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PV202: Solar Training - Advanced PV System Design and the NEC (Grid-Direct)

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Take a deep dive into National Electrical Code (NEC® 2017) standards as well as other best practices that pertain to designing safe and efficient grid-direct PV systems. PV202 focuses on residential and commercial-scale systems, but the Code requirements, design parameters, and best practices are applicable to all types and sizes of PV installations, including utility-scale. Detailed lessons address requirements for disconnects, overcurrent protection, and wire sizing; interconnection requirements and calculations; grounding, ground-faults, and surge protection; calculations for system sizing, inverter selection, and electrical configuration; ground and roof mount details; and commissioning and performance analysis procedures.  (Prerequisite class required, see below)

what you will learn

Students who complete PV202 will be able to:

  • Define the purpose of the National Electrical Code (NEC®) and NEC® terminology for PV equipment
  • Determine procedures for proper installation of equipment and conductors, including minimum requirements for working space
  • Examine methods for PV wire management and determine where expansion fittings are required
  • Describe and identify electrical services, including split-phase and three-phase Wye (Y) and Delta (∆)
  • Evaluate electrical service details to collect and record during solar site evaluation
  • Identify options for NEC®-compliant PV system interconnection to the utility grid and determine whether a supply side, load side, or additional service connection is appropriate
  • Identify code-compliant methods for connecting an inverter to an existing AC feeder
  • Calculate PV module voltage based on temperature to ensure compatibility with system components and NEC® Section 690.7, and explore other options for maximum PV system DC voltage calculations
  • Identify NEC® requirements and sizing of disconnects and overcurrent protection devices (OCPDs) in grid-direct PV systems
  • Define inverter grounding configurations
  • Evaluate inverter choices and system configurations, including string inverters, central inverters, and module level power electronics (MLPE)
  • Identify requirements for equipment grounding, equipment grounding conductors (EGC), and grounding electrode conductors (GEC), and size the conductors according to the NEC®
  • Identify common causes of ground-faults and arc-faults
  • Describe ground-fault and arc-fault protection devices
  • Describe benefits and appropriate locations of surge protection devices (SPD)
  • Demonstrate the use of sun charts and perform calculations to determine row spacing and minimize inter-row shading
  • Identify how Codes detailing access for first responders impact PV array roof layout
  • Examine fire classifications that affect racking and module selection
  • Detail NEC rapid shutdown requirements
  • Identify load and structural considerations for low- and steep-slope roof-mounted PV systems
  • Calculate wind uplift force and select appropriate lag bolts
  • Review issues related to planning, design, and installation of ground-mount PV arrays
  • Review PV system circuit terminology, definitions, and conductor types
  • Calculate minimum overcurrent protection device (OCPD) size and conductor ampacity using appropriate adjustment and correction factors
  • Calculate voltage drop and verify system operation within acceptable limits
  • Examine requirements for PV system labeling
  • Calculate the maximum and minimum number of modules per PV source circuit, and number of PV source circuits per inverter
  • Determine size of residential grid-direct PV system based on site and customer-specific considerations including the number and wiring layout of modules, conductor and OCPD sizes, and the AC interconnections
  • Determine the size of a large, multiple inverter, grid-direct PV system based on site and customer-specific considerations, including the quantity and layout of modules and inverters and the AC interconnection
  • Define large-scale PV and review associated NEC® allowances and requirements
  • Identify safe methods for, and electrical hazards associated with, commissioning a PV system
  • Review personal protective equipment (PPE), lockout tagout methods (LOTO), and safe meter use and testing
  • Define performance verification and estimate expected voltage, current, and power based on system configuration and environmental conditions
  • Identify some reasons for unexpected performance test values
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helpful information

PREREQUISITE COURSE: Before participating in the PV202 course, students MUST complete PV101 or PVOL101, an equivalent course from another organization, have NABCEP certification, or demonstrate field experience and pass a placement quiz. Please contact [email protected] if you feel you are qualified to skip the prerequisite for PV202.

To view online sessions of this workshop, click PVOL202. 

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: 5 days in person = 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)
  • SH Associate (Renewal only)
  • PV System Inspector (Recertification only)
  • Solar Heating System Inspector (Recertification only)
  • Solar Heating Installer (Recertification only)

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

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

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course materials

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