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Photovoltaic Systems Study Guide Ver. 1.02 January 2011

James Dunlop, PE

Š 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar


Contents Chapter 1: Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems (63 slides) Solar Technologies ● History and Development ● Markets and Applications ● Industry Sectors Chapter 2: Solar Radiation (76 slides) Terminology & Definitions ● Geometric & Atmospheric Effects ● Solar Power & Energy ● Measurements & Data Chapter 3: Site Surveys and Preplanning (76 slides) Customer Development ● Site Assessment ● Locating PV Arrays ● Shading Analysis ● Project Planning and Preparation Chapter 4: System Components and Configurations (47 slides) Major Components ● Balance-of-System ● System Classifications and Designs Chapter 5: Cells, Modules and Arrays (71 slides) Principles of Operation ● I-V Characteristics ● Response to Irradiance and Temperature ● Series/Parallel Connections ● Specifications and Ratings Chapter 6: Batteries (38 slides) Types and Characteristics ● Functions and Features ● Specifications and Ratings Chapter 7: Charge Controllers (37 slides) Types and Characteristics ● Functions and Features ● Specifications and Ratings ● Sizing Chapter 8: Inverters (120 slides) Definitions and Terminology ● Types and Applications ● Functions and Features ● Selection and Sizing ● Monitoring and Communications Chapter 9: System Sizing (33 slides) Sizing Principles ● Interactive vs. Stand-Alone Systems ● Calculations and Software Tools Chapter 10: Mechanical Integration (68 slides) Design Considerations ● Array Mounting Configurations ● Structural Loads ● Installation Chapter 11: Electrical Integration (97 slides) Terminology and Definitions ● Circuit Design Requirements ● Specifying Electrical Components ● CodeCompliant Installation Practices Chapter 12: Utility Interconnection (66 slides) Codes and Standards ● Utility Considerations ● Supply and Load Side Connections ● Interconnection Agreements Chapter 13: Permitting and Inspection (60 slides) Permit Submittal Guidelines ● Plan Review ● System Labels ● Inspection Checklists Chapter 14: Commissioning, Maintenance and Troubleshooting (41 slides) System Commissioning ● Maintenance Plans ● Diagnostics Chapter 15: Economic Analysis (27 slides) Incentives ● Value Assessment ● Life Cycle Costs Analysis ● Financial Tools Chapter 16: PV System Safety (58 slides) Hazards and Avoidance ● Personal Protective Equipment ● Fall Protection ● Electrical Safety

Photovoltaic Systems Study Guide

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar


Photovoltaic Systems Study Guide The Photovoltaic Systems Study Guide is a companion student resource to be used in conjunction with the textbook Photovoltaic Systems, authored by James Dunlop. This study guide contains the same slide presentations, notes and references found in the Photovoltaic Systems Training Resource Guide, in a condensed and non-editable Adobe® PDF format. It can be used for self-study purposes, or to follow along with instructors using the Microsoft PowerPoint® slides from the TRG. However, these materials are not intended, nor are they suitable for presentation purposes. The Photovoltaic Systems textbook and this study guide are aligned with accepted PV industry job task analyses, such as the PV Installer Certification and Entry-Level programs offered by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Students are encouraged to supplement these materials with other suggested references and study resources as appropriate in preparing for any certification or licensing exams. Features The Photovoltaic Systems Study Guide is a comprehensive set of study materials covering all aspects of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems technology and deployment. It addresses the fundamentals and applications, as well as the details of system components, designs and installations. Key features of the study guide include: •

Presentations covering all 15 chapters in the Photovoltaic Systems textbook, and an additional chapter on PV System Safety.

Nearly 1000 total slides, and over 200 new illustrations and photographs not contained in the Photovoltaic Systems textbook or other instructional resources.

Note pages for every slide with commentary, suggested exercises, and references to publications, websites, codes and standards, and page numbers and applicable content from the Photovoltaic Systems textbook and CD-ROM.

New requirements for PV installations adopted in the 2011 National Electrical Code and proposed regulations for the 2012 International Fire Code.

Availability The Photovoltaic Systems Training Resource Guide is available for purchase and electronic downloading exclusively from the author’s website: www.JimDunlopSolar.com

Photovoltaic Systems Study Guide

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar


User Agreement The Photovoltaic Systems Study Guide is intended for non-commercial, educational purposes only. These materials may not be copied, transmitted, distributed, resold or reconstituted in any manner without the express permission of the author. Authorized users must register and purchase a single-user license. The author makes no warranty, express or implied, nor assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or application of the information provided. Reference to any specific commercial product or manufacturer does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation. By accessing these materials, users acknowledge that they understand and agree to the conditions of use, and assume all accountability for the use or misuse of the information contained therein. ###

Photovoltaic Systems Study Guide

Š 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar


Chapter 1

Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems Solar Technologies ● History and Development ● Markets and Applications ● Industry Sectors

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems produce electricity from the sun's energy and are becoming a viable power generation option. The applications for PV devices and systems are diverse, ranging from consumer electronic devices to multi-megawatt central power plants. Reference: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 1

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Chapter 2

Solar Radiation

Terminology & Definitions ● Geometric & Atmospheric Effects ● Solar Power & Energy ● Measurements & Data © 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

Solar energy is the fuel that creates and sustains life on earth. The nature and characteristics of the solar radiation resource are of fundamental importance in understanding how solar PV systems are designed and perform. References: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 2 National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Renewable Resource Data Center: www.nrel.gov/rredc

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Chapter 3

Site Surveys and Preplanning

Customer Development ● Site Assessment ● Locating PV Arrays ● Shading Analysis ● Project Planning and Preparation © 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

Site surveys are used to collect information and analyze details about the conditions and issues affecting the design, planning and installation of PV systems. References: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 3 Solar Photovoltaic Installation Guideline, California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection, Office of the State Fire Marshal: http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/pdf/reports/solarphotovoltaicguideline.pdf

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Chapter 4

System Components and Configurations Major Components â—? Balance-of-System â—? System Classifications and Designs

Š 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

Photovoltaic systems are an assembly of electrical components that are intended to produce power suitable for operating electrical loads and appliances, or to interface with other electrical systems, like the utility grid. PV systems are versatile power generators, and the configurations and components required vary depending on the type of system and its intended application. Reference: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 4

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Chapter 5

Cells, Modules and Arrays

Principles of Operation ● I-V Characteristics ● Response to Irradiance and Temperature ● Series/Parallel Connections ● Specifications and Ratings

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

PV systems are comprised of building blocks of cells, modules and arrays to form a DC power generating unit with specified electrical output. Reference: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 5

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Chapter 6

Batteries Types and Characteristics ● Functions and Features ● Specifications and Ratings

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

Batteries are used in some PV systems to store energy from the PV array. There are numerous types of storage batteries to choose from, based on the physical and performance characteristics desired. References: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 6 2008 and 2011 National Electrical Code® (NEC), Articles 110, 480, 690 Battery Service Manual, 12th Ed., Battery Council International

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Chapter 7

Charge Controllers Types and Characteristics ● Functions and Features ● Specifications and Ratings ● Sizing

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

Charge controllers are required in most PV systems using a battery to protect against battery overcharging and overdischarging. There are different types of charge controller design, and their specifications dictate their intended operating limits and applications. References: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 7 2008 and 2011 National Electrical Code® (NEC), Articles 110, 690

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Chapter 8

Inverters

Definitions and Terminology ● Types and Applications ● Functions and Features ● Selection and Sizing ● Monitoring and Communications © 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

Inverters are used in PV systems to produce AC power from a DC source, such as a PV array or batteries. Inverter sizes range from module-level inverters rated a few hundred watts to utility-scale inverters 1 MW and larger. Reference: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 8

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Chapter 9

System Sizing

Sizing Principles ● Interactive vs. Stand-Alone Systems ● Calculations and Software Tools

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

Sizing is the basis for PV system designs, and determines the ratings for the PV array and other major components needed to produce and deliver a certain amount of energy. Different principles apply to the sizing of interactive and stand-alone PV systems. References: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 9 & Worksheets on CD-ROM

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Chapter 10

Mechanical Integration

Design Considerations ● Array Mounting Configurations ● Structural Loads ● Installation

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

The mechanical integration of photovoltaic arrays requires an understanding of the site conditions and hazards, the physical and electrical characteristics of PV modules chosen, the desired electrical output for the array, and the mounting system and structural attachments. It also involves considerations for the installation, maintenance and accessibility of equipment, and architectural integration. The objective is to produce the least-cost mechanical installation that is safe, secure and appropriate for the application. References: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 8 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, ASCE 7 Wind Load Calculations for PV Arrays; Stephen Barkaszi, FSEC & Colleen O’Brien, BEW Engineering: www.solarabcs.org/wind/ Mounting hardware manufacturers websites: Unirac: www.unirac.com Professional Solar Products: www.prosolar.com Iron Ridge: www.ironridge.com Direct Power & Water: www.dpwsolar.com

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Chapter 11

Electrical Integration

Terminology and Definitions ● Circuit Design Requirements ● Specifying Electrical Components ● Code-Compliant Installation Practices © 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

The electrical integration of PV systems involves the design and assembly of the various components into a complete power generation unit. The requirements for PV system installations are governed by the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70. References: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 11 National Electrical Code, NFPA 70

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Chapter 12

Utility Interconnection

Codes and Standards ● Utility Considerations ● Supply and Load Side Connections ● Interconnection Agreements © 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

Nearly all electric utilities allow the interconnection of customer-owned and operated PV systems to their distribution systems. The technical and safety requirements for interconnected power sources are addressed in national codes and standards, while the specific procedures and policies vary among local utilities. References: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 12 Connecting to the Grid – A Guide to PV Interconnection Issues, Interstate Renewable Energy Council: www.irecusa.org Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy: www.dsireusa.org

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Chapter 13

Permitting and Inspection

Permit Submittal Guidelines ● Plan Review ● System Labels ● Inspection Checklists

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

The requirements for PV system installations and equipment are governed by national codes and standards that are adopted into local building codes. Approvals for PV installations are granted by local jurisdictions through the permitting, plan review and inspection process, and helps ensure the safety of PV systems. Reference: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 13

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Chapter 14

Commissioning, Maintenance and Troubleshooting System Commissioning ● Maintenance Plans ● Diagnostics

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

Once PV systems are installed, they are commissioned to verify the installation matches the plans and code requirements, and that performance expectation are met. Although PV systems usually require little maintenance, a maintenance plan ensures that essential service is performed on a regular schedule. Maintenance helps identify and avoid potential problems that affect system functions, performance, or safety. When problems do occur, a systematic troubleshooting process is used to diagnose and indentify the problems, and take corrective actions. References: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 14 Battery Service Manual, 12th Ed., Battery Council International

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Chapter 15

Economic Analysis

Incentives ● Value Assessment ● Life Cycle Costs Analysis ● Financial Tools

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

Reference: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 15

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Chapter 16

PV System Safety Hazards and Avoidance ● Personal Protective Equipment ● Fall Protection ● Electrical Safety

© 2011 Jim Dunlop Solar

This section covers some of the basic safety requirements for PV systems and for workers who install them. The materials presented in this section are intended only as an overview, and do not present the complete requirements for compliance with installation safety codes or standards, nor does it replace recognized OSHA safety training. References: Photovoltaic Systems, Chap. 3 National Electrical Code® (NEC), NFPA 70 Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, NFPA 70E CFR 29 Part 1910 -- Occupational Safety and Health Standards CFR 29 Part 1926 -- Safety and Health Regulations for Construction

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