February 4-6, 2020 | San Diego Convention Center | San Diego, CA

Call for Abstracts

Intersolar North America 2020

Abstracts are now being accepted for Intersolar North America 2020. Presentation topics span multiple aspects of the solar, energy storage, and electric vehicle markets and technologies.

Abstracts must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on Friday, August 23, 2019. If you have any questions, please email Samantha Schulte.

2020 Conference Sessions

Click to expand the session titles and read their descriptions.

Beyond Lithium-ion: The Next Great Leaps in Lithium and Non-Lithium-based Battery Technology

Today, there’s a sense that existing lithium-ion battery technologies are reaching their limitations. Within this context, this session will look at the future of both lithium-ion- and non-lithium-ion-based battery technologies. The presentation will discuss anticipated future technological advancements, expected energy density levels, cost reduction potentials, and other aspects.

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BOS: Backbone and Pacemaker of PV Power Plants Featuring Unlimited Versatility

As photovoltaic systems grow in size, so too does the significance of balance of system components (BOS). In this session, presenters will showcase the last innovations in inverter design and discuss the shift from central inverters to multi-string inverters.

Given the role of such systems in supplying key utilities with energy, these energy storage devices are of the utmost importance. Speakers will address this aspect, particularly with regards to the exponential growth in the capacity of utility-scale plants in recent years.

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Charging Infrastructure and Business Models for Vehicle Fleets (including Trucks, Buses, and Autonomous Light Vehicles)

By 2030, roughly one-quarter of all cars and light trucks on the road will be EVs, including hybrids and fully electric vehicles. This rise of EVs is part of a broader shift known as transportation electrification (TE) toward using electricity as the fuel of choice for mobility. Changes include not only the development of EVs but also the modification of infrastructure (such as roadways and ports) to allow charging. This session will showcase future and existing charging infrastructure concepts that enable business models designed to manage the electric vehicle fleets.

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Floating Solar PV: Concepts, Technologies, and Projects

Far from being limited to land-based systems, solar photovoltaics can be deployed inland (on rivers, lakes, and waterways) as well as offshore (on the ocean and water treatment lagoons). Floating solar farms offer an efficient and environmentally-friendly solution capable of adapting to prevailing conditions and exploiting uninhibited sunlight. By utilizing less surface area than land-based systems, floating solar PV is also far less intrusive than land-based systems.

This session will discuss recent developments in this up-and-coming field and analyze the lessons learned to date.

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Long Duration Energy Storage using Technology other than Electrochemical Batteries

Although lithium-ion battery deployments have ramped up significantly in recent years as costs have decreased, project developers are reluctant to place long-duration (four hours or more) demands on the technology. Lithium-ion batteries have shorter cycle lives than alternative long-duration solutions, making them uneconomical over the long-term when exercised deeply and frequently. This session will look into non-electrochemical batteries designed for long-duration energy storage, including pumped hydropower, liquid air energy storage, and compressed air among others.

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Managing the Electricity Load on the Grid: The Role and Impact of Vehicle Charging

Ever-increasing numbers of EVs require a sophisticated approach to manage the electricity load on the grid; i.e., load balancing means you can install multiple charging stations for electric vehicles with an unchanged connection capacity. In this process, the charging power is distributed equally across all electric vehicles that will be charged. Load balancing means you can avoid cost-intensive, one-off increases in connection capacity and prevent peak loads resulting in higher demand charges.

Another concept is the so-called “static load management,” which evenly distributes a charging power pre-set for all charging stations across several connected electric cars—no matter how many of the individual electric cars are charging. Every charging station is allocated the same charging power. In contrast, dynamic load management adjusts the total available charging capacity to the current power consumption in the entire building. So, if the power consumption in the building decreases, then there is more electricity available to charge the electric cars.

This session will share insights on how the electricity load can be managed for EV charging.

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PV Manufacturing: Pushing Efficiency Levels to New Highs

Although photovoltaics are mass produced worldwide, there is still plenty of room for further innovation. New technologies and materials and highly productive manufacturing equipment are required to reduce production costs and increase efficiencies. This session discusses new developments that support progress in PV production by identifying manufacturing and technology improvements and innovation along the value chain.

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PV Power Plants + Electrical Energy Storage Systems: Focus Residential and C&I

This session will feature practical aspects of solar power + electrical energy storage systems in terms of design, configuration, and optimization for both the residential and C&I sectors. Issues include site analysis, key criteria when selecting an inverter, integrating modelling and simulation in the system planning workflow, and more. Panelists will discuss lessons learned (especially with regards to O&M) and explore the prospects for residential and C&I systems on the U.S. market.

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PV Power Plants + Electrical Energy Storage Systems: Focus Utility-Scale

Utility-scale PV power plants combined with electrical energy systems are a crucial component of national and regional infrastructure and have far-reaching significance. This session will focus on the anticipated market development and how holistic quality assurance increases overall bankability. It also discusses how the continued deployment of hybrid strategies and uses leads to multiple sources of revenue streams and increased overall ROI.

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Role of Non-Wires Solutions in Distributed Energy Resources (DER)

Traditionally, when transmission or distribution system operators needed to upgrade or replace infrastructure due to aging equipment or increased load demand, they would simply conduct poles and wires projects. However:
– grid management and distributed energy resources technologies have improved;
– utilities are looking to engage customers more;
– policy concerns related to cost and the environment have grown.

In reaction, more creative solutions are being explored to address infrastructure needs at a lower cost with greater customer and environmental benefits. These types of projects are known as non-wires alternatives (NWAs).

Today, NWAs are set to become a bigger piece of the transmission and distribution (T&D) investment picture based on advancements in DER technology—and utility willingness to try new means of infrastructure replacement. Global NWA spending is expected to grow from $63 million in 2017 to $580 million in 2026. This session will include a dive deep into these trends.

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Safety Issues Involving the Storage, Transport, and Use of Lithium-ion Batteries in Stationary Energy Storage Applications

As with any battery system, lithium-ion technology has electrical risks and chemical risks. Depending on environmental stress conditions, they can create potential hazards or have dangerous consequences. Safety management is a fundamental measure for all lithium-ion energy storage systems, and is ensured by a combination of prevention, mitigation, and protection systems.

This session will explore existing safety management approaches applied today—and possibilities for the future.

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Second-Life Batteries and Recycling

Second-life EV batteries are considered the newest value pool in energy storage within the context of continued global growth for electric vehicles. New opportunities for the power sector are emerging for stationary storage powered by used EV batteries, which could exceed 200 gigawatt-hours by 2030. During the next few decades, the anticipated uptake of electric vehicles will lead to the availability of multi-terawatt hours of batteries that no longer meet required specifications for usage in an EV.

Second-life batteries will provide multiple value streams to customers and grid operators in the future. They have the benefit of delaying recycling, though not indefinitely. At a certain point, batteries will reach their end-of-life and must be recycled—creating another business opportunity.

This session will shed light on both the second-life and recycled life of batteries used in electric vehicles.

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Solar + Storage and Climate Resilience in Vulnerable Communities

One approach in addressing climate change is to adopt technical applications that build smart and resilient communities capable of withstanding its impact. Solar + storage is considered one viable solution in effectively addressing climate change. Countries endowed with strong solar irradiation combined with electrical energy storage can significantly increase resiliency and handle extreme weather event impacts.

Across the United States, there are a series of projects already underway that are intended to demonstrate the efficacy of utilizing solar + storage as a resiliency measure. This session will feature experience gained by various stakeholders engaged in such projects.

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State-Level PV Market Development across the U.S.

Considered a year of change for solar in the United States, solar installations grew 6% in 2018, amounting to 11.7 GWdc. While the residential PV market stagnated year-over-year (due to the end of net metering in several states and ongoing sluggishness in California), utility-scale drivers are shifting. Furthermore, project contracts secured under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) appeared to have fallen away last year, but were compensated by corporate solar procurement. This session will highlight various state-level PV markets across the U.S. and explore how they are anticipated to develop in the future.

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Status and Prospects for Energy Storage by Non-Lithium-Ion Batteries

North America’s stationary energy market is overwhelmingly dominated by lithium-ion batteries, which carry a market share of approximately 95%. But many stationary energy storage applications (particularly long duration applications) and other storage technologies (like flow batteries) are more suitable. The question becomes whether there is room for other battery technologies today and in the future. This session will focus on the technological advancements of non-lithium-ion batteries.

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Technological Advancement of Tracker Technologies

Trackers offer substantial benefits because they can generate more electricity than their stationary counterparts due to increased direct exposure to solar rays. Depending on their geographical location, this increase can be as much as 10 to 25%. In certain states, some utilities offer Time of Use (TOU) rate plans for solar power, which means the utility will purchase the power generated during the peak time of the day at a higher rate. In this case, it is beneficial to generate a greater amount of electricity during these peak times of the day. Advancements in technology and reliability in electronics and mechanics have drastically reduced long-term maintenance concerns for tracking systems as well.

This session will feature the latest developments from innovation, technology, business, and operation and maintenance perspectives.

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The Future of PV

Distinguished speakers representing the upstream and downstream sectors of the global solar industry will share their assessments and opinions on technology trends, manufacturing and system cost reductions, and local, national, and international market demands. They will particularly focus on the U.S. PV market, given the impact of new and changing federal leadership and business models.

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Urban Microgrid: Concepts, Technologies, and Projects

This session discusses urban micro/mini-grids, which are designed to be interconnected with the central grid. Under normal conditions, they operate as part of the central grid; as such, they are flexible and support the integration and utilization of renewable energy sources as well as electrical energy storage devices. Integrating distributed generation sources into the grid has made reliable power supply a concern, however. This session explores micro/mini-grids concepts and technologies and features case studies.

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