Tag Archives: solar

The 2017 Eclipse Impact on the Grid

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will pass over the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming etc.). The California balancing authority area will be affected by a partial eclipse between 9:02 AM and 11:54 AM PPT. As a partial eclipse, the sun will be obscured from 76% in Northern California to 62% in Southern California border area. The reduction in solar radiation will directly affect the output of the photovoltaics (PV) generating facilities and rooftop solar.

From the California ISO 2017 Solar Eclipse Report.

In looking up 2017 Eclipse stuff, I wondered if anyone had modeled the Solar Power generation drops during it. Of course they had, and I quickly found this California ISO report on it. California will probably be hit harder than this than most given their solar install base, so accurate modeling is really important.

I have yet to find anyone modeling wind for the event. As that definitely does pick up with the temperature shifts pretty heavily right around the event. But maybe it's too little of an impact to notice?

 

The Sun with a cell phone camera

This isn't a very good picture, but it's notable for being taken just by putting my EVO up to my solar telescope and taking a picture. It does give you the sense of some of the more spectacular features going on on the Sun on Saturday. The bright spikes coming off the surface of the sun (the bright round disc) are real features, the rest of this is optical artifact.  Ironically, Sunday was actually a very quiet day on the Sun. Maybe it needed a day of rest.

A Road Not Taken

In 1979, Jimmy Carter, in a visionary move, installed solar panels on the roof of the White House. This symbolic installation was taken down in 1986 during the Reagan presidency. In 1991, Unity College, an environmentally-minded centre of learning in Maine acquired the panels and later installed them on their cafeteria roof.
In «A Road not Taken», Swiss artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller travel back in time and, following the route the solar panels took, interview those involved in the decisions regarding these panels as well as those involved in the oil crisis of the time. They also look closely at the way this initial installation presaged our own era.

This is the setup for a new documentary that's debuting at the Main Film Festival.  I'm quite interested in seeing it once it comes out.