Solar Energy Workshop

Instructor: Clay Blevins

Location: NMSUA Renewable Energy Lab
Cost: $25

Instructor Clay Blevins, department coordinator at NMSU Alamogordo for renewable energy, has planned a day full of solar topics including photovoltaic components, designing and sizing a system, site surveys,  and the configuration of grid-tie (utility-connected) systems.

Use of the sun’s free energy should be part of every house. This hands-on workshop will help you to understand the siting, sizing and designing of a home PV system. Feed your interest in solar electricity and match your need and skills as a builder or homeowner with the proper design and application of solar electricity.

Learn how photovoltaic electricity generation can contribute to your long term energy independence!

Attendees are asked to bring a lunch and a copy of a year’s worth of electricity bills.

The agenda for the day will include many (but not all) of the following options:

  • Differentiate between various renewable energy sources and types of systems
  • Perform power and energy calculations
  • Evaluate utility bills and rate plans, perform a load analysis for a grid-direct system, and compare system production to energy consumption
  • Describe energy efficiency measures that can be implemented to reduce electricity usage and PV system size
  • Analyze different net metering rules, rebates, and incentives that affect the final cost of a PV system
  • Diagram and list the features, applications, and components of the following PV system types:  DC direct, stand-alone, grid-direct, and grid-tied with battery back-up
  • Obtain and apply specifications for PV modules and determine their performance given various environmental and operating conditions
  • Identify various types of digital multimeters and explain how to use them safely
  • Diagram and determine the power, current, and voltage characteristics of PV modules in different series and parallel configurations
  • Determine the magnetic declination, define azimuth and altitude angle and evaluate the shade potential for a given site
  • Estimate energy production of a PV system based on location specifics including orientation and tilt angle
  • List the pros and cons of different mounting systems (ground, pole, roof, and trackers) and determine the number of modules that can fit in a given roof space
  • Given specific site criteria, evaluate what type of inverter is appropriate
  • Decipher balance-of-system equipment specification sheets to determine the critical information needed for system design
  • Design a residential grid-direct system including the array, inverter, circuit conductors, and overcurrent protection
  • Define equipment grounding, system grounding, and components and conductors used for grounding
  • Identify the following wires and components on schematics of residential grid-direct systems: disconnects, inverter, equipment grounding conductors, ungrounded conductors, grounded conductors, the grounding electrode(s), and the AC and DC system grounds
  • Identify potential safety hazards and the proper personal protective equipment for working on grid-direct PV systems
  • List the order of installation, commissioning, and decommissioning of a grid-direct PV system