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Meeting Local & National Codes for Solar Installations: New Guide for Plan Reviewers, Inspectors, Installers
The popular and frequently referenced Model Inspection Checklist for Rooftop PV is now updated and expanded to include the latest national and international codes and safety insight for the rapidly expanding solar industry. Created by the independent Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), the resource provides basic guidelines for reviewing a building permit plan application and inspecting most residential rooftop PV systems. In...
Code Hunter
To play this game, you need a sharp eye, a quick mind and a 2017 National Electrical Code book. Questions 1) Which table list minimum cover requirements for underground wiring methods 1000 volts or less? A) Table 300.5 B) Table 300.50 C) Table 310.104(A) D) Table 312.6(A) 2) Which table lists the volume allowances required per conductor for outlet, device and junction boxes? A) Table 312.6(A) B) Table...
Obsoleting the absence-of-voltage test
The door is wide open for innovation on absence-of-voltage systems. For more than a decade, users have deployed permanent electrical safety devices (PESDs) to reduce the risks in isolating electrical energy. This elegantly simple innovation increases the probability that workers are exposed only to “zero voltage” when doing an absence-of-voltage test. The cumulative experiences that thousands of end users have amassed...
I was recently reviewing IAEI’s Photovoltaic Power Systems for Inspectors, Plan Reviewers & PV Professionals based on the 2017 National Electrical Code. Author John Wiles is a recognized name in the solar industry who has written numerous articles for the IAEI magazine. As I read through the book, a statement John made caught my attention. “The challenge for every electrical inspector...
A simple approach to inspecting a complex PV installation
For an owner, planning a larger commercial-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installation involves a myriad of decisions about size, equipment, design, location, and perhaps most important, the installation contractor. With all these concerns to address, it’s not easy to fully understand how a proposed installation will turn out. Even if an authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) is comfortable with inspecting residential...
Code Hunter
To play this game, you need a sharp eye, a quick mind and a 2017 National Electrical Code book. (Fill-in-the-blank questions are looking for the exact word(s) used in the NEC.) Questions 1) Where a panelboard is supplied through a transformer, the overcurrent protection required by 408.36 shall be located on the __________ side of the transformer. A) supply B) primary C) midpoint D) secondary 2) Where...
The 5 ft. ground rod and its little known use in the NEC
If I have heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times. The only legal ground rod must be installed a minimum of 8-foot in the ground. The length of rod and pipe electrodes is located at 250.52(A)(5) in the 2017 National Electric Code (NEC). See figures 1 and 2 for the section requirements. However, what if I were...
Application of Section 24 of the CE Code, Part I, and CSA standard Z32: What, Why and How?
Although this subject has been already discussed in one of my earlier articles, I continue to receive numerous questions on the required correlation between CSA standard Z32 and Section 24 of the CE Code, Part I (CE Code) on the extent of a “patient care area”, on the extent of application of Section 24 of the CE Code, on...
Think your way to success
It’s all about using your head There are plenty of people in the workforce that do “something,” but not so many who do what needs to be done. And this is both a problem and an opportunity. Success depends on being among the few others count on to get the job done right—and that takes thinking. Here are questions that can...
Point in Time: The trades are not fallback careers
In January 2017, I had the privilege of being the keynote speaker at the Chicago Safety & Sustainability Conference held in Rosemont, Illinois. My address was titled, “Trades Are Not a Fallback Career.” Why did I pick that topic? How is it relevant to our Organization today and in the future? There has been much concern about the challenges the construction...
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