what you will learn
Students who complete the PV101 workshop will be able to perform the following:
- Differentiate between various renewable energy sources and types of systems
- Perform power and energy calculations
- Evaluate utility bills and rate plans, perform a load analysis for a grid-direct system, and compare system production to energy consumption
- Describe energy efficiency measures that can be implemented to reduce electricity usage and PV system size
- Analyze different net metering rules, rebates, and incentives that affect the final cost of a PV system
- Diagram and list the features, applications, and components of the following PV system types: DC direct, stand-alone, grid-direct, and grid-tied with battery back-up
- Obtain and apply specifications for PV modules and determine their performance given various environmental and operating conditions
- Identify various types of digital multimeters and explain how to use them safely
- Diagram and determine the power, current, and voltage characteristics of PV modules in different series and parallel configurations
- Determine the magnetic declination, define azimuth and altitude angle and evaluate the shade potential for a given site
- Estimate energy production of a PV system based on location specifics including orientation and tilt angle
- List the pros and cons of different mounting systems (ground, pole, roof, and trackers) and determine the number of modules that can fit in a given roof space
- Given specific site criteria, evaluate what type of inverter is appropriate
- Decipher balance-of-system equipment specification sheets to determine the critical information needed for system design
- Design a residential grid-direct system including the array, inverter, circuit conductors, and overcurrent protection
- Define equipment grounding, system grounding, and components and conductors used for grounding
- Identify the following wires and components on schematics of residential grid-direct systems: disconnects, inverter, equipment grounding conductors, ungrounded conductors, grounded conductors, the grounding electrode(s), and the AC and DC system grounds
- Identify potential safety hazards and the proper personal protective equipment for working on grid-direct PV systems
- List the order of installation, commissioning, and decommissioning of a grid-direct PV system
Both our in-person and online PV101 Courses cover the same curriculum with varying levels of hands-on experience offered in our in-person sessions.
Prerequisites: Completion of our free online RE100 Introduction to Renewable Energy, is highly recommended.
To view online sessions of PV101, click PVOL101.
This workshop includes 5 days of classroom lecture with tours, in addition to approximately a 1/2 day of labs. Students receive an introductory level hands-on experience through the opportunity to work on lab kits. Students will wire a grid-direct system, including the inverter, disconnects, racking, and grounding, using commercially available components and small 20-watt modules.