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Here are some approximate answers to her questions.  Any of the details
could be investigated further to get exact answers but this would take more
time.  Hopefully this helps....

1. Standard Dimensions for Solar Panels (according to watts).

A ROUGH guide to solar land area needs:
-1000 Watts/m2 of incident solar radiation
-Assuming a 10% panel efficiency gives 100 Watts/m2 (most panels are 1-	2m2)
-This gives a power of 404.6 kW/acre or 1000 kW/hectare
-This gives an energy production of 2023 kWh per day per acre
	Or 5000 kWh per day per hectare

Note:
	Poly and mono silicone (current common technology): 10%-13%
efficiency
	Amorphous silicone: 5%-6%
	CIGS (Shell): 8%-9%
	CdTe (First Solar): 7%
	1 acre = 4046 m2
	Assume a 20% capacity factor (this would be about 5 sun hours per
day which is a good yearly average for Northern FL)



2. Standard height required for solar panels when mounted.
	As far as I know there is not a standard height for ground mounted
systems.  Most rack mount or pole mount systems would be on the order of
10-15 feet.  Many systems have a larger number of shorter rows and would
therefore be less than this.


3. Does landscape buffering (trees, shrubs) disrupt solar power generation?
	Only if they directly shade the panels, or have debris that falls on
them that cannot be cleaned on a regular basis.  Anything to the north side
is not a problem as the solar is always south or in mid summer, more or less
directly overhead.  Shade to the east and west is only a problem in the
morning and evening.  Most importantly is the shading to the south.  A rule
of thumb could be that however tall the tree or shrub is to the south, it
should be at least double or even triple that distance away from the array.
This minimum distance should be investigated further if it is to be
implemented as a code.


4. How far must buffering be from panels to maintain generation?

	I'm not sure if I understand this question.


5. Must panels be distanced a certain length from each other?

	If they are non-tracking (most are) they can be right next to each
other in the longitudinal direction and most mounting systems will be.  In
the latitudinal direction, they can shade each other when the sun is lower
in the sky (winter) and therefore must be separated.  The exact distance for
a particular latitude requires some more advanced calculation similar to the
southern shading in question 3.


6. Is there a minimum lot area for solar power plants?
	There is no minimal lot area if it meets the other requirements for
shading.  A substation will be needed for the inverters and circuit breakers
(as close to the array as possible) but this will be insignificant compared
to the array land area.  Cost reduction do to scaling should be considered
for any large scale plant.  $10/watt or $10,000/kW is a rule of thumb for
residual before rebates and credits but for larger scale systems and with
prices dropping this cost should be lower.  Also, the mounting system
framing for ground mounting (as opposed to roof mounting) will add to cost
so this needs to be factored in.


Nate Mitten
PhD Program
University of Florida, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Chair, ASES Clean Energy and Water Division
Phone: (717) 303-9424
Email: [log in to unmask]


-----Original Message-----
From: Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology Society
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Heck,Patrick T
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 11:55 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Help! I Have Solar Power Questions

Hello BESTers,

I was contacted about solar power today and was hoping someone on the list
might be able to answer a few questions, as I'm definitely not the right
person to ask.  These questions comes from a staffer in the local/regional
planning council who is updating land regulations but before she can do it
needs some information, which can't seem to be located anywhere!

She noted that, in order for a solar power plant to be erected within an
area zoned agriculture-1 or agriculture-2 certain land development
regulations must be met.  In order to inform what land regulations are
appropriate for solar power plants the following information is required:


1.       Standard Dimensions for Solar Panels (according to watts).


2.       Standard height required for solar panels when mounted.


3.       Does landscape buffering (trees, shrubs) disrupt solar power
generation?


4.       How far must buffering be from panels to maintain generation?


5.       Must panels be distanced a certain length from each other?


6.       Is there a minimum lot area for solar power plants?


In advance, thanks to all those who can help!

BEST,
Patrick





Patrick T. Heck
Communications Specialist
SNRE, Research and Outreach/Extension Office
1053 McCarty Hall D
Phone (352) 392-7622
Fax (352) 846-2856
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