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PVOL304: Solar Training - Advanced PV Stand-alone System Design (Battery-Based) - Online

The PV industry began with off-grid systems, and with so many new applications for stand­-alone power, equipment advancements and cost reductions, the energy storage sector is growing like never before. This advanced course covers detailed load analysis, charge controllers, PV array sizing, stand-­alone inverters, as well as numerous design examples that address the wide-ranging specifics of off­-grid applications. Also covered is generator sizing and integration, maintenance for stand-­alone systems, National Electrical Code (NEC®) requirements, and a healthy dose of best practices that have been learned through years of experience. Advance your PV knowledge well beyond where the grid goes!

what you will learn

  • Define terms used in stand-alone systems
  • Name common applications for stand-alone systems; describe basic component layouts
  • Describe differences between AC and DC coupling
  • State principle elements of a microgrid
  • Define the importance of an accurate load analysis
  • Review load analysis procedures; perform a load analysis based on daily data
  • Review battery bank sizing for lead-acid and lithium-ion battery types
  • Define array sizing variables and how they affect design for both MPPT and non-MPPT charge controllers
  • Explain charge controller types and describe maximum power point tracking and voltage step-down
  • Examine the calculations for PV array sizing
  • Describe the difference between sizing for a non-MPPT and an MPPT charge controller
  • Complete array configuration calculations for a system with a non-MPPT and an MPPT charge controller
  • Summarize the parameters to check when selecting a charge controller
  • Explain the purpose of DC load control and the three ways it can be implemented
  • Identify design variables, advantages, and disadvantages of DC-only PV systems
  • Describe how to size and integrate components for a recreational vehicle (RV) application
  • Identify installation and maintenance considerations specific to mobile applications
  • Identify applications and considerations for DC lighting systems
  • Specify a battery-based inverter given electrical load and surge requirements
  • Describe various configurations for stacking and clustering multiple inverters
  • Examine inverter / charger size considerations
  • Describe multiwire branch circuit wiring and concerns with single-phase supplies
  • Describe the purpose and function of a generator
  • Identify considerations that impact generator selection
  • Solve for location-based performance degradation
  • Specify a generator given electrical load, battery charging, and surge requirements
  • Estimate approximate generator run time
  • List generator maintenance
  • Describe the National Electrical Code (NEC®) Articles that apply to the different parts of PV and energy storage systems (ESS)
  • Identify NEC® requirements for workspace clearances, disconnects, and overcurrent protection devices (OCPD) that apply to PV systems
  • Locate and apply specific requirements for storage batteries, stand-alone systems, and energy storage systems
  • Identify labeling requirements
  • List relevant building and fire codes
  • Review installation considerations and best practices for stand-alone systems as related to batteries, design strategies, monitoring and metering, balance of system (BOS) equipment
  • Review DC-coupled stand-alone residential system design
  • Define operating modes of off-grid AC coupled PV systems
  • Explain charge regulation of AC coupled PV inverters in a stand-alone system
  • Discuss AC coupled PV system design strategies; evaluate equipment options for AC coupled off-grid applications
  • Design a stand-alone microgrid system with PV (AC and DC coupled) and generator power sources
  • Distinguish between isolated and non-isolated microgrids
  • Compare concepts of centralized versus decentralized generation and controls
  • Identify different types of microgrid analysis and planning software
  • Review isolated microgrid use case examples
  • Identify general PPE for battery system maintenance
  • Develop a battery maintenance plan
  • Identify methods to measure battery state of charge
  • Identify common causes of battery problems and how to avoid them
  • Identify PPE for lead-acid battery maintenance
  • Develop a battery maintenance plan for lead-acid batteries
  • Describe how to correctly add water to a flooded lead-acid (FLA) battery bank
  • Identify methods to measure battery state of charge of FLA batteries
  • Define when and why equalization is needed
  • Identify common causes of battery problems and how to avoid them

Note: SEI recommends working closely with a qualified person and/or taking PV 202 for more information on conductor sizing, electrical panel specification, and grounding systems. These topics will part of this course, but they are not the focus.

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helpful information

Click here for Computer & Software Requirements for online courses.

PREREQUISITE COURSES: Before participating in PVOL304, students MUST complete PV101 or PVOL101 AND PVOL203 or PV203, equivalent training from another organization, have NABCEP certification, or demonstrate field experience and pass two placement quizzes. Please contact [email protected] if you feel you are qualified to skip the prerequisite for PVOL304.

For information on SEI’s Solar Professionals Certificate Program please click here.  For information on SEI’s workshop and training program policies please click here.

nabcep certification information

SEI Contact Training Hours: 6 weeks online= 40 hours

This course provides approved credit hours towards the following NABCEP Certifications and Recertifications:

  • PV Installation Professional
  • PV Design Specialist
  • PV Installation Specialist
  • PV Commissioning and Maintenance Specialist
  • PV Technical Sales Professional
  • PV Associate (Renewal only)
  • PV System Inspector (Recertification only)
  • SH Associate (Renewal only)
  • Solar Heating System Inspector (Recertification only)
  • Solar Heating Installer (Recertification only)

Please visit NABCEP’S online course catalog for credit hours breakdown.

For information on SEI’s Solar Professionals Certificate Program please click here.

more on nabcep certification > sei's solar professionals certificate program info >

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course snapshot

  • Online
    • February 24 2020 - April 05 2020
    • May 18 2020 - June 28 2020
    • August 17 2020 - September 27 2020
    • November 09 2020 - December 20 2020
  • 6 Wks/40 Hrs
  • 8-15 hours per week

course materials

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Instructors