Kendeda Building

PV305: Advanced Photovoltaic System and Microgrid Design

PV305: Advanced Photovoltaic System and Microgrid Design

This course provides an integrative understanding of PV systems, energy storage, and microgrids with technical and economic considerations.


Program Information


Five weeks starting on May 2021, this interactive on-line course will be a combination of live sessions and pre-recorded material over the following period:

May 11 to June 12

10 part days consisting of the following:

Tuesday evenings (May 11, 18, 25, June 1, 8): 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Saturday mornings (May 15, 22, 29, June 5, 12): 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM


This year, the course will be held live digitally, and you will have plenty of opportunities for interaction. Course materials will be available via a Learning Management System. 

Required Hardware: 

Students should bring their own laptop running Windows 7, 8, or 10 or a Macintosh laptop with at least 10 MB of free storage to allow for course material and simulation reports.

Registrants Withdraw Penalty Fee:

Registrants may withdraw from the course up to 2 weeks in advance with no penalty. After that a 15% fee is applied for withdrawing. Companies may substitute a student for a currently registered student up to 2 weeks in advance with no penalty. After that a 15% fee is applied for withdrawing.

Program Overview

This course provides an integrative understanding of PV systems, energy storage, and microgrids with technical and economic considerations.

In-depth coverage of the National Electrical Code (NEC 2017 and NEC 2020) will help those seeking work as a PV professional whether it be in design, sales, or business development. In addition to energy generation, loads will be examined particularly in the context of microgrids. Some sustainable building practices will be explored to better understand how dealing with load consumption works hand-in-hand with generation.

Lessons dive into best practices for site preplanning, technology system components, system sizing, mechanical integration, electrical integration, utility connection, inspection and commissioning, operations/maintenance/troubleshooting, medium-voltage interconnection issues, and economic analysis.

The course covers grid-interactive, standalone, and hybrid systems.

NEC requirements for design and installation are highlighted including overcurrent protection, disconnects, labeling, conduit, and conduit sizing. Special focus is given on proper plan sets including one-line electrical diagrams. The course will employ spreadsheets, modeling tools, and contemporary simulation software (e.g. Helioscope, PVsyst, System Advisor Model, HOMER Grid, Retscreen) to allow for practical design. Some hands-on experience with high-end tools such as the PV Analyzer will be given.

The course provides the 40 hours for NABCEP’s PV Installation Professional accreditation as required from an accredited institution and is offered either on-premises at the Georgia Institute of Technology or via an established learning management system (LMS) platform. A certificate from Georgia Tech will be issued.

An optional 6th day of training is offered to explicitly review exam preparation material for the NABCEP PV Installation Professional course



  • Understand the complete life-cycle of a PV system from analysis to design to operations and maintenance.

  • Understand design topologies.

  • Understand trade-offs and “inflection-points” for making decisions for such systems.

  • Specify the appropriate inverter and interconnection topology to and from the inverter

  • Analyze array mounting options in addition to other mechanical considerations.

  • Understand the NEC 2017/2020 code requirements including updates to NEC 2020.

  • Perform system and string sizing

  • Perform calculations for conductor and conduit sizing

  • Understand PV source circuits and the required overcurrent protection required at every step of the PV system

  • Identify potential problems and how to diagnose and take corrective actions.

  • Learn to read and evaluate project set plans.

  • Learn to use available tools for the design of such systems.

  • Provide guidance and practice questions for the NABCEP PV Professional exam.

  • Meet the required Job Task Analysis areas.


Sol Haroon headshot

Sol Haroon

Sol is a consulting instructor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and in sustainable architecture and renewables
Tarek Rakha Headshot

Tarek Rakha

Tarek is an architect, building scientist and educator at Georgia Tech

Course Outline

Fundamentals of photovoltaic systems

   Typical photovoltaic applications

   Principles of electrical systems

   PV definitions

   PV system configurations

   Basic components of a photovoltaic system

   The solar resource

   Site Surveys and Preplanning

   Managing the Project

Design of PV systems

   System components

   Design fundamentals

   Decision matrix for system design

   Principles of system sizing: methodologies and calculations

Energy Storage Systems (ESS)

   Lithium, lead-acid, flow, and other technology fundamentals.

   DC-coupled vs AC-coupled; modes of operation.


   Design considerations for large-scale ESS.

   Modeling ESS with SAM and HOMER.


   Design, modeling, and economic practicalities. HOMER and other tools will be used.

   Control topologies.

   A complete microgrid system integrated with PV and ESS will be analyzed.

Mechanical Integration

   Mechanical Considerations

   Array mounting systems

   Mechanical integration

Electrical Integration and NEC code compliance

  National Electrical Code 2017

      • PV Article 690

      • NEC and OSHA requirements for battery installation and safety

      • Overcurrent protection (OCPD) requirements

      • Grounding requirements

      • Labeling requirements

PV Design Plans

   Effective design plan creation and tying concepts together

   Lessons from the field

Troubleshooting and testing/diagnostics

   How to diagnose and ensure the proper system operation

Commissioning and maintenance

   Monitoring and O&M requirements


If you can't find the information you were looking for, we'll get you to the right place.
Contact Us