AE 868
Commercial Solar Electric Systems

Code and Standard Overviews

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In previous lessons, we briefly discussed applicable codes that apply to PV components such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and IEEE, which are the manufacturer's responsibility before they sell the final product.

In this lesson, we will elaborate more into different standards that are beyond the standards specific to PV components. If we zoom out a little to view the overall PV system, we see that there are various regulations and standards that need to be met before installing a PV system in the U.S. PV market.

There is a collaborative effort funded by international and local agencies (such as the U.S. Department of Energy) that dedicates experts to transforming solar markets by developing building codes, fire codes, electrical codes, utility interconnection procedures, product standards, reliability, and safety. In addition, a part of their overall strategy is to reduce barriers to the adoption of solar technologies and to stimulate growth in different marketplaces. There are various codes, standards and regulatory requirements applicable to PV installations. We will not address the content of most of these codes. However, we will help you become familiar with these organizations and main codes and standards that are most relevant to this course.

It is important to mention that most of the codes and standards, listed in this lesson, have been adopted in various states. However, some states are still working on adopting them while others prefer to have a local city code. It is wise to consult with the city where the PV system will be installed to assure complying with the right local codes.