1-Day Solar Electric PV Workshop – Columbus (May 4, 2017)

GEO 1-Day Solar Electric PV Workshop in Columbus
Thursday, May 4, 2017 (8 am – 4:30 pm)

Featuring Solar Educator Jay Warmke at GEO Policy Conference

Annunciation Banquet and Conference Center
555 N. High St, Columbus, Ohio 43215

GEO Member Workshop Registration – $100 registration fee (includes lunch)

Non-Member Workshop Registration – $125 registration fee (includes lunch)

Click here for a flyer!

A Basic but Comprehensive Overview of Solar Electric (PV)

You have heard about solar electricity.  Perhaps you have even explored putting solar panels on your home.  Or your boss wants to know if solar power will work for your company.  Or you are an architect or engineer and your clients are beginning to ask questions that you don’t have the answers for (and also you need continuing education hours to renew your license).  Or perhaps you are thinking of taking the 5-day certification course but are not quite sure you want to commit the time and money to make that happen.  Then this one-day introduction to solar electricity may be just the course you are looking for.

This workshop is a slimmed down version of our complete 5-day course that leads to ETA certification in PV.  As such, if you take this course and then later decide to pursue the full certification course, we will apply the registration fee of this class to the certification class if and when you sign up (so we will deduct the $100 fee from the longer class registration fee).

This course, due to time constraints, is a seminar-based program (no hands on).  It is designed for individuals with little or no background in electricity or photovoltaics.  But after attending this class you will understand:

  • Basic electrical principles and concepts.
  • Basic Principles and Concepts of Photovoltaics
  • Photovoltaic System Components, and how to select the items that are right in a given situation
  • Standard PV system configurations, and when and why to use each
  • How to conduct a Site Assessment
  • How to Design a Photovoltaic System
  • Sizing and Selecting a Battery System
  • Steps involved in System Installation
  • Rules, Regulations and Paperwork Required

This is an introductory but technical course on the design and installation of solar electric systems within residential and light commercial structures. It appears to comply with the AIA definition of Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW) – related training.  While the organization does not pre-approve courses, this structured course also appears to meet the qualification requirements for 8 hours Continuing Professional Development Education hours as defined by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors.

Course Content Includes:

Basic Principles and Concepts of Power

  • Power equations
  • Basic electricity. Relationship of Watts, Volts and Amps
  • Ohm’s Law
  • Electrical circuits
  • How batteries work
  • Direct and alternating currents
  • Electrical safety
  • How to conduct a load assessment

Basic Principles and Concepts of Photovoltaics

  • How photovoltaic cells work
  • Solar cell efficiency
  • Factors affecting cell performance
  • Types of photovoltaic cells
  • Advantages and disadvantages of photovoltaic technology
  • Solar panel specifications
  • Standard Test Conditions (STC)
  • Changes in the 2014 NEC affecting photovoltaics

Photovoltaic System Components

  • Inverters (square wave, modified square wave, sine-wave)
  • Balance of system (BOS) components
  • Combiners
  • Battery systems
  • Charge Controllers
  • Maximum Power Point tracking
  • Lightning and overcurrent protection
  • Disconnects

Standard system configurations

  • Stand-alone systems
  • Grid-tied systems
  • Grid Interactive
  • Grid Fallback
  • Hybrid systems

Site assessment

  • Locating true south (lines of declination)
  • Shading issues
  • Panel orientation (altitude and azimuth)
  • Array mounting options and issues (Rooftop, Ground, Available Area)
  • Structural integrity
  • Stand off requirements
  • Loading issues
  • Inter row shading
  • Tracking systems
  • Building Integrated systems
  • Determining available sunlight
  • Use of a Solar Pathfinder
  • Solar window

Designing a PV system

  • Load requirements
  • Calculating electrical use
  • Load variations
  • Cycling loads
  • Phantom loads
  • Induction motors issues
  • Selecting a panel
  • Understanding panel specifications
  • Determining system inefficiencies
  • BOS inefficiencies
  • Wiring selection and voltage drop issues
  • Temperature adjustments
  • Estimating the size of the array
  • Calculating the number of panels given specifications and load requirements
  • Determine maximum voltage of system and adjust for temperature variations
  • Conduct string calculations
  • Determine compatibility to BOS components
  • Grounding, bonding and over-current issues
  • Circuits in PV systems and ampacity requirements for each circuit
  • Pricing the system as designed (current costs, incentives)
  • Connecting to the grid
  • Troubleshooting problems

Battery Systems

  • Types of batteries
  • Determining nominal voltage
  • Calculating Amp hour storage requirements
  • Depth of discharge
  • Temperature adjustments
  • Battery bank sizing calculations
  • How batteries are charged
  • Battery storage and maintenance issues
  • Equalization
  • Measuring state of charge
  • Battery safety issues

System Installation

  • Racking Systems
  • Loading Issues
  • Climbing Safety
  • Ground Mounted System
  • Conduit Installation and Fill Issues


  • Required Documentation/Application Package
  • Interconnect Agreements
  • Net Metering Agreements
  • Required Permits
  • Commissioning Forms
  • Installation Checklists
  • Operation and Maintenance Documentation

Thursday, May 4, 2017
Featuring Solar Educator Jay Warmke
at GEO Policy Conference
Annunciation Banquet and Conference Center
555 N. High St, Columbus, Ohio 43215

GEO Member Workshop Registration – $100 registration fee (includes lunch)

Non-Member Workshop Registration – $125 registration fee (includes lunch)

About the Instructor:

Jay Warmke is the author of a number of textbooks on renewable energy, including ASSEMBLING A SOLAR GENERATOR,WHEN THE BIOMASS HITS THE WIND TURBINE, UNDERSTANDING PHOTO VOLTAIC: A STUDY GUIDE FOR SOLAR ELECTRIC CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS, and more. He has received several awards including Educator of the Year (ETA),  Volunteer of the Year, and Pioneer of the Year from Green Energy Ohio.
Jay also serves as Vice President: Green Energy Ohio, Chair Person: ETA’s Renewable Energy Committee and board member: Electronic Technician’s Association (ETA) . He also teaches renewable energy at Zane State College, and various workshops on sustainable construction and renewable energy at Blue Rock Station, which he co-owns with his wife Annie Warmke.  Blue Rock Station is the premier sustainable living center in Ohio and draws visitors from around the world.