A PV system is in many ways just
another electrical power system. However, they have several characteristics that are unfamiliar to traditional electricians. These include:
- DC circuits
- Multiple sources of power (e.g. PV array, batteries, utility, backup generator).
- Bi-directional power flows
- Operation in parallel with utility power
The first day focuses primarily on issues that impact the design of a PV system. The course begins with fundamentals of PV systems and solar energy. It then progresses to performance
issues to identify where losses occur in a typical PV system. Siting concerns are discussed including how to take into account the effects of shading and orientation on system performance. Electrical and
mechanical design issues are discussed to provide the participant with an overview of how to identify proper system design. The first day ends with an explanation of the important aspects of how the power
conditioning equipment works and examples of current products.
The second day focuses primarily on issues encountered with installing code-compliant systems. Major installation processes
are covered including the mounting and wiring of the PV array. Attention is given to each portion of the required hardware needed to install a safe and reliable PV power system. Issues discussed relate to
both battery- and non-battery-based systems. Issues specific to battery-based systems include battery types and wiring of critical load subpanels. Issues relevant to all PV systems include
temperature-corrected wire ampacity, wire voltage drop, and grounding.
The third day will feature representatives from a variety of suppliers that offer designed system packages.
Participants will be exposed to the hardware and documentation provided by these suppliers. The course concludes with system checkout procedures so the installer is confident that the system is
installed properly and is operating as expected. At the end of the course a 45-minute exam will be proctored for those wishing to receive a Training Certificate for the course.`
Attendees are expected to have a basic understanding of electrical systems. This workshop is designed to augment the understanding of standard wiring practices with those issues that are specific to PV