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Basics & Theory

AMECO: Glossary Of Terms For Solar Photovoltaic
AMECO, a Southern California solar contactor, provides an alphabetical glossary of terms used in the photovoltaic solar industry.

CleanTechnica: A Brief History Of Photovoltaic Solar
CleanTechnica provides a short history of photovoltaic solar panels and solar power.

CMHC: Overview Of Photovoltaic Systems
CMHC factsheet describes off-grid and grid-connected PV systems, design issues, equipment selection, performance, installation, integrating PV into new house construction, and links to more information.

GBA: Introduction To Photovoltaic Systems
Green Building Advisor describes features, benefits and considerations for photovoltaic systems.

How Stuff Works: How Solar Cells Work
How Stuff Works describes how photovoltaic cells convert photons to electrons, how silicon makes a solar cell, solar-powering a house, issues, pros and cons, and more.

Jetson Green: Solar Trees Grow on Parking Structures
Jetson Green articles describes how aays Abandoned parking lots are getting a new green lease on life. California-based Envision Solar has developed a system of placing solar trees and other shading structures on unused lots, providing a source of clean, renewable energy, especially for electric cars.

REW: Overview Of Concentrating Solar Energy Technologies
Renewable Energy World describes the different types of photovoltaic and solar thermal concentrating solar energy technologies.

SEPA: Information & Resources On Photovoltaics
Smart Electric Power Alliance offers information and resources on photovoltaics and other solar electric technologies.

Solar Direct: Overview Of PV System Components
Solar Direct, a manufacturer of photovoltaic systems, provides an overview of system components including modules, module mounting, controllers, inverters, batteries and water pumping.

Solar Nation: Basics Of Solar Power Systems To Produce Electricity
Solar Nation site offers a complete guide to all the elements you need for a solar power system for producing electricity for residential use.

WindSun: Glossary Of Terms For Photovoltaic Solar Industry
WindSun provides an alphabetical glossary of terms used in the photovoltaic solar industry.
Education & Training

CSA: Construction Electrician Solar Photovoltaic Systems Certification
CSA Standards through the support of the National Electrical Trade Council, is now offering a national, third-party, independent personnel certification program intended for Construction Electricians installing photovoltaic (PV) equipment in Canada. (PDF)

Ecotech: Online Training For Solar Energy Installation
Ecotech online solar installation training covers system sizing, overcurrent protection, grounding systems, utility interconnections, and more.

NABCEP: Certification For PV Installers
North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners PV installer certification is a voluntary certification that provides a set of national standards by which PV installers with skills and experience can distinguish themselves from their competition.

SEI: Classroom & Online Courses On Photovoltaics
Solar Energy International offers classroom and online courses in photovoltaic system design and installation.

Solar Energy International: Solar Business & Technical Sales Course
Solar Energy International offers Solar Business and Technical Sales course with a strong focus on business principals for those currently working in the solar industry or hoping to work in solar sales.

UL University: Certified PV System Installer Program
UL University offers a Certified PV System Installer program.

UL University: Courses On Photovoltaics
Underwriters Laboratories University offers a variety of PV training courses that will provide you with marketable credentials needed to install, design, and sell PV systems.
Industry Information

BCSEA: The Future Of Solar PV In BC
BC Sustainable Energy Association online video The Future of Solar PV in BC is from their webinar that discusses the current status of solar PV, and its future in British Columbia.

CanmetENERGY: Sector Profile For Canadian Photovoltaics Industry
CanmetENERGY online Sector Profile For Canadian Photovoltaics Industry provides a comprehensive look at the state of the PV market.

CanSIA: Roadmap 2020, Powering Canada's Future With Solar Electricity
Canadian Solar Industries Association report Roadmap 2020: Powering Canada's Future with Solar Electricity lays out a plan that identifies barriers to success, outlines opportunities, and makes recommendations to ensure Canada's solar electricity sector is cost competitive with other forms of electricity by 2020. (PDF)

CPV-14: 14th International Conference On Concentrator Photovoltaics
The 14th International Conference on Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV-14), tol be held in Puertollano, Spain, from April 16 to 18, 2018 is the premier technical conference in the areas of high- and low-concentration PV components, modules, and tracker-based PV systems. The conference brings together students, academics, technologists, and financiers to engage in discussion of state-of-the-art CPV components, trackers, and installations.

GBA: Getting More Energy from the Sun
Green Building Advisor discusses how to make better solar cells with cheap and plentiful materials.

IEA: Technology Roadmap For Solar PV
International Energy Agency online Technology Roadmap for Solar PV shows how solar photovoltaic systems could generate up to 16% of the world's electricity by 2050. (PDF)

LBNL: Price Premium Analysis Of US Multi-State Dataset Of Solar Homes
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report Selling Into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes study analyzed 22,822 homes, 3,951 of which are PV, and examined transactions in eight states that span the years 2002-2013. It finds that home buyers are consistently willing to pay PV home premiums across various states, housing and PV markets, and home types. (PDF)

NREL: US PV Industry Technology Roadmap
US National Renewable Energy Laboratory report Photovoltaic Industry Roadmap provides overview of industry needs and direction for research, technology, manufacturing, and applications. 2003 (PDF)

PV Expo 2018: International Photovoltaic Power Generation Expo In Tokyo
International Photovoltaic Power Generation Expo (PV EXPO) to held Feb 28th - Mar 2nd, 2018 in Tokyo is an international exhibition specialising in all kinds of devices, materials, equipments and technologies related to photovoltaic power generation. The latest technologies, materials, manufacturing technologies, and solar cell/module will be exhibited from across the globe.

REW: Finding PV Solar Energy Sweet Spot
Renewable Energy World says as we enter an era when solar energy is cost competitive, finding a solar deployment sweet spot is the next logical step. In other words, focusing not only on maximizing financial value, but also the operational and customer value.

REW: What The PV Industry Can Learn from Google
Renewable Energy World research paper, What the Solar Power Industry can Learn from Google and Salesforce, compares the solar power market with the technology market sectors for early adopters. Authors point out many steps solar power market players can take to bring this industry to the next level, which is the homes and businesses of mainstream America: create industry standards, implement financing, develop minimally invasive and more attractive technologies, make warranties transferable, and remove any identified barriers preventing mainstream adoption in the U.S.
Industry Sectors

CAPDS: Centre for Advanced Photovoltaic Devices and Systems
Centre for Advanced Photovoltaic Devices and Systems (CAPDS) promotes cutting edge research and technology development in all aspects of photovoltaic (PV) energy conversion. It supports synthesis of semiconductor base materials, nanotechnologies for PV, design and fabrication of advanced PV devices and modules, and testing and characterization of PV materials, devices and systems. The CAPDS initiative is funded by the Canadian Federal Government, the Ontario Provincial Government, Industry, and by the University of Waterloo.

NREL: National Center For Photovoltaics
US National Renewable Energy Laboratory National Center For Photovoltaics serves as the DOE initial point of contact for potential investors, customers, manufacturers, and distributors interested in all aspects of photovoltaic technology and applications.

SEPA: Smart Electric Power Alliance
Smart Electric Power Alliance is a nonprofit organization with 125 utility, electric service provider, manufacturer, installer, government, and research members. The SEPA mission is to facilitate the use and integration of solar electric power by utilities, electric service providers, and their customers.
Information Sources

NRCan: Technical Papers & Photovoltaic Research
Natural Resources Canada photovoltaic research group provides research papers and technical reports.

Photovoltaics World: Archives Of Industry Magazine On Photovoltaic Technology
Photovoltaics World magazine and newsletter which was discontinued in May 2012 provides archives of their magazine covering photovoltaic solar energy technology advances, news, markets and manufacturing. Topics include solar cells, silicon photovoltaics, thin film solar cells, CPV, solar equipment, testing, materials and components.
Issues & Performance

CanSIA: Solar Electricity Safety Handbook For Firefighters
Canadian Solar Industries Association online Solar Electricity Safety Handbook For Firefighters is designed to educate and protect first responders who may attend an emergency situation where solar energy installations are present. (PDF)

Duke: Air Pollution Casts Shadow Over Solar Energy Production
Duke Pratt School of Engineering says a study shows airborne particles and their accumulation on solar cells is cutting energy output by more than 25 percent in certain parts of the world.

Electrical Business: Don't Hire Someone To Wash Your Dirty Solar Panels
Electrical Business Magazine says you definitely wouldn't get your money back after hiring someone to wash your rooftop solar panels.

GEF: Shining A Light On Solar Energy Myths
Green Energy Futures responds too some myths that are passed off as facts when talking about solar energy.

ICC: 2015 International Solar Energy Provisions & Commentary
International Code Council sells 2015 International Solar Energy Provisions and Commentary. It contains the complete solar-energy-related provisions and referenced solar standards from the 2015 International Codes plus the NFPA 70: 2014 NEC National Electrical Code provisions related to solar energy in one document. It is a comprehensive tool for the design, installation and administration of both solar thermal (or solar heating and cooling) and photovoltaic systems. $51 USD

US DOE: Solar Panels Can Thrive in Winter Weather
US Department of Energy says while snow accumulation does block some light from reaching the solar circuit, light is still able to move through the snow and forward scattering brings more light to the solar cells than one might expect. So even when panels are completely covered, they can still generate electricity.

Vancouver: Applying for Permit for Solar Photovoltaic Panels
City of Vancouver describes how to apply for a permit for a residential solar photovoltaic panel system.
Procedures

Automated Buildings: Building With Sunshine
Automated Buildings says the solar energy market has created a substantial and growing movement to integrate photovoltaics in buildings, where many of the building components and the solar energy production are one in the same.

BC Hydro: Generate Electricity And Sell Some Of It To BC Hydro
BC Hydro says if you are interested in generating your own electricity to power your home, and perhaps selling your extra energy back to BC Hydro, there are lots of factors to consider.

BCSEA: How Net Metering Works in BC
BC Sustainable Energy Association describes how BC Hydro and FortisBC calculate net metering for your solar powered system billing.

Building America: Architectural Drawings For Solar Photovoltaic Systems
Building America Solution Center describes how to provide an architectural drawing for a future solar photovoltaic installation.

Ecohome: Questions To Ask A Solar Panel Contractor
Ecohome describes ten things to know that will help you get the best value out of a photovoltaic solar panel system.

Electrical Business: Interconnecting Solar Power Systems
Electrical Business magazine describes Canadian Electrical Code considerations when interconnecting solar power systems. (PDF)

Energy Vanguard: Cost of Solar Energy Keeps Dropping, But...
Energy Vanguard says the battle between solar and efficiency isn't a battle at all. They need to be working together. Yes, we need solar energy. But we can't forget about energy efficiency just because the installed cost of solar has fallen so much. They need to work together.

Fine Homebuilding: Roof Pitch & Orientation for PV
Fine Homebuilding describes a roof pitch design that strives for reasonably low energy use, offset by photovoltaic panels to reach annual net-zero-energy use.

FortisBC: BC Net Metering Program
FortisBC Net Metering Program is a clean energy initiative that allows residential and commercial customers to offset part or all of their personal electricity use by using solar panel technology to generate their own clean energy.

GBA: Comparing Energy-Efficiency Retrofits To PV Solar
Green Building Advisor says photovoltaic arrays are already cheaper than some deep-energy retrofit measures, and provides tips for deciding when it makes financial sense to install PV rather than more insulation.

GBA: How To Size Photovoltaics
Green Building Advisor podcast describes how to size a PV array and how to calculate your expected savings.

Google: Project Sunroof Calculates Solar Potential
Google Project Sunroof allows people to quickly and easily get a pretty sophisticated understanding of their solar potential and whether it makes sense for them to go solar. Currently it is in Beta stage for some US areas only.

Green Energy Futures: Inside A Canadian Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing Plant
Green Energy Futures online video takes you inside a Canadian Solar photovoltaic manufacturing plant.

NJATCE: US Guide To Design & Installation Of PV Systems
US National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Electrical Industry textbook Photovoltaic Systems covers principles of photovoltaics, how to incorporate PV systems into stand-alone or interconnected electrical systems, system advantages and disadvantages, site evaluation, component operation, system design and sizing, and installation requirements and recommended practices. Specified electrical requirements are in accordance with the 2005 edition of the US National Electrical Code. $136 USD

NRCan: Photovoltaic Potential & Solar Resource Maps Of Canada
Natural Resources Canada photovoltaic potential and solar resource maps of Canada offer estimates of the electricity that grid-connected photovoltaic systems can generate without batteries, and the mean daily global insolation for any location in Canada.

ORNL: Residential Roof Retrofit Using Metal Roofing Panels, Photovoltaics, PCM Heat Sink
Oak Ridge National Laboratory report Sustainable Retrofit of Residential Roofs Using Metal Roofing Panels, Thin-Film Photovoltaic Laminates, and PCM Heat Sink Technology summarizes evaluation of a sustainable re-roofing technology utilizing amorphous silicone PV laminates integrated with metal roof and PCM heat sink. Results show that this reroofing approach can be a very effective way of repairing of the existing roofs without generating solid waste, improve overall performance of existing roofs, and generate inexpensive solar electricity. (PDF)

PV F-Chart: Software For Analysis Of Photovoltaic Solar Systems
PV F-CHART is a photovoltaic system analysis and design program, providing monthly-average performance estimates for each hour of the day. $400 USD

REW: Urban Occupation & Maintenance OF PV Systems
Renewable Energy World auricle says when large numbers of small PV systems are installed on buildings in urban areas and then left for untrained occupants to operate with no professional support, there are risks that poor performance may not be picked up. Here are some lessons learned from large projects installed in the past.

SEI: Purchasable Photovoltaics Design & Installation Manual
Solar Energy International sells this comprehensive manual on the design and installation of PV systems. Written by Solar Energy International it covers critical information needed to successfully design, install and maintain PV systems. $60 USD

SEIA: US Principles for the Evolution of Net Energy Metering and Rate Design
US Solar Energy Industries Association document Principles for the Evolution of Net Energy Metering and Rate Design is its official stance in the battle with utilities over distributed solar generation.

SEPA: Maturing Solar Industry Focuses On Long-Term Performance
Solar Electric Power Association says the Solar Photovoltaic Asset Management and Performance conference reflected both the shifting focus of a maturing technology sector and the healthy debate taking place around key issues. Up until now, conversations typically centered on getting equipment into the ground. But now they have turned attention to ensuring that what is put in the ground stays in the ground and continues to perform at expected levels throughout its useful lifespan.

US DOE: Best Practices For Solar Thermal & Photovoltaic Systems
US Department of Energy best practices for Solar Thermal & Photovoltaic Systems includes sections on Solar Sells by Closing the Deal, Solar-Thermal Water Heating, Photovoltaic Power Generation, Planning and Orientation, Rack-Mounted Systems, Worker Safety, Solar Ready, Looking Back & Ahead, and Case Studies. (PDF)

US DOE: Consumer Guide To Small Solar Electric Systems
US Department Of Energy describes how small solar electric systems work, design considerations, system components, and installiation and maintenance.

US DOE: Consumer Guide To Solar Electricity For The Home
US Department of Energy online Consumer Guide To Solar Electricity For The Home covers benefits of solar electricity, solar electricity basics, how to choose a system, installation & maintenance, and costs & financial incentives in the US. (PDF)

US DOE: Roof Anchor System For Solar Panels
Building America Solution Center describes how to install a mounting system for solar thermal or solar photovoltaic panels.

US EPA: Solar Photovoltaic Specification, Checklist, Guide
US Environmental Protection Agency online Solar Photovoltaic Specification, Checklist and Guide will assist builders in designing and constructing homes equipped with a set of features that make the installation of solar energy systems after the completion of the home's construction easier and less expensive. (PDF)
Product Supply

Berkeley Lab: Price Of Solar In US Fell By 5-12 Percent In 2015
Solar energy system pricing is at an all-time low, according to State of the Market reports by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Installed prices for distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in 2015 declined by 5% year-over-year for residential systems, by 7% for smaller nonresidential systems, and by 9% for larger nonresidential systems. Prices for utility-scale PV systems that came online in 2015 decreased by 12% from the prior year.

EIA: Most New Residential PV Projects In California Not Owned By Homeowners
US Energy Information Administration says one of the biggest developments in the US residential solar photovoltaic market over the past few years has been the significant growth of residential solar PV systems not owned by homeowners. These are often referred to as third-party-owned systems.

GBA: Cost Of Solar Electricity Hits New Low
Green Building Advisor says under a proposed contract in California, a municipal utility will buy PV electricity for less than 4 cents per kilowatt hour.

GBA: What’s Driving Cost of Residential Solar-Plus-Storage
Green Building Advisor says costs for PV systems that include battery storage are still high, but the residential market is expected to grow at an increasing rate.

GTM: Running Numbers for Cost of Tesla Solar Roof
Greentech Media digs into the economics of Tesla’s newest solar roof technology, and despite the lack of information it's pretty optimistic about its prospects.

LBL: Tracking The Sun & Cost Of US Photovoltaics 1998-2012
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories report Tracking The Sun provides a summary of installed cost of US photovoltaics in the US from 1998-2012. (PDF)

New Westminster: Urban Solar Garden
City of New Westminster online video provides a summary of their plans for a centralized, city-owned solar PV array where community members served by the New Westminster Electric Utility can subscribe to a portion of the electricity generated from the array.

NRCan: Buyers Guide For Photovoltaic Systems
Natural Resources Canada buyers guide for photovoltaic systems covers how they work, system components, design, applications, purchasing, installing & maintaining, and more. (PDF)

NREL: Financing Benefits, Innovations & Options For Residential Solar Photovoltaics
US National Renewable Energy Laboratory report Residential Solar Photovoltaics: Comparison of Financing Benefits, Innovations, and Options examines relatively new, innovative financing methods for residential photovoltaics and compares them to traditional self-financing methods. It provides policymakers with an overview of residential PV financing mechanisms, describes relative advantages and challenges between the various financing mechanisms, and analyzes differences between them where data is available. (PDF)

NREL: US Prices For Residential Rooftop Building-Integrated Photovoltaics
US National Renewable Energy Laboratory report Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) in the Residential Sector: An Analysis of Installed Rooftop System Prices, examines the cost drivers and performance considerations related to BIPV for residential rooftops. It also briefly reviews the history of BIPV product development and examines market dynamics that have affected commercialization and deployment. (PDF)

REW: Solar PV Life Cycle Dilemma
Renewable Energy World says in essence, electric utilities simply do not buy 20- to 25-year energy generation technologies. It is simply not practical or profitable to build a 25-year coal, nuclear, oil, gas or hydro project. There could be a message in this for the solar PV industry, where the present 20- to 25-year model is an anomaly that is slowing progress for the industry on our road to maturity. While price pressure has driven the industry thus far, is it possible that a number of important issues have been ignored?

The Ecologist: Soon Solar Will Be Cheapest Power Everywhere
The Ecologist says solar is already the cheapest available power across large swathes of the tropics, its cost down 99.7% since the early 70s. Soon it will be the cheapest electricity everywhere, providing clean, secure, affordable energy for all.

US DOE: Effects Of Residential PV Systems On Home Sales Prices In California
US Department of Energy report Effects Of Residential PV Systems On Home Sales Prices In California finds strong evidence that homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems sell for a premium over homes without solar systems. (PDF)

US DOE: Photovoltaic System Pricing Trends 2015
US Department of Energy report Photovoltaic System Pricing Trends: Historical, Recent, and Near-Term Projections Historical covers recent reported prices, bottom-up cost analysis, comparison between reported and bottom-up price estimates, and near future price trends. (PDF)

US DOE: Solar Panel Design Ideas For Your Home
US Department of Energy provides examples of building integrated photovoltaic panels.
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