SOLMETRIC CEO URGES RENEWABLE ENERGY SURGE
BY STAS MARGARONIS, RBTUS
Willard Mc Donald, president and CEO of Solmetric, a maker of testing equipment for the solar energy industry believes that solar energy is a fundamental source of energy.
McDonald spoke at the Green Jobs Conference at Santa Rosa (CA) Junior College on March 1st in which he urged participants to intensify their support for the renewable energy industry and help decrease the nation’s carbon foot print.
McDonald says ‘current uncertainties in Congress about tax credits for solar and wind installations have dampened growth and sales and slowed the transition to renewable energy.’
The sales of testing equipment keep pace with new installations and development so that business for testing suppliers is no longer as vibrant as it has been in the past.
He set up his Sebastopol,Californiacompany with the idea of simplifying and optimizing the installation of solar panels on homes and buildings.
The company offers two solar measurement devices, the Solmetric SunEye and the Solmetric PV Analyzer, on the market.
Shade can be a major factor in reducing the amount of sun’s energy that reaches a solar PV panel. It can determine the success or failure of a solar financial investment.
To this end, the Solmetric SunEye was developed. The most recent Solmetric SunEye 210 provides shade measurement for one year, assisting in site evaluation and energy production estimates for PV panels. Utilizing a calibrated fisheye lens to capture an entire sky, including the horizon and any obstructions such as trees, annual sunpaths for your latitude/longitude are superimposed, obstructions identified, and the solar access is calculated. The position and timing of shade can not only be observed but minimized by positioning the module. Obstructions can be removed or added to simulate trees or new construction. With electronic tilt and compass sensors, the handheld SunEye provides accurate and convenient digital image processing and connects to a computer for further analysis and reports.
The SunEye Extension Kit includes a telescoping pole that reaches 5.4 meters (18 feet). The Solmetric SunEye is attached to the pole which enables you to take shade measurements in locations that are difficult to access, such as rooftops.
PV Designer software, another Solmetric product, lets you compare the estimated energy production in various design scenarios for site optimization.
The Solmetric PV Analyzer monitors the performance of the PV panel system by comparing measured and modeled array performance. The Solmetric PV Analyzer measures current and voltage (I-V Curve tracing) for all possible points at which PV modules can be operated or loaded providing a complete and detailed performance analysis. The I-V Curve tracing is the best information for troubleshooting, auditing, commissioning and providing evidence for warranty claims. The PV Analyzer has three advanced built-in models that ensure coverage of all PV model types. The PV Analyzer stores all data allowing for a detailed history of array performance