Solar Power

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steve66

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
Engineer
I'm learning all I can about solar power. I was thinking about either taking Mike's Solar Power Training class, or buying his Solar Power Handbook.



Does anyone have any recommendations which would be better?

The handbook has the Table of Contents online, and I was a little disappointed because it looks like 90% of this book covers standard electrical code things, and only about 10% is directly related to solar. The first 450 pages covers chapters 1-4 of the NEC.


That definitely gave me second thoughts about ordering the book. Now I'm wondering if the online class would be similar.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
You don't get to ignore the rest of the code just because you have a solar application. You still have to follow the rest of the rules too. No doubt there is some interaction amongst and between the various rules as well.
 

steve66

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
Engineer
You don't get to ignore the rest of the code just because you have a solar application. You still have to follow the rest of the rules too. No doubt there is some interaction amongst and between the various rules as well.
I think that's obvious, but its kind of like buying a book on Calculus, or taking a Calculus Class, and finding out your are really only going to learn about algebra, because you need to use algebra to do calculus.

I'm just looking for the most solar specific info. Already familiar with the 1st 4 chapters of the code.

Edit: And I would be OK with all that, but it looks like there are only about 37 pages that cover article 690 - my main interest. The NEC handbook has 20 pages, so there isn't a lot more here than in the NEC handbook.

I was just wondering if the class would have more info. that the book.
 

AC\DC

Senior Member
Location
Florence,Oregon,Lane
Occupation
EC
Looked into the online ones I think I made a post a while ago inquiring about them, think you chimed in also tortuga.
In person seems the best I don’t learn from that well with only reading.
 

tortuga

Code Historian
Location
Oregon
Occupation
Electrical Design
Looked into the online ones I think I made a post a while ago inquiring about them, think you chimed in also tortuga.
In person seems the best I don’t learn from that well with only reading.
AC/DC If you feel like driving up to Portland there is a big solar conference happening on the Nov 2nd,
You can do a one day for less than $100, and get 8 CEU's
(Last I went was over 10 years ago) but the training is excellent with all the relevant Oregon info.
I know a few other folks that are planning on going.
 

steve66

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
Engineer
I'm nowhere near Portland, so its too far away for me. I'm also surprised they are having a huge solar conference in Oregon - that's probably the worst state in the whole country for solar power - too overcast.

It's hard to find good books on the subject too - too many are wrote by DIY'ers.

I bought one book because it was provided with one NABCEP certification class, so I thought it would be good. But it doesn't have as much design detail as I would like, and the author makes a few obvious errors. A couple of times he mentioned "kilowatts per hour" and he mentioned grounding a solar system with a separate 3 foot ground rod (yes, 3 feet , not 3 meters) instead of connecting to the utility GES. It was more geared toward installations in England, so in his defense, maybe the grounding rules are different there.

I did find this short video on how photocells work:


and then I took some time and went back to review semi-conductors theory. This is a pretty good basic series on that subject - fairly easy to understand without too much math;


But as far as covering the electric code goes, I don't think I'm going to find anything better than Mike's stuff.
 

tortuga

Code Historian
Location
Oregon
Occupation
Electrical Design
Oregon - that's probably the worst state in the whole country for solar power - too overcast.
I used to think so too, LOL
I am no expert but my understanding is there is a type of panel designed in Germany or Japan, that also has a similar climate, that leverages the light that makes it thru.

Also I here the lower temps run the silicon run more efficiently.
Ben or someone might chime in and correct me or add to this.
Also the eastern portion of the state is not as cloudy as one would think.
 

steve66

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
Engineer
I used to think so too, LOL
I am no expert but my understanding is there is a type of panel designed in Germany or Japan, that also has a similar climate, that leverages the light that makes it thru.

Also I here the lower temps run the silicon run more efficiently.
Ben or someone might chime in and correct me or add to this.
Also the eastern portion of the state is not as cloudy as one would think.
Yes, the cheap amorphous solar cells (the type you find on a solar powered calculator) work better for non-direct sunlight. So they can work out to be more cost efficient in areas that don't get a lot of direct sunlight. But they require a lot more surface area to provide an output similar to more expensive solar cells, even when the lighting conditions are equal.

 

AC\DC

Senior Member
Location
Florence,Oregon,Lane
Occupation
EC
my family are using the solar power instead of hydro electricity and this saves our family a huge amount
?
How is your solar better than hydro!
Only reason my area has such low KW cost is because of the bonneville dam. If we got ride of that for solar are state would riot ( I would hope) from cost increase.
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
I'm learning all I can about solar power. I was thinking about either taking Mike's Solar Power Training class, or buying his Solar Power Handbook.



Does anyone have any recommendations which would be better?

The handbook has the Table of Contents online, and I was a little disappointed because it looks like 90% of this book covers standard electrical code things, and only about 10% is directly related to solar. The first 450 pages covers chapters 1-4 of the NEC.


That definitely gave me second thoughts about ordering the book. Now I'm wondering if the online class would be similar.
IAEI has virtual on line course on solar installations with certification in specific states.

 

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
From the date of publication, solar training material has a short period of relavance before obsolete from products developing different capabilities.

I would estimate a product standards half-life of 18 months, and a code-relavant half-life of 36 months.

The way this industry rolls, those familiar with new developments will work with AHJ's to allow the new methods specified in up-commong code cycles long before locally adopted.

Perhaps one way to deal with this industry is let the job drive the training, rather than the other way around.
 
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