Tech Tip: Snow Considerations and
Design Criteria for Ground-Mount PV Projects
With SEI Professional Services (SEIPS) team members from all over the country, and even the world, SEIPS can say that we’ve worked on PV systems in many types of weather and climate. Now that we are deep into wintertime here in the northern hemisphere, we thought we’d share some thoughts on the various impacts that snow has on our PV system design decisions. We will start by looking at ground-mount systems and move on to rooftops, which can be a little more complicated, in a future article.
Snow Load Data
Snow loads can vary wildly across even short geographical distances, so being as accurate as possible up-front is important. First and foremost, we start with finding the local requirements for snow loading from whom ever has jurisdiction in the project area. Sometimes this is provided in the building code itself and other times it is provided by a state-wide organization like the Structural Engineering Association of Colorado, or it is provided by the local building department. It is important to determine who really does have jurisdiction. Asking the local building department is typically the fastest way of finding an answer and many times it is on their website.
“Working with SEI Engineering (SEIE) has been an absolute pleasure. SEIE has a full staff of extremely knowledgeable solar professionals. All of the projects designed by SEIE for J. Ranck Electric are top-notch designs. SEIE has been extremely responsive to every one of my requests while always staying at or below budget and on schedule. In my line of work, I deal with a large number of solar engineering/design firms and by far SEIPS and SEIE has my vote for #1 in the country.”
James Mann – J. Ranck Electric
Project Manager – Renewable Energy Division
Breaking News: The EIA forecasts renewable energy sources will be the fastest growing source of electricity generation for the next two years!
Over 8GW of solar is projected to be deployed! Well who the heck is going to install all that solar anyway?! SEI’s 65,000+ students and alumni – that’s who! Jump on this wave and get educated by the most recognized solar training program in the world.
Attention Solar Professionals: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Solar PV Operations & Maintenance Training!
PVOL350: PV SYSTEMS – TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES FOR OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE – Enroll Today!
As more and more PV systems come online, the operations and maintenance (O&M) field is rapidly expanding. This course trains PV technicians to safely and effectively perform O&M tasks, including inspections, commissioning, performance verification, and troubleshooting. Students will become familiar with a wide range of advanced analytical tools, meters, and techniques – such as insulation resistance testers, I-V curve tracers, and infrared cameras.
Learn the theory and practical applications from instructors with real-world experience, using curriculum developed by an industry-leading team of experts. This course is applicable to all sizes of grid-direct PV systems including residential, commercial, and large-scale; it does not cover battery maintenance or medium voltage-specific O&M. Fleet operations and system data managers will also find this course challenging and valuable.
PV201L: Solar Electric Lab Week
offered in Costa Rica March 4
SEI Solar Training in Costa Rica – March 4th – spots are filling fast! Are you looking to learn in-person from industry-leading instructors? We’re offering our lab-based training experience, PV201L: Solar Training- Solar Electric Lab Week (Grid-Direct) starting on March 4. Plan your trip to Costa Rica this winter and experience SEI training in the sun!
Contact our Student Services Team for more information: [email protected] or call 970-527-7657 x1.
The student services department got together at the new Costa Rica Campus recently to support the students who were there studying and with the course logistics. Paulina flew down from the United States and Saphire came in from Heredia, Costa Rica to give the students a warm welcome. The lab yard is located in the valley of Ujarras, in the province of Cartago, known for its favorable climate with sun but also cooling breezes, surrounded by mountain ranges and a nearby lake. There are also many other activities to do throughout the week, you can even have a bike assigned to you at the lab yard and use it to explore the valley and enjoy nature.
For the week Saphire and Paulina didn’t put aside the S.E.I. Exercise Challenge 2018, where the staff have thirty minutes each day free to exercise. During the time at the lab yard, they were also collaborating with the recording of a new promotional video of the Costa Rica campus and participated in the student group meeting after an intense day of classes. The campus is totally ready and equipped to receive future students, which we are pleased to announce will be offered in both English and Spanish in 2019!
SEI recognized for transparency
with a 2018 Gold Seal on GuideStar
Solar Energy International was recently recognized for our transparency with a 2018 Gold Seal on our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile! GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. More than 8 million visitors per year and a network of 200+ partners use GuideStar data to grow support for nonprofits.
In order to get the 2018 Gold Seal, SEI shared important information with the public using our profile on www.guidestar.org. Now our community members and potential donors can find in-depth information about our goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress. We’re shining a spotlight on the difference we help make in the world. Check out our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile and tell us what you think.
SEI Travels to Middle East Electricity
in Dubai March 5-7
In less than two months Solar Energy International (SEI) will be leading two free technical seminars at Middle East Electricity running March 5-7 in Dubai. If you haven’t registered, make sure you sign up to attend the world’s largest #power exhibition for FREE today!
Solar energy training: A journey, not a destination
“How long will it take me to get NABCEP-certified?”
If we had a dollar for every time we heard that question from potential students here at Solar Energy International (SEI), we would never have to have another giving-campaign for our non-profit school’s operations.
As solar educators, we love talking with training program candidates about their career goals and helping them choose a program track that fits their expectations. However, we often first have to address the common misconceptions for what it takes to get into the solar industry and be successful in a rewarding career.
SEI joined former United States President Bill Clinton and other leaders earlier this week to discuss our Commitment to Action to help.
Following the devastating 2017 hurricane season, local leaders from Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda approached President Clinton to help them build back better. In response, the Clinton Foundation launched the CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery.
Building on CGI’s proven Commitment to Action model, this Action Network brings together leaders from across sectors to develop new, specific, and measurable plans that advance recovery and promote long-term resiliency across the region.
SEI Co-founder Johnny Weiss
heads to Maasailand Tanzania
Johnny is off to Maasailand Tanzania once again! SEI co-founder Johnny Weiss is ‘capacity building’ with Lukas Kariongi, SEI alum and Managing Director of grass-roots Maasai NGO RUCOSUO (Rural Community Support Organization).
“Thanks again to Solar Energy International (SEI) and to We Care Solar and to all who help fund this wonderfully rewarding charitable solar work. The Maasai men and women in the remote Simanjiro District Villages of Terat and Orkesumet are most grateful for our support. We will do our best to update everyone on our progress next month during the solar installation process.”
In partnership with SunPower and Stiftung Solarenergie Philippines, We Share Solar deployed 60 Solar Suitcases assembled by California students to provide light and power for rural schools in the Philippines. SunPower sponsored the program and provided volunteer support to quality check equipment and prepare for the deployments. Stiftung worked with rural communities to select school sites, install the systems, and provide end-user training and follow-up. We Share Solar is the STEM education program of We Care Solar, a non-profit organization dedicated to energy access for healthcare and education based in Berkeley, California.
Solar Energy International (SEI) will be offering a total of 8 solar energy workshops during Solar Power Mexico 2019. The free event will take place at the Citibanamex Center, Mexico City, Mexico from March,19-21.
Registrations are open, for the 3 paid workshops:
PV Installation Best Practices – Tuesday March 19, 9am – 12pm
Point of Interconnection – Wednesday March 20, 9am – 12pm
Tools and Techniques for PV System O&M – Thursday March 21, 9am – 12pm See more details
And don’t miss the free on-the-floor workshops that will be offered:
PV System Types and Components – Tuesday March 19, 1pm – 2pm
Site Analysis and the Solar Resource – Wednesday March 20, 1pm – 2:30pm
Inverters Types, Topologies and Selection Considerations – Wednesday March 20, 3pm – 4pm
Ground Faults and Ground Fault Protection – Wednesday March 20, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
OCPDs and Disconnects: which, where, and why – Thursday March 21, 1pm – 2:30pm See more details
Use our code for U83BYTAU a 15% off full conference registration
Solar Power Mexico is organized by three of the leading trade show companies in the world: Deutsche Messe, SNEC PV Power Expo, and Solar Power International (SPI) have joined forces to help develop the Mexican solar energy market.