SEI: PV 101 Solar Electric Fundamentals and Grid-Direct Design
Solar Energy International (SEI) Event
Description: This course will provide an overview of the three basic PV system applications, primarily focusing on grid-direct systems. The goal of the course is to create a fundamental understanding of the core concepts necessary to work with all PV systems, including: system components, site analysis, PV module criteria, mounting solutions, safety, and commissioning. The course will also cover the basics of sizing a residential grid-direct system, wire sizing, overcurrent protection, and grounding – all of which will be expanded upon in PV 202.
Prerequisites: Before participating in either the PV 101 in-person workshop or PV 101 online course, students are required to complete the self-paced PV 101 PREP online component.
PV 101 PREP:
This new online component allows immediate access to start your solar education! Students receive access information after registration for PV 101. PV 101 PREP enhances students’ learning experience and allows time to cover more information in the PV 101 course.
Students who complete the PV 101 PREP will be able to perform the following:
• Differentiate between various renewable energy sources and types of systems
• Perform power and energy calculations
• Perform a load analysis for a grid-direct system and evaluate utility bills and rate plans
• Implement electrical efficiency measures to reduce system size
The above objectives are covered in the mandatory PV 101 PREP that must be completed before participating a PV 101 Solar Electric Fundamentals and Grid-Direct Design workshop. PV 101 PREP is an online, on-demand instructorless course, which will require approximately 10-15 hours to complete and will help you be successful in our PV 101 workshop.
Students who complete the PV 101 workshop will be able to perform the following:
• Analyze net metering and other incentives that effect the final cost of a PV system
• List the pros and cons and draw a block diagram of the following systems: DC direct, stand-alone, grid-direct, and grid-tied with battery back-up
• Diagram an array in series and parallel configurations
• Obtain and apply module specifications for a given module and determine a module’s performance given various environmental conditions
• Determine performance of an array/system based on irradiance changes or for array orientation and tilt angle at a given site
• Determine the magnetic declination, find the orientation and altitude angle of the sun, and evaluate the shade potential for a given site
• List the pros and cons of different mounting structures (ground, pole, roof, and trackers)
• Read equipment specification sheets to determine the critical information needed in system design
• Size a residential grid-direct system including the inverter, array, PV source and inverter output circuit conductors (basic), and overcurrent protection
• Determine the number of modules that can fit on a given roof space
• Identify the following wires and components on a three-line diagram of a residential grid-direct system: the array, disconnects, inverter, the equipment grounding conductors, ungrounded conductors, grounded conductors, the grounding electrode(s), and the system grounds
• List the order of commissioning and decommissioning, as well as potential safety hazards, for a grid-direct system
North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Entry Level Exam: After successfully completing this course you are eligible to sit for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam. Both NABCEP and SEI recommend that students do not take the exam immediately following PV 101, but rather spend additional time preparing. The NABCEP exam includes questions on grid-direct and battery-based PV systems. If students elect to not take PV 203, they will need to spend a significant amount of time independently studying topics related to battery-based systems, in addition to the post-course review recommended by NABCEP. See www.nabcep.org for more on their recommendations.
Both our in-person and online PV 101 Courses cover the same curriculum with varying levels of hands-on experience offered in our in-person sessions. All PV 101 Courses require completion of PV 101 PREP online.