AE 868
Commercial Solar Electric Systems



Lesson 7 Scenario

After you finished sizing your PV system and upon selecting all required components, your director asks you to fill in for another employee who is in charge of preparing design documents for permitting and inspection. Now that you know the location of your PV system, you ask yourself about the regulations and standards that your system should comply with to get the permit approved so that installation can start. Do the requirements differ by the building type? Or is it the PV system mounting structure type that has more influence on the codes? Is there any consideration for fire regulations? Assuming you got the PV system permit approved and installed, can the integrator commission the system without having it inspected? If yes, who is responsible for the inspection?

In this lesson, we will discuss topics starting from building, fire, mechanical, and electrical codes and then we will finish with the inspection requirements for PV systems. Whether you are a PV designer or installer, it is important to familiarize yourself with various codes and regulations to efficiently work on PV systems at different scales. We will also see that codes apply to all PV scales starting from small residential systems to large scale PV plants.

Learning Outcomes

At the successful completion of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Identify relevant electrical and building codes that govern PV systems at various locations.
  • Discuss standards and design qualification testing that help ensure the safety and reliability of PV system components such as UL, local, and national electrical code NEC articles.
  • Identify important warning signs and equipment labeling, notes, and other safety requirements associated with PV systems.
  • List design guidelines, drawing, and documentation requirements and methods.

What is due for Lesson 7?

Lesson 7 will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Calendar in Canvas for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignments below can be found within this lesson and/or in Canvas.

Complete the following Lesson Assignments:

  • Read through the Lesson Content
  • Complete the Required Reading Assignments:
    • Chapter 13, Photovoltaic Systems by James P. Dunlop (text)
  • Participate in the Lesson 7 Discussion
  • Take the Lesson 7 Quiz in Canvas


If you have lesson specific questions, please feel free to post to the Lesson 7 Questions discussion forum in Canvas. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help a classmate with a question. If you have questions about the overall course or wish to share and discuss any "extra" course related commentary (interesting articles, etc.), please feel free to post to the General Questions and Discussion forum.