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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Austin, TX, USA
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    AHJ frustration

    I design PV systems for installation all over the state of Texas. We have a constantly evolving document on our server with a running tally of all the different things we have to do to be compliant in each jurisdiction.

    For example: We have one (and only one) AHJ that considers line side connected PV to be a separate service entrance, with a N-G bond in the disco and its own ground rod bonded to building ground. We have one AHJ that completely prohibits line side PV connections. We have one AHJ that requires all PV to be line side connected. We have one AHJ that requires all PV to be line side connected outside the customer's meter. And that's just the differences WRT line side PV; there are plenty of other issues upon which they do not agree.

    Yeah, I know, I'm preaching to the choir. Can I get an AMEN?

  2. #2
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    Jun 2016
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    Tampa, FL, USA
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    Wow, what a competitive advantage you have over the other solar contractors. You guys can go in and get your jobs passed the first time due to your large database of AHJ lunacy, while your competitors will be spending too much money making changes. You can quote lower than your competitors and win more jobs. Congrats!

  3. #3
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    Dec 2006
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    Chapel Hill, NC
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    That is one of the problems with the written word. It does not always convey what it's intention may be. NC is trying to clean up that stuff by making executive decisions on the most common code issues that are challenged.

    I salute the state for trying this.

    GGunn, is there a state inspector that you can call to make a state wide decision on these issues. If the state calls it one way the inspectors would have to accept his interpretation or the inspector can challenge the decision made by the state.
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
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  4. #4
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    Oct 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post

    GGunn, is there a state inspector that you can call to make a state wide decision on these issues. If the state calls it one way the inspectors would have to accept his interpretation or the inspector can challenge the decision made by the state.
    No, such things are left entirely to local AHJ's. We have had cases where the inspector was just plain wrong, both from a code standpoint and with respect to The Way Electricity Works (one inspector was and possibly still is convinced that current can run both directions simultaneously in a conductor), and there was no appeal.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    CA, USA
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    Every AHJ is King/Queen of their castle. It's one of the reasons all these plans to make universally accepted across all AHJs PV system designs always fail. People do not want to give up their local power. Unfortunately, a small number of them enjoy making other people's jobs harder.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    New Jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by pv_n00b View Post
    Every AHJ is King/Queen of their castle. It's one of the reasons all these plans to make universally accepted across all AHJs PV system designs always fail. People do not want to give up their local power. Unfortunately, a small number of them enjoy making other people's jobs harder.
    You won't find that in NJ. In my previous job I dealt with AHJ's all over northern NJ for fire alarm. The folks down in Trenton are only too happy to reign in an officious AHJ if he's got it wrong.

  7. #7
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    May 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
    Wow, what a competitive advantage you have over the other solar contractors. You guys can go in and get your jobs passed the first time due to your large database of AHJ lunacy, while your competitors will be spending too much money making changes. You can quote lower than your competitors and win more jobs. Congrats!
    And then when a new inspector takes over for the previous inspector, the AHJ's specific "shirt pocket rules" retire with the previous inspector. The new inspector then has new "shirt pocket rules" that make your database no longer valid.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Austin, TX, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carultch View Post
    And then when a new inspector takes over for the previous inspector, the AHJ's specific "shirt pocket rules" retire with the previous inspector. The new inspector then has new "shirt pocket rules" that make your database no longer valid.
    We were dealing with one AHJ whose requirements were ridiculously complex and time consuming. Their plan reviewer quit and got a job with another Texas AHJ we deal with. Wanna guess what happened?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Tampa, FL, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carultch View Post
    And then when a new inspector takes over for the previous inspector, the AHJ's specific "shirt pocket rules" retire with the previous inspector. The new inspector then has new "shirt pocket rules" that make your database no longer valid.
    Nope, database is still valid except for one entry that requires updating. There will always be periodic updates.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Placerville, CA, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggunn View Post
    We have one AHJ that requires all PV to be line side connected. We have one AHJ that requires all PV to be line side connected outside the customer's meter.
    As in upstream of the customer's meter??Am I interpreting your description correctly that the installation would either require a separate production meter read by POCO or just making a gift of all produced power to POCO?

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