Advanced Photovoltaics: Off-Grid & Battery Backup


Prerequisite: 40-hour Introductory PV class.

ABOUT THE COURSE Starts off with a broad overview of the global renewable energy scenario- history, present and future.  Solar PV’s place in off-grid and on-grid applications around the world is discussed. Concepts of grid-backup (small and large scale), microgrids/ island grids, and portable PV systems for emergency, municipal, and recreational use.  Full electrical (PV array, battery bank, inverter, charge controller, overcurrent protection, wire) and basic structural (mounting systems) design for several model stand-alone (off-grid) PV systems {>200 W; 3 kW; 20 kW} in various parts of the world (urban, desert, jungle, upstate NY, etc.)  Both DC-only and AC (PV+inverter) systems will be discussed.  We will look at how much these systems cost, and do analysis of time before full return on investment is realized. This 36-hour course is approx 60% in the classroom, and 40% hands-on field work building small stand-alone systems between 50 W and 3 kW. Knowledge gained from this course can be applied to PV systems domestically, as well as in developing countries where access to the grid is limited. There will also be a few hours devoted to an introduction to small wind and micro-hydro electric power systems.