Over five weeks starting in July 2020
This interactive online course will be a combination of pre-recorded and live sessions over the following period:
Tuesday evenings: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (July 14, 21, 28, Aug 4, 11)
Saturday mornings: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm (July 18, 25, Aug 1, 8, 15)
The last few years have seen a resurgence in renewable energy and sustainable buildings with businesses, communities, residences, and utilities embracing solar power.
This course provides an integrative understanding of PV systems, energy storage, and microgrids with technical and economic considerations.
In depth coverage of the National Electric 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.
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.
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.
Sol Haroon (EE) is a consulting instructor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and in sustainable architecture and renewables. He is a lead engineer at United Renewable Energy. As an electrical engineer and as a graduate of Georgia Tech’s High Performance Building Lab, he specializes in photovoltaic systems and renewable power systems by serving clients and by teaching. He is a published certified PV installation professional by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and is also a long-standing member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He has worked for many years in the solar field including 3 years at Suniva, Inc, an American solar manufacturing firm, where he led the system’s architecture team including the design and commissioning of multi-Megawatt systems. He was a key engineer for the design of the PV system for Georgia Tech’s Living Building (KBISD). He has also been a consulting instructor in the electrical engineering department at Georgia Tech where he has taught graduate students in PV and renewable power systems. Contact Sol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Tarek Rakha is an architect, building scientist and educator. He is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Georgia Tech, and Faculty at the High Performance Building (HPB) Lab. Prior to joining Tech, Dr. Rakha taught at Syracuse University, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and MIT. He completed his Ph.D. in building technology at MIT, where he was part of the Sustainable Design Lab as a member of the developing team for umi, the urban modeling and simulation platform. He leads efforts in the acquisition and implementation of scholarly collaborations with government, industry and academic partners. This includes multiple externally sponsored projects supported by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). He was an invited speaker and critic by a variety of organizations and institutions including TEDxCairo, Skidmore Owings & Merril (SOM), Harvard University and as keynote in the Building Simulation Cairo 2019 conference. Dr. Rakha serves international conferences through his leadership, as he was invited to the Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design’s board (SimAUD), and served as the 2018 General Chair in TU Delft and as the 2019 Program Chair in Georgia Tech. Contact Tarek at email@example.com.
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.
Fundamentals of photovoltaic systems
Typical photovoltaic applications
Principles of electrical systems
PV system configurations
Basic components of a photovoltaic system
The solar resource
Site Surveys and Preplanning
Managing the Project
Decision matrix for system design
Principles of system sizing: methodologies and calculations
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.
A complete microgrid system integrated with PV and ESS will be analyzed.
Array mounting systems
National Electrical Code 2017
• PV Article 690
• NEC and OSHA requirements for battery installation and safety
• Overcurrent protection (OCPD) requirements
• Grounding requirements
• Labeling requirements
Effective design plan creation and tying concepts together
Lessons from the field
How to diagnose and ensure the proper system operation
Monitoring and O&M requirements