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Inspecting Solar Systems: A Seminar for Code Officials, Electric Utilities and Contractors. Dave Click, Florida Solar Energy Center (Cocoa, FL) January 26, 2009. Acknowledgments, Contact Information. GRU Jerry Ventre & Jim Dunlop, NJATC John Wiles, NMSU

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Inspecting Solar Systems: A Seminar for Code Officials, Electric Utilities and Contractors

Dave Click, Florida Solar Energy Center (Cocoa, FL)January 26, 2009

Acknowledgments,Contact Information

  • GRU

  • Jerry Ventre & Jim Dunlop, NJATC

  • John Wiles, NMSU


      Dave Click, Research Engineer

      Florida Solar Energy Center

      321.638.1408, daveclick [at] fsec [dot] ucf [dot] edu

Afternoon Agenda

  • Photovoltaic Systems and Applications

  • Photovoltaic Components and System Configurations

  • Permitting and Inspection of Photovoltaic Systems

  • Inspector Guidelines for PV Systems

  • Inspection Checklist

Photovoltaic Systems and Applications

Principal Elements of a Photovoltaic (PV) System


inversion (AC) & conditioning




conversion (DC)




Types of PV Systems

  • Utility-interactive (or grid-connected, or grid-tied) PV systems

  • Stand-alone PV systems


PV Array





Loads in Home

A Simple Grid-Tied Photovoltaic System

Solar Electric, Thermal and Energy Efficiency

  • An effective and highly marketable combination

  • Both electric and thermal power produced on site

  • A giant step toward the zero energy home

Side-by-Side Tests

Finding the efficiency limits

Standard vs. Best Available

The Potential of PV and Building Technologies

Net Energy Use

Integrating PV Systems and Buildings

Stronger roof for high wind loads

Double trusses to support roof components and cladding (i.e., PV array attachments)

Manufactured Housing

53 kW Façade and Roof GlazingLibrary, Mataro, Spain

NIST’s Rooftop Photovoltaic System

Size – 35 kW DC (Standard Rating Conditions)

Total Installed Cost - $239,945 or $6.86 per DC Watt

Installation Date – September 11-14, 2001

NIST’s Rooftop Photovoltaic System

ASE 18 kW Flat Roof Rack Mount ArrayBallasted Roof Jack FoundationEll Student Center, Northeastern Univ.

340 kW BP Solar Offset Mount Array, Georgia Tech Olympic Natatorium

AC Modules

GIT Aquatic Center Canopy

GIT Aquatic Center Canopy

PV and Conventional Fuels

PV and New Fuels


Ford Motor Company

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Highway Signs

Directional Messages

Warning Signs

Traffic Control

School Warning Signs

Arrow and Message Boards

Area Lighting

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site


Water Pumping

Navigational Aids

Channel Markers

Marine Data

Cathodic Protection and Vaccine Refrigeration

Vaccine Refrigeration

Cathodic Protection

Recreational Applications

Sail Boats

Recreational Vehicles

Utility Applications


Austin Energy

The Old and New Frontier

Photovoltaic Systems Overview

Installed Costs for 100 PV Systems in Florida

Total Costs

Equipment Costs

Labor Costs

PV System Strengths and Weaknesses

Myth that Solar Energy Uses too Much Space

Lake Mead formed by Hoover Dam has an area of 640 km2. The dam has a capacity of 2,080 MW. If the same area was covered with 15% efficient solar modules, the peak solar output at noon could be at least 60,000 MW!

This includes a large margin for DC-AC inverter loss and the spacing between PV array rows

Atlantis Energy Systems

BP Solar

DayStar Technologies, Inc.

Energy Photovoltaics, Inc.

Evergreen Solar

First Solar

GE Energy



Mitsubishi Electric


Schott Solar


Sharp Solar

Solar Energy Corporation

Solar Integrated Tech.

Solar World (formerly Shell Solar)




PV Module Manufacturers

Florida PV Progress


  • $4/W incentive (up to $20,000), if money still available

  • Solar systems exempted from property tax

  • Net Metering


  • $4/W incentive (up to $100,000), if money still available

  • Net Metering (up to 2MW)

  • State buildings to incorporate solar in renovations/new construction - up to date listing of incentives

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