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Basic Electricity for Photovoltaic Systems


Understanding Electricity and Electrical Components: A practical approach to photovoltaic system fundamentals
Offering 7 CEUs for Architects, Engineers, Electricians
North American Board of Certified Energy Providers Approved

Saturday, January 9, 2010
MDC North Campus

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. (lunch break of one hour)
7 hours - $150

Instructor and Coordinator -Roger Messenger, PhD, PE
Reference #
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This is a 7-hour course that introduces basic electrical concepts for those who wish to obtain a basic understanding of electricity before taking more advanced courses in designing and installing photovoltaic systems.  The course covers DC and AC electrical theory with an emphasis on the concepts that are most useful in understanding how to use the sun to make electricity and how to harness this energy source in a code-compliant manner.  The course has also been designed for 6 credits of continuing education through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

Course Objectives:

         Upon completion of the course, the student should be familiar with

         The concepts of electrical charge, current, voltage and power

         Basic DC electrical laws and concepts

         How electricity is produced by shining sunlight on photovoltaic cells

         Basic AC electrical laws and concepts, including single phase and 3-phase systems, current and voltage, phase relationships, power and power factor, distribution systems and an understanding of harmonics

         Basic electrical components used in PV systems, including wire, overcurrent protection, disconnects, safety devices, transformers, grounding and surge protection.

Roger Messenger is Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.  He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and is a Registered Professional Engineer and a Certified Electrical Contractor, who enjoys working on a field installation as much as he enjoys teaching a class or working on the design of a system or contemplating the theory of operation of a system.  His research work has ranged from electrical noise in gas discharge tubes to deep impurities in silicon to energy conservation.  He worked on the development and promulgation of the original Code for Energy Efficiency in Building Construction in Florida and has conducted extensive field studies of energy consumption and conservation in buildings and swimming pools.   He and Jerry Ventre have published Photovoltaic Systems Engineering (CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL) and the 2nd Edition of this engineering textbook (2004).  He has also contributed chapters on Photovoltaics (PV) to 4 handbooks and has designed and supervised the installation of 4 utility interactive PV systems with battery backup. 

He has developed and taught a senior elective course on PV Power Systems yearly since 1997.  Recently he has been actively involved with the Florida Solar Energy Center in the development of courses, exams and study guides for voluntary certification of PV installers worldwide and has been a consultant on battery backup grid-connected PV systems to Sun Electronics, Miami, FL.

Register for these classes with the MDC Community Education Department


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Earth Ethics Institute • An Earth Literacy Resource Center Serving MDC Administrators, Faculty, Staff,  and Students, as well as the South Florida Community
Miami Dade College • 300 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Room 1201, Miami, FL 33132-2204 • t: 305-237-3796 • f: 305-237-7724