Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

AHJ frustration

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    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
    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!

    Comment


      #3
      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
      She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
      I can't help it if I'm lucky

      Comment


        #4
        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.

        Comment


          #5
          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.

          Comment


            #6
            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.

            Comment


              #7
              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?

              Comment


                #8
                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?

                Comment


                  #9
                  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.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    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.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by ggunn View Post
                      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?
                      Frustrating. I have to say, I find it kinda ironic too - This kinda thing isnt what Texas is supposed to be all about

                      We have it very good here in upstate NY; Inspections are mostly 3rd party. If you dont like the inspector, you can call a different one!
                      Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

                      "You can't generalize"

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by GoldDigger View Post
                        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?
                        Yep, a separate meter read by the POCO connected upstream of the customer's meter. This is the "brainchild" of an engineer in a small POCO who wants to be able to compensate for PV production at a different rate than what they charge for energy. Austin Energy does this, but they put the PV meter inside the customer's meter and just do the math.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by gadfly56 View Post
                          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.
                          I wish that were the case in more places, definitely not happening in the western states I work in.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by electrofelon View Post
                            We have it very good here in upstate NY; Inspections are mostly 3rd party. If you dont like the inspector, you can call a different one!
                            This can work against you too if the AHJ selects the 3rd party. There are several AHJs in SoCal that use the same 3rd party review company who has strange PV interpretations. So instead of having just one problem AHJ every AHJ that signs up with this company adopts the same problems. When someone protests to an AHJ they just say they go with whatever the 3rd party says.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ggunn View Post
                              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?
                              AMEN,

                              7, 386 = The number of distinct AHJs we track "special" requirements for, last I ran the query. *National* Electrical Code, Ha!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X