Meralco, in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the Renewables Academy (RENAC), hosted the technical training sessions of the German Solar Week Training at the Lineman's Training Camp from Oct. 1 to 5, 2012.
Among the attendees were engineers and representatives from Meralco, other distribution utilities, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and solar photovoltaic (PV) system integrators. The five-day training is part of Meralco's efforts to prepare for the implementation of the Net Metering program, as mandated by the Renewable Energy (RE) Law of 2008.
German PV experts Sigrid Quisbrok and Richard Schlicht, conducted lectures and practical demonstrations on fundamentals of PV installations and their economics, opportunities and risks. Much emphasis was placed on regulatory issues, capacity building, education requirements and the proposed net metering scheme.
The workshop started with a discussion of basic concepts and theories led by Quisbrok, who introduced the fundamentals and principles of solar PV systems, different types of solar panels and their application, and the various components of a PV system.
The discussion later delved into the technical planning of grid-connected PV plants. The RENAC lecturer showed an example of a site survey form needed for the assessment of a planned PV site. She also enumerated conditions needed in the evaluation of the site like shading, condition of roofs, angle of inclination, orientation and effects of wind loads.
Lastly, the installation and commissioning of a grid-connected PV system were tackled.
The lecture was followed by practical training, in which participants analyzed certain locations within the Meralco compound as potential sites for the installation of solar PV panels. One group analyzed the rooftop of the Operations Building while a second group analyzed the Employee Services Building.
After the site analysis exercise, the participants were guided through the construction and commissioning of an actual PV system. The German lecturers, together with the participants, assembled a PV system before connecting it to a live distribution line through a prototype net metering set-up based on the proposed design of the National Renewable Energy Board.