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Program TitleBasics of Photovoltaic (PV) Systems for Grid-Tied Applications
Time, LocationMarch 31 (Saturday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm) San Luis Obispo--Cal Poly Building
Also Offeredn/a
DescriptionOur objective in this course is to provide the basic vocabulary, technical, and economic details necessary to understand and evaluate grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) projects from a project manager's and/or owner's perspective. In this introductory course, Pete Shoemaker, Renewables Program Coordinator for the Pacific Energy Center, will provide an overview of the fundamentals of solar electric systems, technically known as photovoltaics. He will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various PV technologies (monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film), including module efficiencies and their implications on the space requirements of a project.

Pete will provide an overview of criteria for selecting a solar site, PV installation options, and PV system costs and incentives (state and federal). Through project examples, he will present PV installation options for residential and nonresidential projects for systems ranging in size from less than 30 kilowatts (kW) to over 1 megawatt (MW), including roof mounted, ground mounted, building integrated, and PV as public art.

Please note this class is designed as an introductory class for anyone interested in understanding the basic concepts of PV project evaluation. It is not a hands-on installation class or a PV design/engineering class.
Audience LevelBasic level and/or refresher for seasoned professionals in related fields.
  • Introductions and Safety Announcements
  • Course Overview
  • PV Basics
    • Terminology
    • PV Technology
    • Benefits of PV Systems
  • Break
  • PV System Configurations
    • System types
    • Net metering / Time-of-use
    • Typical system components
    • Configuration of grid-tied PV systems without batteries
  • Costs & Incentives
    • Typical installed costs
    • CEC Emerging Renewables Program--rebates for smaller systems (up to 30 kW)
    • Other incentives
  • Lunch break
  • Criteria for Selecting a Solar Site
    • Solar south
    • Solar insolation (available sunlight)
    • Shading
    • Available space
    • Aesthetic concerns
Instructor(s)Pete Shoemaker
Pete Shoemaker is the Renewables Program Coordinator at the PG&E Pacific Energy Center in San Francisco. He teaches a variety of courses for the PEC, including those on solar electric (PV) systems, solar water heating systems, and combining energy efficiency and renewables.Pete has much experience in the renewables industry, including two years as head of the PV division of Poco Solar Energy, Inc., of Santa Clara. He is well-versed in sales and system design for both residential and commercial customers. Pete has worked as a PV consultant for green building projects in the City of Pacifica, assisting in design, permitting, and environmental impact reports.Pete's educational background includes workshop and classroom teaching and curriculum design, including ten years as a lead educational software designer for The Learning Company. He has a B.A. from Stanford University.
ResourcesDownload a list of Web sites and print material related to this class topic.
CostNo fee for this program for California businesses and residents.
CreditsAIA: 6 (HSW/SD)

This class is full. Submit the form to be added to a waiting list.