Canadian Solar Inc. is one of the world's largest solar companies. As a leading vertically integrated provider of ingot, wafer, solar cell, solar module and other solar applications, Canadian Solar designs, manufactures and delivers solar products and solar system solutions for on-grid and off-grid use to customers worldwide.

3 Case Studies from Canadian Solar

Contributed by | Canadian Solar

Engineering Skill:
Valley Pro Solar for Knight Transportation Solar Field, Phoenix, AZ

Valley Pro Electric & Solar, a green technology energy solutions provider based in Arizona, designed and constructed the Knight Transportation Solar Field, a 200kW commercial PV array consisting of three parking structures; 200kW was the maximum size the local utility Salt River Project (SRP) would allow for their upfront incentive at that time. The installation was built with an exact tilt angle of 32.5 degrees—the optimal and most efficient angle in Phoenix to ensure the Canadian Solar modules will generate the maximum amount of electricity possible for a fixed installation. Sky Line Steel built the solar mounting structures, which allow shade for employee parking. Valley Pro tested each module and grouped them together in strings of 12 modules each, placing the most efficient modules farthest from the inverters, thereby mitigating voltage drop. The company employs a dual monitoring system that reports measurements every few seconds to ensure the system is always functioning at peak capacity.

Project Name*: Knight Transportation Solar Field
System Type*: Commercial
Designer*: Rick Dancer, owner , Sky Line Steel Inc.
Lead Installer: Terry Rials owner Valley Pro Electric & Solar
Date Activated:
Installation Timeframe: 120 days
Location: Phoenix, AZ 30
Array Capacity: 200.8 kW
Avg annual production: 357,200 AC kWhs per year (Jan: 24,913 Feb: 26,841 Mar: 31,275 Apr: 33,825 May: 34,156 Jun: 30,879 Jul: 31,415 Aug: 31,807 Sep: 30,745 Oct: 31,216 Nov: 25,935 Dec: 24,193)
Canadian Solar Modules: 1116 CS5A-180
Inverter/s: (2) PV Powered PVP 100 kW
Array installation*: This was a design build using Steel Structurals for the solar mounting while allowing shade for employee parking (shade from the desert sun / heat). The tilt angle is exactly 33.5 degrees to the south. The most optimal & efficient angle possible for our latitue. This was a design done by Sky Line Steel in Gilbert, AZ.
Additional array installation info: There are three parking structures each with equal number of modules. Modules were installed in string sets of 12 modules each. Each module was tested before installation for output. The higher output modules were place on the 3rd the structure or the farthest from the Inverters. Then the next set of modules more efficent in the middle structure and so on...
Monitoring: Yes - monitored every couple of seconds - actually 2 monitoring packages one is Spatia and the other is real time data link a file server installed by PV Powered Tech.
Project Description: This solar field was installed for Knight Transportation at 5601 W Buckeye Rd Phoenix, AZ 85043. There were 2 design teams involved with this project: Sky Line Steel and Mead Engineering. This project started mid-November 2009 and finished March 1, 2010. The installation is 200 kW which is the maximum size the local utility Salt River Project (SRP) would allow for their upfront incentive in that time period. There were many obstacles we encountered from the beginning in the design phase to getting the permit from the County permit, alignment issues during installation and grounding challenges. Challenges: One design issue was there are 3 parking structures with equal amount modules or DC watts go to two inverters. There are two inverters in this installation (2) PV Powered PVP 100 kW. We brought in an outside consultant (Stu Siebens) to mathematically divide up the the string sets going into the two inverters (separate diagram). Our largest challenge (not related to solar) was getting our County permit. It took over 10 months to finally get the permit (more on this later). We encountered two installation challenges - one was lining up the holes from the Z purlins with the module's holes (4 screws per module). We had to drill additional holes in the Z purlins to line everything up right. We had to ground each module in the array with a long thin board to get the bare copper into the grounding lugs.
Name: Mike Craig
Company Affiliation: Valley Pro Electric
Phone: 623-217-9866
Ameresco for Nock Middle School, Edward G. Molin Upper Elementary School and Department of Public Works Building, Newburyport, MA

This beautiful commercial project features three roof-top ballasted PV installations that total 502 kW. Ameresco, an independent energy services company that provides renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy management solutions to private and public customers, designed and installed the visually appealing solar project on the roofs of the Rupert Nock Middle School, the Edward G. Molin Upper Elementary School and a municipal Department of Public Works building in September 2009. The project is one of the largest early municipal solar photovoltaic installations in Massachusetts, and its 2,000 Canadian Solar modules will provide enough power to annually offset 402 tons of carbon dioxide. Ameresco supplied an LCD panel that streams weather and solar panel production data through the Internet for use in classrooms to educate students about solar energy.
The installation required no capital investment by Newburyport taxpayers. The City received $1.6 million in rebate funding from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (formerly the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Renewable Energy Trust), from which Newburyport was allowed to retain $400,000. The Green Communities Act of 2008, which was championed by Governor Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Legislature, allows municipalities to engage private third parties to provide turnkey energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions under a performance-based energy contract. The Commonwealth set a goal of 250 MW of solar energy by 2017.
Project Name*: Nock Elementary School, Edward G. Molin Middle School & the town's DPW building
System Type*: Commercial
Designer*: Ameresco
Lead Installer: Ameresco
Date Activated: 9/1/2009
Installation Timeframe: About 7 weeks for all 3 roofs
Location: Newburyport, MA
Array Capacity: 518,384 kWh
Avg annual production: 502 kW
Canadian Solar Modules: (2,184) CS6P-200 panels
Inverter/s: (2) 5kW inverters
Array installation*: Ballast system
Monitoring: yes
Project Description: The largest municipal solar project in Massachusetts. The photovoltaic system's power output is equivalent to 70 homes per year and will offset 402 tons of carbon output per year.
Name: Glenn Maltais
Company Affiliation: Munro Electric
Phone: Office: 508 536 2097
Jersey Pools and Spas Reaps Benefits of Canadian Solar NewEdge Installation in Medford, NJ

This solar photovoltaic project was designed and installed in August 2010 by ASC Solar Solutions, a full-service solar power design and installation company, and consists of 216 high-performance Canadian Solar NewEdge CS6P-230PX solar modules constructed with the Zep Compatible frame. The NewEdge panels, combined with the Zep Solar rail-free mounting system, dramatically reduced installation time, lowered balance-of-system costs, and contributed to a clean, aesthetic appearance on Jersey Pools and Spas’ flagship store. The system is capable of generating 49,650 kilowatt hours of clean, renewable electricity annually, and will offset 37 tons of carbon dioxide each year. ASC Solar Solutions estimates that after the 30% Federal Tax Credit and the issuance of New Jersey’s Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC), Jersey Pools and Spas will reach return-on-investment in fewer than 4 years.
Canadian Solar Inc. is one of the world's largest solar companies. As a leading vertically integrated provider of ingot, wafer, solar cell, solar module and other solar applications, Canadian Solar designs, manufactures and delivers solar products and solar system solutions for on-grid and off-grid use to customers worldwide. With operations in North America, Europe and Asia, Canadian Solar provides premium quality, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solar solutions to support global, sustainable development.

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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