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43

IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, Vol. EC-1, No. 4, December 1986


REPORT ON THE PHOTCVOLTAIC R&D PROGRAM IN HAIAII
D. Richard Neill,
Program Coordinator
Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Bertil S.M. Granborg,


Member IEEE
Department of Electrical Engineering
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Hawaii has recognized that photovoltaics provide


an especially attractive near-term, reliable renewable energy option. The HNEI 1984 Annual Report [2]
includes a history of the last ten years of renewable
energy development in Hawaii. It points out the success photovoltaic research projects have enjoyed in
with
experiment
year
four
HNEI's
Hawaii.
utility-interconnected PV systems mounted on three
residential lived-in units, for example, found the
units to be trouble-free and on-line about 96 percent
of the time. The State of Hawaii installed a 5 kW
panel PV system (148-35W panels) on a marine biology
facility. A small 264Wp system on a singleaxis
tracker also was installed by the author, D. R.
Neill, at his residence.
Public interest and support for PVs in Hawaii has
grown. Public awareness was increased by workshops
on PVs sponsored by the Hawaii Department of Planning
and Economic Development (DPED) and HNEI that were
held the last two years during American Energy Awareness Week. The workshop in October 1984 focused on
utility-scale systems and had key speakers from
Sandia National Laboratories and Southern California
Edison. Their message was clear--that large-scale PV
systems are technically viable and should be economINTRODUCTION
ically feasible in the near future.
DPED published a Guidebook on Photovoltaic AppliHawaii is dependent upon imported oil for more
cations in Hawaii [3] that provides basic information
than 90 percent of its energy supply. The state's
to prospective installers of PV systems. Figure 1 is
abundant renewable energy resources could provide
the insolation map for Oahu where more than 80 permany times the energy needs of the state in the form
cent of the state's people live. The approximately
of biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, ocean thermal,
1000 acre area delineated on the southwest portion of
solar, and wind energy conversion. In fact, an optithe island has been offered by owners for a
mistic view would have it that some day Hawaii could
large-scale PV system. It is located on a ridge adbecome a net exporter of energy from these renewable
jacent to the Hawaiian Electric Company's (HECO) main
resources. The state's immediate goal is to reduce
generating station at Kahe Point near the Campbell
its dependency on imported oil and its vulnerability
Industrial Park.
to possible future oil supply disruptions.
Table 1 from the DPED PV guidebook [4] chapter on
Solar energy conversion provides one of the best
PV penetration analysis provides a range of PV power
options for both thermal and electrical energy genepotential on each island based on 10 or 20 percent of
ration in the near future. The Hawaii Natural Energy
the Hawaii utilities' noontime electrical energy
Institute (HNEI) of the University of Hawaii 1984
demand. Note that there are no interconnections
Annual Report points out that the annual average inbetween the electrical grids of the islands of
solation per day in Hawaii exceeds 6 kilowatt-hours
Hawaii, although an underwater electrical cable sysper square meter (peak sun hours) at some locations
tem to connect some of the major Hawaiian islands is
[1]. Hawaii has already taken advantage of this high
being designed. Energy storage as well as addition
insolation rate in its estimated 32,000 residential
of daytime markets for electricity (e.g., mass
solar hot water systems and 20,000 residential units
transit) could greatly increase the potential PV
with heat pumps providing hot water, the highest per
power that could be used in Hawaii.
capita rate in the country. It also has an estimated
John Cummings, a top official of the Electric
600 small PV systems installed in remote locations in
Power Research Institute (EPRI) solar energy program,
the state.
However, at present there are no
stated in the July/August 1984 EPRI Journal [5]:
large-scale solar thermal systems on line except for
"Photovoltaics is one renewable energy contender for
a parabolic trough PV-thermal system on Kauai that is
economic and commercial acceptance." He concludes
now mainly used for thermal energy.
that, "EPRI's attitude about photovoltaics is con86WM0mmended and
A paper recommmittended and approved
and optimistic."
86 WM 031-9
therovfident
he applicability of PV systems to Hawaii, and
by the IEEE Power Generation CoiTmittee of the IEEE
their future commercial prospects could soon make
Power Engineering Society for presentation at the
them a significant contributor to Hawaii's energy
IEEE/PES 1986 Winter Meeting, New York, New York,
supply. Trhis paper will describe an HNEI program to
February 2 - 7, 1986. Manuscript submitted
accelerate the development of photovoltaics in Hawaii
August 30, 1985; made available for printing
and the tropics. This will include a thorough solar
November 6, 1985.
resource assessment (including spectral analysis and
measurement of direct insolation), and test various
PV devices in relation to solar insolation rates and
components; and test and evaluate various contemporary PV powered systems in typical tropical island
0885-8969/86/1200-0043$01 .00)1986 IEEE

Abstract - Photovoltaic systems provide one of


the best options to generate energy in Hawaii, a
state that is more than 90 percent dependent on imported oil for its energy supply. Hawaii's excellent
year-round insolation rates will contribute to the
success of solar energy projects. The Hawaii Natural
Energy Institute's program to accelerate utilization
of PV power in Hawaii has thus far consisted of a
continuation of a 50-year data base of solar insolation; an experimental program with grid-connected
residential PV systems; and public information dissemination on PV technology and performance. HNEI is
now developing a program that includes: (1) compiling
a solar data base that includes a full solar resource
assessment, with spectral analysis and measurement of
direct insolation, (2) tests of various PV devices
relative to insolation; (3) test and evaluation of
contemporary PV powered systems (e.g. water pumping,
refrigeration, communication and stand-alone residential applications) under various tropical island
conditions; and (4) a technology transfer effort
aimed at Hawaii and other Pacific Basin islands, including cost-benefit and market analyses.

44
KAHUKU PT5

V5

~~~~~

PEAK SUN HOURS PER DAY:


YEARLY AVERAGE

-3
KUALOA PT.

MOKAPU

VAIS

YZ)*N-*

~~

PT.

AIU

g-indicates prime site for major PV projects


' ? b i } 4 , . , , , 4 ~~~~SOLAR INSOLATION
1a_-w1*_*9ri*
4*_1_Z_oo

_W1e5t-si.sl*X55b
w
_

Fig. 1.

Table I:

Island

Oahlu

Hawaii
Maui
Kauai
Molokai

Population
( 1,000)
769
96
67
41
5

tooo

. 9

anc

~~~~~~~~~~~~ARERAGE ANNUAL PEAK SUN HOURS PER DAY


as~~~~~~~~~EKLEERED EDGES PEE SQ.EDEER PEE DEY

_,,,

Peak Sun Hours a Day - Yearly Average for Oahu, Hawaii

Photovoltaic Utility Penetration Potential in Hawaii

Utility
HECO
HELCO
MECO
KECO

MOECO

Peak Load
( 1, 000 kW)

920
89
91
39
4.8

Noon-time
Average
Demand
736
71
73
34
3.5

10 percent
Noon-time
Demand
74
7
7
3.4
.35

20 percent
Noon-time
Demand
148
14
14
6.8
.7

Source: Adapted from State of Hawaii Data Book 1983. Original table heading in Guidebook on Photovoltaic
Applications in Hawaii is "Noontime Electrical Energy Demand in Hawaii: 1981."

locations. The data base and test results thus com


piled will be used to assist in a technology transfer
program intended to increase PV utilization in Hawaii
and other tropical areas.

SOLAR RESOURCE AND TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENTS


~~
One of the early lessons HNEI learned is that
before major sums are spent installing any renewable
energy system, it is wise to have adequate inf ormation on the resource potential at that location.

45
For the past 50 years, the sugar industry in Hawaii
has maintained an extensive solar radiation measurement program at more than 50 stations. There is a
direct correlation between incoming solar radiation
(insolation) and sugarcane growth, which would also
be the case with PV output. Solar Radiation in
Hawaii 1932-1975, by Karl How, reports on this data
collection work [6].
For the past 10 years,
especially since 1978 when the USDOE provided some
major financial support for five years, the
University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology has
expanded on this program and shifted the base solar
data station to the College of Engineering Holmes
Hall, continuing the 50-year data record.
HNEI has added global insolation data from the
three residential PV systems and from some other locations which have provided some interesting and
helpful information. Table 2 gives the status report
of the three residential PV sites as of June 27,
1985, and a typical month of May 1984. Figure 2
shows the average insolation by month from this 50year data record, as well as the monthly data for
1982 and 1983. In 1982, due probably to the El Nino
atmospheric condition, Hawaii recorded its lowest insolation in 50 years, reflected in Figure 2 [7].
Yet, insolation rates were only 10 percent less in
total for the entire year than for an average year.
This is good news for PV owners who can expect a plus
or minus 10 percent output from a flat-plate system
because the PV power output will tend to be directly
proportional to the insolation. Hawaii is located
between 190 and 22015'N latitude, which provides
the state with less insolation variation year-round
as well as less variation in hours of sunlight.
Figure 3 is the monthly daily average insolation for
Holmes Hall and the residential PV project on Molokai
for July 1982 to October 1983 [8].
Figure 4 gives the average diurnal PV output for
the Molokai residential system, the PV output sold to
the utility, and the hourly load of the home for
March 1983.
The PV-thermal project on Kauai was not very successful. One of the reasons for the poor performance
of the parabolic trough, line-focus, PV-thermal system at the Wilcox Hospital site was that it did not
receive enough direct incident radiation. Although
the global insolation data from the sugar company indicated a good insolation level (about 5 kWh per day
average), the prevailing trade wind and light cloud

Table II:

conditions
duced the
time, HNEI
insolation

on the windward side of Kauai greatly re-

direct incident radiation.


Since that
has initiated a program to secure direct
data in promising areas of Hawaii to site
concentrating solar systems.
In addition to the Holmes Hall data base station,
direct insolation is being measured at two stations
on Molokai, as part of the siting program for four
parabolic dish, point-focus, thermal-electric generating systems under the USDOE Small Community Solar
Thermal Electric program. Three other stationsare at
the Pioneer Mill, in Lahaina, Maui, proposed site for
a solar tower project, the Natural Energy Laboratory
of Hawaii at Kona or the Big Island, the world center
for OTEC research and at Hawaiian Elec- tric
Company's main generating station at Kahe Point, Oahu.
With the cooperation of the electric utilities,
HNEI is planning to install measurement devices at
the proposed Maui Renewable Resources Research
Facility adjoining the Maui Electric Company's main
generating station at Maalaea, and at Kauai Electric's Port Allen site. A device developed by George
Curtis, HNEI's technical coordinator, measures both
global and indirect insolation, and derives direct
insolation based on a ten-second scan via a microprocessor.
A month's data can be recorded and
printed out in a few minutes. The U.S. Navy facility
at Barking Sands on Kauai may be also instrumented
since the PV-thermal system was moved there from the
Wilcox Hospital site. Figure 5 is a map of Hawaii
indicating the primary sites for these direct incident radiation or insolation measurement stations, as
well as the locations of the major PV systems in the
state.
The makeup of the tropical sunlight is different
than that of temperate locations, which may have a
significant effect on PV performance and materials.
In cooperation with the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI), HNEI is planning to complete a spectral
analysis of the tropical sunlight and its effects on
various PV devices, PV system material, and overall
system performance.
It is known that the higher
level of ultraviolet light in tropical sunlight has a
negative impact on some plastic materials, which
might be a concern in choosing materials for PV systems. On the other hand, it has been suggested~-that
higher UV levels or other sunlight components might
enhance the actual performance of some PV systems.

Total PV Output as of June 27, 1985 and May 1984 Monthly Report for the
HNEI Residential Roof Tbp Photovoltaic Project

The status report from the three PV sites is as follows:

Kalihi

Pearl City
4 kW

Molokai
4 kW*

9304
248
125
8
248
6.0
186

19,598

19,086
526
304
17
395
6.5
195*

2 kW

TOTAL PV kWh TO DATE AS OF (06/27/85)


Total PV kWh generated for May
May export to utility (kWh)
Ave. kWh generated per operational day
May import from utility (kWh)
May ave. daily insolation (kWh/sq. m)
May total insolation (kWh/sq. m)

514
168
17

1,301

5.9
183

Note: The above table is based on the actual reading of meters and may differ somewhat from the tabular printouts, which are based on readings recorded on data logging equipment, due primarily to date time of reading.

*Derived

from average for days of

satisfactory

data.

46

jj6

91

_LGN
o

Holmes Hall - University of hawall


A Molokal 4kW PV Site

JUL
82'

AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

JAN
83'

FEB MAR

APR MAY

JUN

AUG SEP OCT

JUL

lMonthl

Fig. 2.

Monthly Insolation Compared with Long-Term Average

SITE:HOLMES HALL-UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII

J4
LEGEND
0 50 year long-term

A2

13 1982 daily
A 1983 daily

JAN

FEB MAR

JUN

averge

averagp

APR MAY

aveage

JUL

AUJG

SEP

OCT

IMonthi
Fig. 3.

Molokai - Holmes Hall Global Insolation

NOV

DEC

47

MOLOKAI PV - MARCH 1983


KWH

SO. METER

KWH

1.0

3.0

f LOAD IN KWHi
2.7

INSOLATION *
.9nKKWISQ
/SO
EE
METER

PV OUTPUT USED BY HOME

24-4p

* INCoMING SOLAR RADIATION

.8

PV OUTPUT SOLD TO UTILITY

.7

2.1

.8

.6

1. 5

1.2

.4

.3 -~~]i.~{i i~*

1. 9
.6

6- 7

0.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~..2

*.

11

10

12

:~~~~*;...

13 14

15

16

1 71 18

19 20 21 22 23 24

-o.

TIME (HOURS)

Fig. 4.

Molokai Load-PV Profile

An analysis of how cloud coverage affects these systems will also be completed.

TROPICAL PV TEST CENTER


HNEI has established a Tropical PV Test Center as
part of its Solar Energy Laboratory on the rooftop of
Holmes Hall, where researchers and manufacturers can
install, test, and evaluate their systems. At this
facility the spectral analysis of the tropical sun
would be quantified and qualified with respect to
HNEI welcomes
performances of these systems.
suggestions or proposed cooperative efforts. We propose to include concentrating systems as well as
tracking systems. With this solar data base, we feel
HNEI can contribute to the advancement of the PV
technology specifically in relation to tropical areas.

TROPICAL PV APPLICATIONS TEST & EVALUATION CENTER


There are several applications of PV power that
are commuiercially available- and essentially cost effective today for tropical locations. However these
contemporary applications have had little or no test
and evaluation in tropical locations. Problems have
arisen by users, especial-ly in the balance of systems. HNEI has established three typical locations
in tropical setting for testing and evaluating con-

temporary applications of PV power. These include


test centers on a small island off Oahu's windward
coast (typical of a coral atol or windward location);
at the Holmes Hall Solar Energy Laboratory (typical
of a leeward location on mountainous islands); and in
a tropical rain forest location, in the Manoa
Valley. These will be available for testing and
evaluating various PV systems or applications.
TROPICAL PV TEST AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER PROGRAM

A four-part program is being developed by HNEI in


cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy PV
Systems Branch, the Sandia National Laboratories PV
program, SERI, the local utilities, EPRI, builders

and developers, PV manufacturers, and the State DPED


Energy Division. The goal is to identify the issues
that need to be addressed and to set forth a program
to resolve PV problems that could affect their economic viability.
The first part of the technology transfer program
is to complete the data base on both global and
direct insolation discussed in the previous section,
as well as to compile the performance data on different types of PV systems. This program may be extended to other Pacific island communities if there
is interest and support.
Solar mapping of the
Hawaiian islands will be completed, identifying not

48

160"W

PV SYSTEMS

PV-1 Molokai 4kW

158
TROPICAL PV APPLICATIONS'S TEST CENTERS
T-1 Holmes Hall
T-2 HIMB Coconut Island
T-3 Manoa Valley

PV-2 Pearl City 4kW

PV-3 Kalihi 2kW

PV-4 HIMB 5kW


PV-5 Residential
NIIHAU
tracker 0.2kW
PV-6 Site for utility
scale PV (1-10OMW)

22

KAUAI
.:

PV-2
D8

o>

'15

&

AU

'~PV-4/T-2

4040

~~~\N~~J~- T-3

0-9

22*N
6.1

MOLOKAI

OAMU

;ts,

'

514

156-

KAHOOLAWE

PVl4970

PV-6/0-7l

PV-3

Areas of highest wind

3370

energy potential
and above at 30 ft.1

113.4 mnph

Mean annual

~~~~~~~~~~~~~5788D4

EJT120
a

average

10,028

D-3

20

0 o

80 miles

40

a Elevation in feet

8/85

Fig. 5.

13

D-2

'U71

N 1I I I
in *3,677

DIRECT INSOLATION STATIONS


Holmes Hall, UoH 50 year
global insolation site
0-2 Natural Energy Lab. of

I0-1

0-3

A
158

Hawaii

Maui renewable resource re>;;/


search facility
0-4 Lahaina-AMFAC Solar Tower
Molokal-Solar Dish Project
D-6 Molokal Electric Power Station
D-7 Site for utility scale PV, Kahe
/Makaki lo
0-8 Kauai Electric
D-9 USN Pacific I4isslle Range Facility, Barking Sands

01D-5

Solar Potential, Direct Incident Measurement Stations and PV Systems in Hawaii

only the global insolation but also key data points


for maximum direct insolation with potential for concentrating systems.
The performance data will be collected on the
three residential systems, with additional instrumentation, and two other PV systems will be instrumented and monitored--the 5kW state project and the
Perprivate system with single-axis tracking.
formance information on other large PV systems on the
Mainland will be analyzed to determine their potential output in Hawaii. Strengths and weaknesses
of the various systems will be identified and optimized for various applications. Analysis will be
made of PV technologies such as single crystal, polycrystal, ribbon, concentrating cells, and amorphous
thin film, and of different installation options
(fixed, singleand double-axis tracking, flat-plate
systems and Fresnel lens concentrating systems using
double axis tracking). A cost-benefit analysis will
be made, using performance information and insolation
data based on life-cycle cost. A documented data
base on both the resource and the PV technologies
will be put together in a working guide for

decision-makers.-

HA I I

HAWAII- General Topography, Locations


Wind Energy, and PV

The second part, in cooperation with SERI, will


be a Tropical PV Test Center at Holmes Hall's Solar
Energy Laboratory. In addition to the 50 year- continuous data base for global insolation and recently
direct incident measurement, spectral analysis of
tropical sunlight has been started. (to be expanded

from Rolland Holstrums input) Fixed and adjustable


as well as single and double axis
tracking systems have been installed for various PV
devices testing and evaluation. PV
manufacturers have provided some panels to HNEI for
this purpose, which will be evaluated under measured
conditions of tropical sunlight. Quarterly reports
will be generated on this program.
The third part is in cooperation with the Sandia
National Laboratory's PV System Design Assistance
Center (9). SNEI will provide the three test centers
(and support staff) that represent the typical tropical type settings for test and evaluation of the
contemporary PV powered systems that are beginning to
play an important role in the Pacific Island region.
The fourth part of the technology transfer program will include large or utility scale systems as
well as smaller scale commercial, residential and the
contemporary remote systems outlined previously. A
workshop session will be held involving PV experts at
all levels from the Mainland and Hawaii and will indlude representatives from utilities, engineering
consultants, developers and builders, universities,
government, and PV manufacturers. The workshop will
identify the needed research and set forth a program
to solve problems and advance PV development.
Other elements of the technology transfer program
include a market analysis for maximum PV penetration
in Hawaii and the Pacific Basin. A key to the success of any new technology is a competent infra-

mounting brackets

49
structure to install and maintain systems. A manual
for PV technology transfer for island communities
will be developed, drawing upon prior efforts in this
area. A training program will be initiated for community college technical staff since community colleges are where most PV technicians are trained.
Finally, near the end of the program, one or more
PV technology transfer workshops will be held in
Hawaii and other places where there is interest and
support. These workshops will be targeted at the PV
industry, local dealers and support staff, utility
personnel, and the building industry in Hawaii and
the Pacific Basin.
Some
technical issues still need to be
addressed. Utilities are concerned that interconnection might have an adverse impact on their grid
stability and on personnel safety. As the penetration level of PV power into the utility grid increases, energy storage will become more important
for reserved peak power readiness in order to match
generation capability to consumer demand. HNEI is
implementing a wind energy battery storage demonstration for test, evaluation and characterization of the
use of battery storage to aid a utility's stability
when penetration levels of intermittent sources of
energy increases. The findings will be of equal importance to both wind as well as solar energy-utility
applications. This is the first of several energy
storage programs to be developed by HNEI. Some form
of dispersed reactive power generation and protective
measures against harmonics generated by inverters
should also be investigated.

CONCLUSION
In the next three to five years, major cost reductions in PV systems are expected. If the price of
oil also increases, Hawaii could benefit from a significant penetration of PV power.
Edgar DeMeo,
manager of EPRI's Solar Power Systems Program, said
that, "PV technology looks like it has a good shot at
success as a bulk power generating option' [10].
EPRI-funded research in high concentration PV systems, research in amorphous silicon thin films, and
solution of the problems with dendritic web silicon
are important in ensuring PVs' economic viability.
The extensive work being carried out by the Solar
Energy Research Institute, the Energy Conversion
Laboratory at University of Delaware, and a number of
PV manufacturers all point to a most promising future
for PVs.
The program proposed here should enable Hawaii
and other tropical areas to benefit from these developments as PVs achieve full commercialization.
HNEI's present and proposed programs are intended to
address utility concerns with PV interface to investigate battery storage systems, and to develop alternative markets for daytime power generated by PVs.

REFERENCES

[1]

HNEI 1984 Annual Report, Hawaii Natural Energy

[2]

Ibid.

[3]

Richmond, Ronald, Guidebook on Photovoltaic Application in Hawaii, Hawaii Department of Planning and Economic Development, October 1984.

[4]

Ibid., p. 83.

[5]

EPRI Journal, July/August 1984 Issue, Electric


Power Research Institute.

Institute, February 1985.

[6]

How, Karl T.S., Solar Radiation in Hawaii 19321975, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, January 1978.

[7]

Final Report, Hawaii Photovoltaic Residential


systems and Evaluation, Hawaii Natural Energy
Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa, April
1984. p. 18.

[8]

Ibid., p. 18.

[9]

Sandia National Laboratory

[10] EPRI Journal, September 1984, pg. 37.