2023 NEC preview with Bill Brooks at Intersolar 2022 Part 1

• May 17th, 2022

Bill Brooks is instrumental in the process of coming up with material for the NEC for renewable energy systems, especially for solar, energy storage and interconnections. Although the 2023 NEC has not been finalized or published, this is as good of a preview as you can get for knowing what the future will bring. Many manufacturers, engineers, CEOs and other decisionmakers can make better informed decisions about the future, knowing what will be in the National Electrical Code.

Bill Brooks is on NEC Code Making Panel 4 (the alternative energy panel) and has been perhaps the most active member of the PV Industry Forum, which is where new material for the NEC for Solar PV, Energy Storage and Interconnections are made. Bill has been working on Codes and Standards for 34 years. Bill Brooks and Sean White also published the book PV and the NEC.

Some of the areas of the NEC that we cover in this podcast are:

NEC Article 100 Definitions. All definitions moving to article 100 (no more 690.2 definitions), Electronic Power Converter, Electronic Transformer, Inverter Definition, PV Hazard Control UL 3741, Rapid Shutdown, 690.4, 690.12, NEC 750 Energy Management Systems (EMS), NEC 705.13 Power Control Systems (PCS), Net-Metering 3.0 Protest, NEC 712 DC Microgrids removed from the NEC and you use 705, PV String Circuits (strings now in NEC for first time), PV Output Circuit removed, PV System Output Circuit, Recombiner (Bill is not fond of this term), Paralleling Circuits in Harnesses, First Solar Modules, 2023 NEC PV Source Circuits go into and out of DC Combiner, String Circuit is series only (not parallel), DC-to-DC Converter Circuit, Wild PV, PV System Disconnect, 690.15 reorganized, Locking Requirements, Ground Fault Protection, Ground Fault Detection and interruption (GFDI) term clarified (not to be confused with GFCI), 690.45 Equipment Grounding Conductors (EGC) includes DC and AC not having to increase size of EGC when upsizing current carrying conductor for voltage drop (now also applies to AC).

Quotes: Bill Brooks (soon to be famous quotes).

“When you see a change in the Code, it does not mean that the requirements change.”

“90% of changes in the Code are not changes in requirements”

“We will never make a Code that will be clear to everyone”

“Codes are using text to convey fairly complex concepts to the public”

“Energy Management Systems (EMS) was unified with other parts of the Code”

“NEC Code Making Panel 4 is referred to now as the alternative energy panel”

“They’re putting maintenance requirements into a construction code”

“We got PV string circuits into the NEC”

“SolarEdge can put 100 PV modules on a Circuit”

This is a recording of part of an NEC workshop at the Intersolar 2022 conference at the Long Beach California Convention Center in January 2022.


The workshop was titled:

Energy Storage, PV and the NEC.


Note: This podcast was recorded on an iPhone 13 and to my surprise the recording quality was way better than expected, so we decided to podcast it!

WARNING: Bill Brooks and Sean White sometimes think they are funny. If you disagree with this and do not like dad jokes, do not listen to this podcast.

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Keith Cronin: Solar MBA instructor on HeatSpring!

• March 8th, 2022

Keith CroninSolar MBA instructor on HeatSpring!


Keith sold his Hawaii solar company Island Energy Solutions to Jigar Shaw of SunEdison in 2007 after knowing Jigar since 2002. 


Keith has been teaching his Solar MBA class for just over a decade with co-instructor and attorney Chris Lord. They have taught many students, including oil and gas refugees. 


Keith Cronin does consulting via his company Sun Hedge with clients all over the world, including the Department of Defense.  He has lived in many different countries throughout his solar career. 


Listening to this podcast will give you insight into the process for developing large solar projects and systems to run your growing business. 


Final wise words from Keith Cronin:

  1. Fail more quickly
  2. Stumble ahead
  3. Don’t be afraid
  4. Ask questions
  5. Learn from others and you’ll be glad you did!

Click here to find out more about Keith Cronin’s classes!


Make sure to stop by www.SolarSEAN.com for a life altering experience! Knowledge is power and power times time is energy!




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Pre-Celebrating 1TW of PV installed in 2022

• January 19th, 2022
Welcome to 2022, the year of the Terawatt! That's right, this year will cross the trillion watt mark!
2022 will be remembered as the year that humanity reached the magic number of 1 trillion watts, aka 1 terawatt or 1TW of solar installed since the beginning of time. We do not have to take into consideration the amount of solar taken out of service, since that is so low, it probably will be replaced in less than a month, so that means we will hit the milestone of installed 1TW since 1 million BC and we will also have 1TW that is installed and working every day.
1TW = 1000GW = a million megawatts!
According to a July 2021 article titles "Solar continues to break installation records, on track for Terawatt scale by 2022" by Solar Power Europe, Earth will hit 900 GW in 2021, 1.1 TW in 2022, 1.3 TW in 2023, 1.6 TW in 2023, and 1.8 TW in 2025. 
At a world population of 7.9 Billion, we are close to hitting another milestone too. 
To put a trillion watts into context, the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl was 1GW, so the power output of 1000 Chernobyls is about equal to the power output of solar on Earth sometime in 2022. There are a little over 2TW of coal plants operating in the world right now, so we are not there yet. I also do not want to fool you and have to mention that coal and nuclear do work at night, so we need more solar to make up for that, along with energy storage and high voltage DC lines across time zones, which is more easily engineered physically than politically. Can you imagine Middle America allowing the East and West Coasts sharing daylight electricity via power lines through their states? Perhaps we will have to stick to energy storage right now. 
I once saw a presentation by Dr. Shi who was the founder of Suntech in China, where he pointed out that we could have high voltage dc (HVDC) power lines that circle the globe. The pathway would be from South Africa, up to Eurasia and then across the Bering Straits to Alaska and down to Argentina. Once climate change hits, perhaps we can also have an HVDC extension to the green pastures of Antartica!
To put HVDC into context and using 1 million volts as an example, we would be able to carry a MW with 1 Amp! We would be able to carry a GW, which is all of the power that Chernobyl could produce with 1000A. There are many homes that are wired for 100A and many buildings that are wired for well over 1000A. Depending on your source, the largest PV project in the world is about 1GW, so now putting that into wire sizing terms, you can easily transport a GW using wire tables in the NEC (utilities do not have to follow the NEC and can size their wires smaller). 
The reason that HVDC is the perfect way to carry large amounts of power over long distances, is because Voltage x Current = Power, so with high voltage, you need much less current for the same amount of power and current is what heats up a wire, not voltage. The reason that we do not use high voltage in our houses is because high voltage is sparky.
Go to www.SolarSEAN.com to find out more!
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Net-metering, bypass diodes, solar & storage and NEC Article 480 vs. Article 706 Q&As

• December 15th, 2021
In this question we have the following questions and answers:
1. Net metering: Why it is different in different places whether or not you can and should feed energy back to the grid when you have an excess.
2. How bypass diodes work and also with half-cell PV modules.
3. Why solar goes so well with energy storage systems (ESS).
4. National Electrical Code (NEC) articles 480 Storage Batteries vs. 706 Energy Storage Systems and why you should use 706
For more info, go to www.solarSEAN.com
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Deep dive on Energy Storage and Renewables: Sean White Interview on Cory Vanderpool’s “Solar Broadcast” podcast.

• December 1st, 2021
Sean White (solarSEAN.com) is interviewed on his former student Cory Vanderpool's podcast
The talk about various subjects including:
Solar and wind are finally cheapest forms of electricity
EVs bringing down the cost of lithium-ion Energy Storage Systems (ESS)
Battery benefits including being a load, besides being a source of power 
Wind power’s cubed relationship to wind speed
Frequency regulation is the biggest use for energy storage right now
Negative energy pricing in Germany
Ramp rates of energy storage beating all other forms of energy by a long shot, especially underground mined resources (fossil fuels and nuclear)
EV to grid future
LG Batteries in cars vs. home ESS price being the same
Lithium-ion graphite anodes, silicon anodes, lithium metal anode, specific energy (energy per weight), dendrites, energy density (energy per volume)
Sean’s $0.20 to $0.40 per kWh battery price prediction in 10-years
Soldering home-made lithium-ion battery packs
Battery cells, battery modules, battery packs definition
Buying houses with pre-existing solar, real estate with solar, and knowing how to value them, solar valuation, solar asset value, solar offset value (offsetting electricity)
You can see Cory’s podcast home page at: https://sparkcertified.mykajabi.com/podcasts/solar-broadcast
Cory’s webpage:
Sean White's classes, books and everything else: www.solarSEAN.com
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Grounding, Microhydro Hybrid Systems, Batteries & Mono vs. Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells

• November 17th, 2021

In this podcast we answer 2 questions:

1) Grounding is important and can be confusing with many different theories of how and why it should be done. Here we are going to talk about the basics, including the neutral (grounded conductor), the equipment grounding conductor (EGC) and the grounding electrode conductor (GEC). We will even make a mention of SWER (single wire earth return), which means using 1 wire for transmission and using the Earth as a conductor! Here is a link about that last part, so you don’t think I am making it up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-wire_earth_return

2) Batteries were once always included with PV systems and not as the grid has more intermittent renewables, batteries are making a comeback. We will discuss energy storage, off grid PV systems in Haines Alaska’s Mud Bay and microhydro for generating electricity.

3) Monocrystalline PV has taken over the number 1 spot from polycrystalline silicon solar cells in the last few years. We will discuss the differences of how these solar cells are made and how they look.

To find out more about solar and storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com

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EV to home, Recycling Lithium Batteries & 30% Efficient PV questions answered

• November 5th, 2021

This podcast answers 3 questions on solar and storage.

1) EV to home can mean EV to grid and EV to backup. Ford has announced that their F-150 Lightning Electric Pickup will be released next year and will have the ability to backup a house. What does that mean? Will it be able to work with a PV system and keep the battery charged or will it only work as long as the battery is charged? Will it be able to send electricity to the grid?

2) Now that there are a tremendous amount of lithium-ion batteries being manufactured, what will happen at the end of their lives? Fortunately, lithium-ion battery materials are not very toxic, unlike lead-acid batteries. Just like with solar modules, if we accidentally throw the materials in the trash, it will not be a toxicity issue, just a waste issue. Lithium-ion batteries will get recycled and the most important aspect of this is the need for cobalt, since much of the cobalt comes from the Congo, where child labor is often used.

3) The average efficiency of PV being installed these days hovers somewhere under 20% and the super high efficiency that people buy for some rich people's homes can be 22% efficient. It is interesting that for space applications, you can see up to 40% efficient PV, which has to be super-efficient! Even the richest guy in the world (Elon Musk) thinks gallium arsenide PV is expensive for space and has mentioned that he is using some crystalline silicon PV on some satellites. To find out more about gallium arsenide space solar cells, go to https://www.spectrolab.com/photovoltaics.html and make sure you have a few million bitcoin on your credit card (joke).

To find out more about solar and storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com

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Energy Storage, PV & NEC Workshop at the ASES Conference August 2021

• October 20th, 2021

This is an audio version of the workshop that Sean White taught at the ASES conference at the University of Colorado Boulder on August 6, 2021. To see a video version, go to www.solarSEAN.com for a link to Sean's YouTube channel or find some of this material in Sean's classes at www.HeatSpring.com/sean


You can also find most of the material form Sean's Intensive PV workshop at the ASES conference, which was covered in the last podcast listed on HeatSpring for 2 hours of free NABCEP CE credit at https://www.heatspring.com/courses/introduction-to-solar-pv-design-installation-and-code?aff_id=t3nlgw 


Here is the description of the workshop straight from the ASES.org website:

This workshop will be jam-packed with NEC insight and interpretation. Sean White teaches PV courses around the world and has authored many technical PV books. Solar Photovoltaic Basics 2nd Ed., Energy Storage Basics, Solar PV Engineering and Installation 2nd Ed., Solar PV Technical Sales and PV and the NEC 2nd Ed. Sean will fill you up with as much information as possible in the time given, while entertaining you. This year Sean will focus more on Energy Storage Systems (ESS) than he has in the past.


Did you know that the NEC allows us to backfeed your house with electric vehicles (EVs) and that it is just the EV manufacturers holding us back? Be ready for when EV manufacturers let us do what they already should have.


This course will count for NABCEP continuing education requirements in every category and will also count for prerequisites for NABCEP Certification.


This course will also include a $200 discount for Sean’s advanced online PV classes.


A printable color digital certificate included with course, along with .pdf files of the presentation.


Your instructor is based in the US and teaches classes internationally. His resume can be seen here www.maximumpowerpointtraining.com


Be sure to check out next year's ASES conference in Albuquerque New Mexico on June 20-24 ases.org/conference see you there!

go to www.solarSEAN.com

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ASES Solar 2021: Solar PV Intensive Workshop with Sean White

• October 6th, 2021
This podcast is a recording of a workshop Sean taught at the ASES Solar 2021 Conference at the University of Colorado Boulder on August 6, 2021.
This Solar PV Intensive Workshop was fast paced and covered a lot of information. This workshop was in a way covering the same material Sean covers in his Solar PV Boot Camps, which are often 40 hours long in a quick 1.5 hours. There are slides and if you want to see the video version, you will be able to see it at Sean's Youtube channel. Here is the Youtube link for this video.
Topics covered include, Energy Storage Systems (ESS), PV Markets
To find out more about solar and energy storage or classes with Sean White and Bill Brooks, go to www.solarSEAN.com
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Backfeeding the grid Hawaiian Style with Customer Grid-Supply Plus, which is the future

• September 22nd, 2021

Hawaii has more solar PV per capita than any other state. Since PV is the least expensive energy in the world now, this concentration of PV will soon hit other states and Hawaii is paving the way with new policies that will be able to deal with this abundance of noontime energy. California, which has a lot more people and by for more solar than any other state is also dealing with this abundance.


In this podcast, we will discuss one of Hawaii’s policies put in place to deal with the possibility of producing more energy than the grid needs, but still letting people export to the grid. The policy we are covering is called Customer Grid Supply Plus (CGS+). Get ready for these new types of policies to come to you.


We will also discuss energy storage, and a student review of one of our free classes for 2 hours of NABCEP credit that I do with Bill Brooks where we sadly get accused of being "too funny".


To find out more and to take some of my not-boring classes, go to www.solarSEAN.com

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