Since 1954, Arizona Public Service (APS) has led the advancement of solar energy in Arizona. APS has many types of solar systems that contribute to the energy mix, and under an Enterprise Agreement with OSIsoft, they use the PI System to track and analyze all the solar data as well as most real-time data at APS. For a new residential solar program called the “Solar Partner Program (SPP),” APS installed photovoltaic solar systems on 1500 customer homes and needed to get the inverter and meter data from the solar photovoltaic systems on customer homes into the PI System. With new photovoltaic solar systems to be installed every week, they also needed PI System interfaces to detect the new data. It was decided they would use the PI OPC Interface along with the Auto Point Synch for this interface. For network security, the OPC Server, PI OPC Interface, and Auto Point Sync were in one zone and APS users of the data were in another zone, and a PI to PI Interface was used to move the data between the two zones. APS then rolled data up from numerous PI Servers into an “Enterprise PI Server.” This Enterprise PI Server is the final destination of the SPP data, and they created an AF model to tie inverter data, meter data, consumer data, feeder data, and EPRI data together. To view this data, they built displays using ESRI, PI Coresight, and PI ProcessBook. APS is able to do analysis of the data to determine the effect of solar on the grid and determine the best orientation of the systems to offset peak usage, which was very important since solar is a growing energy producer and APS has to design the energy grid to accommodate for this.
Kurt Pager has been a PI System Administrator for 10 years at Arizona Public Service. He was a key person in installing/maintaining the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station PI System, and since then, he has been supporting the APS Renewable PI Systems.