount of energy that was necessary to manufacture them or that PV module production generates more pollution than any other power sources, it has been decided to benefit from the UNIVERSOL project to organise a conference targeted to teachers and directors of schools/universities. This conference was organised in October 2004 at the Gresivaudan High school in Grenoble by students themselves in order to let teachers explain to other teachers how to organise a demand side management campaign in educational buildings, how to make pupils and students work on renewable and finally why and how to install a PV system on the roof of educational buildings. This conference, known as the closing conference of the UnivERsol project in France, was a real success.
Within the UNIVERSOL project, the University Lyon 1 Claude Bernard installed a 10kWp PV system on the Thermal and Energy Department of the Technical Institute IUT in Bourg-en-Bresse. General courses on renewable energies are organised in this site and a practical course has been created in 2002 in order to allow students to work on the PV system. The practical course is divided in 4 parts: - Sizing of the PV system. - Measurement of the typical curves of PV modules such as the U-I curve. - Simulation of the production with Pvsyst software. - Processing and analysing real monitoring data.
Within the UNIVERSOL project, the Rhone-Alp Regional Council installed 2 PV system on 2 High Schools: - a 45kWp PV system integrated in the glazing structure of the Gresivaudan High School in Meylan, next to Grenoble, and - a 36kWp PV system integrated in the façade of the Monge High School in Chambéry and used as shading element. Both systems have a relatively important power and are well integrated and particularly the Gresivaudan High School in Meylan which is at present the Building Integrated Photovoltaic Show Case for France and thus is often visited. Also, it must be noticed that the key of the success of this operation is that from the beginning of the project, teachers have been strongly involved in the management of the technical and non-technical aspects of the project, and have involved their students in each phase of the project, from the very beginning with the organisation of a DMS campaign in the High School in order to reduce the energy consumption, to the analyse of the feasibility study, the monitoring of the installation and the analyse of the monitoring data of the PV system. In collaboration with HESPUL, the closing conference of the UnivERsol project in France, was organised in this High School and was composed of 3 Information days which had all a very specific target: - Thursday 14 October was organised for students of the Gresivaudan High School to present to them and allow them to visit the PV system and official inauguration of the PV system by politicians and decision makers. - Friday 15 October 2004 was an information day about UNIVERSOL and training courses on Demand Side Management campaigns, Renewable Energies in general and PV in particular for teachers and professors of the Rhone-Alpes Region. - Saturday 16 October was an Open Day for the general public of the Grenoble region organised in partnership with local associations for the promotion of renewable energies, such as AGEDEN or the Grenoble SAVE agency. This conference, known as the closing conference of the UnivERsol project in France, was a real success.
Within the UNIVERSOL project, the Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Arts et Métiers de Lille installed a 18kWp system on the shed roof of the Electrical Engineering Department. ENSAM Lille will use this system to make students work on the generation of electricity from RES and on the impact of RES production on distribution grids.
During the early stages of design development the scheme included 122.5m² of thin film laminates to form the type B array. However, overheating failures of the glass/ glass double-glazing resulted in the manufacturer removing this technology from the scheme. The project was then re-designed following the introduction of Polycrystalline cells to the glass/glass laminates of the Type B array. The space makes use of monocrystalline PV laminates integrated into the double-glazed roof (type A array). The individual cells being separated to provide 15% transparency. The glazed façade utilises integrated square Polycrystalline cells which have a 15% degree of transparency and one band of clear glazing to provide an enhanced visual aspect (type B array). Procurement of the works has proved to be a significant challenge, introducing significant disruption to the ZICER building project. The rapid expansion of the UK PV market has created significant Cash flow difficulties for the installers who are relatively small companies who do not have the financial gearing for projects of this scale. At a critical time in the construction of this building the installers (PV facades) had cash flow difficulties, necessitating the intervention of the main contractor and BP Solar who both purchased materials for PV Façades and assisted them to gain further investment.
Since 26th September 2003 until 31st December 2004, the UAB PV installation at Plaça Cívica has produced 69.780kWh. The PV installation is working as expected from the very beginning and the real production is also as planned. Our dissemination activities include: - External display to show data of PV installation. - Open day: "PV Solar Energy: univERsol project at UAB" (5-11-2003). - Web page of PV installations: www.xarxasolar.net.
Within the UNIVERSOL project, the Municipality of Chambéry installed a 24kWp PV system on the roof of a municipal building. In order to improve the educational benefits of the PV system installed within the UNIVERSOL project, the municipality of Montmélian organised a poster competition for the pupils of the public schools of this municipality. The topic of this competition was to make a drawing to illustrate the link between the PV system installed and the use of electric vehicles, which makes the sun the fuel to power the cars. All drawings were presented at the official inauguration of the PV system and the winning drawing was printed on the electric cars of the municipality, next to the official logo of the municipality and the logo showing the efforts of the municipality in terms of solar energy.
The installation process in itself has provided a useful learning experience in terms of the techniques, technology and design solutions used. The municipality is well placed to exploit this result by direct dissemination in the context of the local Agenda 21. The same is true of the ongoing monitoring of the project that makes data available for other local entities interested in making use of renewable energy. The installation is visible and has an indirect dissemination impact on the citizens who pass by every day.
Within the UNIVERSOL project, the GEFEn (Groupement d'Etablissements de Formation à l'Energie) installed a 10kWp PV system on the flat roof a the Maximilien Perret High Schools in the Paris region. This PV system is used by the GEFEN for practical course on RES during professional training sessions.
The installation process in itself has provided a useful learning experience in terms of the techniques, technology and design solutions used. The centre is well placed to exploit this result by direct dissemination in courses relating to manufacturing and installation technologies and techniques. There have been difficulties with the initial operation and collection of data from the systems but it is hoped that this will be of use as an educational tool in the future. The installation has an indirect dissemination impact on the centre users who pass underneath it every day.
The website provides a description of the status of the UnivERsol projects, including up-to date monitoring of the PV systems, links with other interesting web pages, and training, technical and sociological issue information. The web page was set on-line in 4 languages since October 2003. The address is: www.universol-europe.org (or universol.org) Another web-site, directly linked with the general one, was also set by the French partners (HESPUL) with the address: www.universol-france.org
The installation process in itself has provided a useful learning experience in terms of the techniques, technology and design solutions used. The municipality is well placed to exploit this result by direct dissemination in the context of the local Agenda 21. The same is true of the ongoing monitoring of the project that makes data available for other local entities interested in making use of renewable energy. The installation is visible and has an indirect dissemination impact on the citizens who pass by every day.
Within the UNIVERSOL project, the Languedoc Roussillon installed a 5kWp PV system on the Pic Saint-Loup High Schools next to Montpellier which is one Building Integrated Photovoltaic Show Case for France. This PV system is composed of custom made semi-transparent PV modules integrated in the porch roof of the High School.
The monitoring within the project addresses three issues: performance, grid interaction and social acceptance. Performance monitoring is a key issue for grid connected PV systems, particularly those with complex designs and sited in the urban environment. The results of the monitoring exercise was included in the web site via ftp.
Today photovoltaics, like other Renewable Energy technologies, is positively taking off throughout Europe. Perhaps inevitably barriers are being encountered en-route which are independent of the present technological knowledge. Within UnivERsol, European universities and cultural centres have encountered many such problems. It is a tribute to their perseverance that they have collectively increased the installed European photovoltaic capacity by 829kWp in 27 grid connected photovoltaic systems. The experience has been enriching and has also produced results in terms of lessons learnt and knowledge gained in addition to the benefits of producing clean electrical energy. A large number of students, staff, visitors or simply passers-by are in direct contact with the photovoltaic facilities, either on a single basis or as a pedagogical, training or research tool: educational and cultural organisations are not only a source of knowledge but also a source of thought. This booklet presents a summary of UnivERsol activities.
The main objective of this result is to develop and verify technical requirements that may serve as pre-normative technical guidelines for the network interconnection of building-integrated and other dispersed Photovoltaic (PV) systems. The developments of these technical guidelines aim at a safe, reliable and low cost interconnection of PV systems with the electric power network. the task considers PV systems connected with the low-voltage network with a typical peak power rating between 100 Watt and 50kW. The operational experience with PV systems itself is at an acceptable high level and today's installed PV systems are of a good quality and are able to operate without any problems for many years. The price level of the PV modules and the Balance of System costs (inverter included) have decreased significantly. The use to PV systems connected in parallel with the utility electric power network has become very favourable and is often supported by incentives from utilities and/or governmental bodies. Before connecting a PV system to the power network, the DC voltage of the solar modules must be converted into an AC voltage. Some protection systems are required preventing damages in the PV system caused by the utility network and vice versa. Other important aspects are the electrical installation procedures, electrical interference between network and one or more PV systems, EMC and harmonics. For some topics PV does put special constraints on the solution that are normally used by the utilities. Hence, international work is required on utility aspects of grid connected PV systems. In this task we have collected several topics that need attention, all of them related to the electrical aspects of PV systems and power networks. The topics are ordered in the following categories: - Harmonics. - Multiple inverters in parallel mode. - Grounding of equipment. - Ground fault detector. - Over-voltage protection. - Islanding. - EMI of inverter and Array. - External disconnect. - Re-closing. - DC injection and isolation transformer.
In general the project was prepared very well and not many unexpected problems occurred. A total of 5 different manufacturers/installing companies were invited for the bidding. The contract was won by Stroomwerk bv from Deventer. There were two problems with the construction that came out during the design process and at the start of the construction work. - The systems are design as lightweight flat roof systems with a maximum load of 25kg/m². This is probably the lowest load possible. In general the roofing material will be covered with a layer of crushed stone to protect the roofing material against UV and the direct sun. The weight of this layer can be compared with the weight of this PV system. However, the client decided to take another roofing material without crushed stone. The total weight of the roof was much lower and so was the construction under it. With the PV system as an extra load, the dimensions of the steel structure had to be altered in a system with larger dimensions. The cost of this alteration was not in the cost for the PV System but the cause was the weight of the PV system. The municipality and SWAGRO worked together to find some budget space in the design and construction of the building to solve this financial problem. - There was a delay in the construction of the system because of a temporary shortage of modules due to a change in subsidy rules and a peak in the selling of modules. For this reason the system installation was not finished before January 1, 2004 but at January 29, 2004 (official start).
The installation process in itself has provided a useful learning experience in terms of the techniques, technology and design solutions used. The University is well placed to exploit this result by direct dissemination in the Environmental Science and Physics courses that includes modules on solar energy. The same is true of the ongoing monitoring of the project that makes data available for future research projects. The installation is visible and has an indirect dissemination impact on the campus users who pass underneath it every day.
Installation of a 14.4 PV system at the IUT de Tarbes which is part of the Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse 3. The PV system equipped of a monitoring system in order to record the production data that are then processed by students of the IUT or LP STER, a professional course on renewable energy.
The documentation relates to a dissemination seminar held at the Universtitat de les Illes Balears on November 12th 2004. This seminar was targeted at postgraduate students who were given a certificate of attendance that was valid as a credit towards their studies. As the programme indicates, the event included not only project participants but also the representative of the Balearic Islands government responsible for renewable energy development and also a bus trip to visit one of the UniERsol project installations (Artà).