Hands-on Photovoltaic class offered May 4

Staff Report

OREGON, Ill. — The Illinois Renewable Energy Association (IREA) is offering a Hands-on Photovoltaic (solar electricity) class at 1230 E. Honey Creek Road, Oregon, Ill., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 4. The instructor is Dave Merrill, from SunAir Systems, experienced designer and installer of solar electric systems. Both advanced and beginners are welcome.

After an introduction to a typical roof-mounted PV system, the instructor will provide an overview of solar equipment and discuss the differences between “string” central inverters and micro inverters. Grid-tied and battery-based systems will also be discussed.

Designing a code-compliant solar system will be discussed, as well the latest in state and federal subsidies.

After lunch, class members will assemble a real 1-kilowatt, grid-tied PV system on site.

Two teams will rotate between laying out the solar panels and making the wiring connections between them and wiring the remaining components, including the inverter, charge controller and breaker switches.

After both teams have experienced connecting each portion of the solar assembly, the unit will be voltage tested and wired so it will be ready to connect to the house breaker box.

The solar system will then be disassembled by the group, put back into the boxes and returned to the van.

The cost for the workshop is $20 for IREA members and $40 for non-members, which will include membership. There will be an additional $5 per person charge for a light lunch.

The maximum enrollment for this class is 16. Advanced registration and payment are essential. Cancellations will be reimbursed, minus a $5 fee for processing.

To enroll, send name, e-mail, telephone number, address and check to Illinois Renewable Energy Association, 1230 E. Honey Creek Road, Oregon, IL 61061.

From the May 1-7, 2013, issue

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