Flipping the switch

The following was submitted by Ray Torrey:
This photo was taken at the Medical Center yesterday. We had a brief ceremony to commemorate the inauguration of the Center’s new solar system. Dr. Peter Baute threw the switch to turn on the solar electricity. It was Dr. Baute’s idea to initiate this project. The other two people are Chris Warfel, the contractor and owner of EnTech Engineering, and myself as I assisted in moving the project forward. 
Chris Warfel provided the following information about the solar system: 
The BIHS solar electric system is rated at 8.3 kW power output.  It is known as a microinverter system, which means each solar module is connected to its own inverter, which is located directly under the module. This allows control, data gathering and analysis at the module level. The inverter changes the DC power produced by the modules into AC power. The AC power is then connected to the BIHS electrical system, where it runs in parallel with the power from BIPCo.  A microinverter system produces power when the solar insolation is present.  It will not produce power at night (though in Las Vegas it has been found that  the nighttime entertainment lights actually energize solar electric systems). Microinverter systems do not produce power in the event of a utilty outage, though they can be modified to do so through the addition of what is known as AC coupling and batteries.
The solar system will preferentially supply power to BIHS first. BIPCo supplies all the additional power when needed. At times when the power output of the solar system exceeds the needs of BIHS, electricity will flow through the utility meter back to BIPCo. 
BIPCo will credit this excess power to BIHS. We estimate that this system will provide one-third of BIHS’s annual energy needs, but we have conducted an energy audit to determine additional cost effective electrical and thermal-energy energy saving opportunities beyond which they already implemented under the RISE program.


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