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Sean White‘s Solar and Energy Storage Podcast
New podcast weblog
8 Mar 2022
Keith Cronin: Solar MBA instructor on HeatSpring!
Keith Cronin: Solar MBA instructor on HeatSpring! Keith sold his Hawaii solar company Island Energy Solutions to Jigar Shaw of SunEdison in 2007 after knowing Jigar since 2002. Keith has been teaching his Solar MBA class for just over a decade with co-instructor and attorney Chris Lord. They have taught many students, including oil and gas refugees. Keith Cronin does consulting via his company Sun Hedge with clients all over the world, including the Department of Defense. He has lived in many different countries throughout his solar career. Listening to this podcast will give you insight into the process for developing large solar projects and systems to run your growing business. Final wise words from Keith Cronin: * Fail more quickly * Stumble ahead * Don’t be afraid * Ask questions * Learn from others and you’ll be glad you did! Click here to find out more about Keith Cronin’s classes! Make sure to stop by www.SolarSEAN.com for a life altering experience! Knowledge is power and power times time is energy! Thanks, Sean
1 hr 3 mins
19 Jan 2022
Pre-Celebrating 1TW of PV installed in 2022
Welcome to 2022, the year of the Terawatt! That's right, this year will cross the trillion watt mark! 2022 will be remembered as the year that humanity reached the magic number of 1 trillion watts, aka 1 terawatt or 1TW of solar installed since the beginning of time. We do not have to take into consideration the amount of solar taken out of service, since that is so low, it probably will be replaced in less than a month, so that means we will hit the milestone of installed 1TW since 1 million BC and we will also have 1TW that is installed and working every day. 1TW = 1000GW = a million megawatts! According to a July 2021 article titles "Solar continues to break installation records, on track for Terawatt scale by 2022" by Solar Power Europe, Earth will hit 900 GW in 2021, 1.1 TW in 2022, 1.3 TW in 2023, 1.6 TW in 2023, and 1.8 TW in 2025. At a world population of 7.9 Billion, we are close to hitting another milestone too. To put a trillion watts into context, the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl was 1GW, so the power output of 1000 Chernobyls is about equal to the power output of solar on Earth sometime in 2022. There are a little over 2TW of coal plants operating in the world right now, so we are not there yet. I also do not want to fool you and have to mention that coal and nuclear do work at night, so we need more solar to make up for that, along with energy storage and high voltage DC lines across time zones, which is more easily engineered physically than politically. Can you imagine Middle America allowing the East and West Coasts sharing daylight electricity via power lines through their states? Perhaps we will have to stick to energy storage right now. I once saw a presentation by Dr. Shi who was the founder of Suntech in China, where he pointed out that we could have high voltage dc (HVDC) power lines that circle the globe. The pathway would be from South Africa, up to Eurasia and then across the Bering Straits to Alaska and down to Argentina. Once climate change hits, perhaps we can also have an HVDC extension to the green pastures of Antartica! To put HVDC into context and using 1 million volts as an example, we would be able to carry a MW with 1 Amp! We would be able to carry a GW, which is all of the power that Chernobyl could produce with 1000A. There are many homes that are wired for 100A and many buildings that are wired for well over 1000A. Depending on your source, the largest PV project in the world is about 1GW, so now putting that into wire sizing terms, you can easily transport a GW using wire tables in the NEC (utilities do not have to follow the NEC and can size their wires smaller). The reason that HVDC is the perfect way to carry large amounts of power over long distances, is because Voltage x Current = Power, so with high voltage, you need much less current for the same amount of power and current is what heats up a wire, not voltage. The reason that we do not use high voltage in our houses is because high voltage is sparky. Go to www.SolarSEAN.com to find out more!
15 Dec 2021
Net-metering, bypass diodes, solar & storage and NEC Article 480 vs. Article 706 Q&As
In this question we have the following questions and answers: 1. Net metering: Why it is different in different places whether or not you can and should feed energy back to the grid when you have an excess. 2. How bypass diodes work and also with half-cell PV modules. 3. Why solar goes so well with energy storage systems (ESS). 4. National Electrical Code (NEC) articles 480 Storage Batteries vs. 706 Energy Storage Systems and why you should use 706 For more info, go to www.solarSEAN.com
1 Dec 2021
Deep dive on Energy Storage and Renewables: Sean White Interview on Cory Vanderpool’s “Solar Broadcast” podcast.
Sean White (solarSEAN.com) is interviewed on his former student Cory Vanderpool's podcast. The talk about various subjects including: Solar and wind are finally cheapest forms of electricity EVs bringing down the cost of lithium-ion Energy Storage Systems (ESS) Battery benefits including being a load, besides being a source of power Wind power’s cubed relationship to wind speed Frequency regulation is the biggest use for energy storage right now Negative energy pricing in Germany Ramp rates of energy storage beating all other forms of energy by a long shot, especially underground mined resources (fossil fuels and nuclear) EV to grid future LG Batteries in cars vs. home ESS price being the same Lithium-ion graphite anodes, silicon anodes, lithium metal anode, specific energy (energy per weight), dendrites, energy density (energy per volume) Sean’s $0.20 to $0.40 per kWh battery price prediction in 10-years Soldering home-made lithium-ion battery packs Battery cells, battery modules, battery packs definition Buying houses with pre-existing solar, real estate with solar, and knowing how to value them, solar valuation, solar asset value, solar offset value (offsetting electricity) You can see Cory’s podcast home page at: https://sparkcertified.mykajabi.com/podcasts/solar-broadcast Cory’s webpage: www.SparkPros.com Twitter www.twitter.com/acoryvanderpool LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/cory-vanderpool-85bb764a/ Michael Ginsburg’s book: https://www.amazon.com/Solar-Photovoltaic-Power-Optimization-Verification-ebook/dp/B07YQ9D7V2 Sean White's classes, books and everything else: www.solarSEAN.com
17 Nov 2021
Grounding, Microhydro Hybrid Systems, Batteries & Mono vs. Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
In this podcast we answer 2 questions: 1) Grounding is important and can be confusing with many different theories of how and why it should be done. Here we are going to talk about the basics, including the neutral (grounded conductor), the equipment grounding conductor (EGC) and the grounding electrode conductor (GEC). We will even make a mention of SWER (single wire earth return), which means using 1 wire for transmission and using the Earth as a conductor! Here is a link about that last part, so you don’t think I am making it up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-wire_earth_return 2) Batteries were once always included with PV systems and not as the grid has more intermittent renewables, batteries are making a comeback. We will discuss energy storage, off grid PV systems in Haines Alaska’s Mud Bay and microhydro for generating electricity. 3) Monocrystalline PV has taken over the number 1 spot from polycrystalline silicon solar cells in the last few years. We will discuss the differences of how these solar cells are made and how they look. To find out more about solar and storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com
5 Nov 2021
EV to home, Recycling Lithium Batteries & 30% Efficient PV questions answered
This podcast answers 3 questions on solar and storage. 1) EV to home can mean EV to grid and EV to backup. Ford has announced that their F-150 Lightning Electric Pickup will be released next year and will have the ability to backup a house. What does that mean? Will it be able to work with a PV system and keep the battery charged or will it only work as long as the battery is charged? Will it be able to send electricity to the grid? 2) Now that there are a tremendous amount of lithium-ion batteries being manufactured, what will happen at the end of their lives? Fortunately, lithium-ion battery materials are not very toxic, unlike lead-acid batteries. Just like with solar modules, if we accidentally throw the materials in the trash, it will not be a toxicity issue, just a waste issue. Lithium-ion batteries will get recycled and the most important aspect of this is the need for cobalt, since much of the cobalt comes from the Congo, where child labor is often used. 3) The average efficiency of PV being installed these days hovers somewhere under 20% and the super high efficiency that people buy for some rich people's homes can be 22% efficient. It is interesting that for space applications, you can see up to 40% efficient PV, which has to be super-efficient! Even the richest guy in the world (Elon Musk) thinks gallium arsenide PV is expensive for space and has mentioned that he is using some crystalline silicon PV on some satellites. To find out more about gallium arsenide space solar cells, go to https://www.spectrolab.com/photovoltaics.html and make sure you have a few million bitcoin on your credit card (joke). To find out more about solar and storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com
20 Oct 2021
Energy Storage, PV & NEC Workshop at the ASES Conference August 2021
This is an audio version of the workshop that Sean White taught at the ASES conference at the University of Colorado Boulder on August 6, 2021. To see a video version, go to www.solarSEAN.com for a link to Sean's YouTube channel or find some of this material in Sean's classes at www.HeatSpring.com/sean You can also find most of the material form Sean's Intensive PV workshop at the ASES conference, which was covered in the last podcast listed on HeatSpring for 2 hours of free NABCEP CE credit at https://www.heatspring.com/courses/introduction-to-solar-pv-design-installation-and-code?aff_id=t3nlgw Here is the description of the workshop straight from the ASES.org website: This workshop will be jam-packed with NEC insight and interpretation. Sean White teaches PV courses around the world and has authored many technical PV books. Solar Photovoltaic Basics 2nd Ed., Energy Storage Basics, Solar PV Engineering and Installation 2nd Ed., Solar PV Technical Sales and PV and the NEC 2nd Ed. Sean will fill you up with as much information as possible in the time given, while entertaining you. This year Sean will focus more on Energy Storage Systems (ESS) than he has in the past. Did you know that the NEC allows us to backfeed your house with electric vehicles (EVs) and that it is just the EV manufacturers holding us back? Be ready for when EV manufacturers let us do what they already should have. This course will count for NABCEP continuing education requirements in every category and will also count for prerequisites for NABCEP Certification. This course will also include a $200 discount for Sean’s advanced online PV classes. A printable color digital certificate included with course, along with .pdf files of the presentation. Your instructor is based in the US and teaches classes internationally. His resume can be seen here www.maximumpowerpointtraining.com Be sure to check out next year's ASES conference in Albuquerque New Mexico on June 20-24 ases.org/conference see you there! go to www.solarSEAN.com
1 hr 37 mins
6 Oct 2021
ASES Solar 2021: Solar PV Intensive Workshop with Sean White
This podcast is a recording of a workshop Sean taught at the ASES Solar 2021 Conference at the University of Colorado Boulder on August 6, 2021. This Solar PV Intensive Workshop was fast paced and covered a lot of information. This workshop was in a way covering the same material Sean covers in his Solar PV Boot Camps, which are often 40 hours long in a quick 1.5 hours. There are slides and if you want to see the video version, you will be able to see it at Sean's Youtube channel. Here is the Youtube link for this video. Topics covered include, Energy Storage Systems (ESS), PV Markets To find out more about solar and energy storage or classes with Sean White and Bill Brooks, go to www.solarSEAN.com
1 hr 9 mins
22 Sept 2021
Backfeeding the grid Hawaiian Style with Customer Grid-Supply Plus, which is the future
Hawaii has more solar PV per capita than any other state. Since PV is the least expensive energy in the world now, this concentration of PV will soon hit other states and Hawaii is paving the way with new policies that will be able to deal with this abundance of noontime energy. California, which has a lot more people and by for more solar than any other state is also dealing with this abundance. In this podcast, we will discuss one of Hawaii’s policies put in place to deal with the possibility of producing more energy than the grid needs, but still letting people export to the grid. The policy we are covering is called Customer Grid Supply Plus (CGS+). Get ready for these new types of policies to come to you. We will also discuss energy storage, and a student review of one of our free classes for 2 hours of NABCEP credit that I do with Bill Brooks where we sadly get accused of being "too funny". To find out more and to take some of my not-boring classes, go to www.solarSEAN.com
7 Sept 2021
Latitude’s Effect on Solar Resource, Cheap Electricity and PV, Battery Equalization and then Bill Brooks talks about the NFPA 855 Energy Storage Standard
In this podcast, Sean answers 3 questions and then we finish it off with some wise words from Bill Brooks where Bill and Sean discus the purpose of NFPA 855 Standard For The Installation Of Stationary Energy Storage Systems. To find out more about solar and energy storage or classes with Sean White and Bill Brooks, go to www.solarSEAN.com
4 Aug 2021
Net-Metering Sustainability, PV Wire Sizing and East vs. West Facing PV
In this podcast, Sean answers questions about net-metering sustainability, with examples from the most mature PV markets in the US, Hawaii and California and how energy storage solves problems when intermittent renewables are on the grid. There were some changes in the 2017 NEC, where the requirement to have a temperature adder with conduit in sunlight over a roof were removed, making wire sizing simpler, although wire sizing is arguably the most difficult part of designing a PV system. Our last topic here has to do with the optimal way to face your PV, given the restrictions of having an east-west facing rooftop. As Jim Morrisoin says, "West is the best!" To find out more, go to solarSEAN.com
27 Jul 2021
Grounded vs. Ungrounded Inverters, Battery Combiner Boxes and Community Solar
In this podcast we once again cover questions from you and those like you by popular demand. We will get into the different terminology and how it changed in different versions of the NEC, when we talk about ungrounded, grounded and functionally grounded inverters. We talk about the correct terminology for combining batteries in parallel and differentiate between community solar and community choice aggregation among other things. To find out more about renewable energy, go to solarSEAN.com
20 Jul 2021
Solar PV Seasonal Tilt, 60 & 72-cell PV Modules, Net-Metering with Energy Storage Q&A Podcast
In this episode, we cover tilting PV modules, and seasonal tilting, why most PV modules at 60 cell and 72 cell modules, net-metering and energy storage. To find out more about solar and energy storage or to ace any NABCEP exam, go to solarSEAN.com
12 Jul 2021
Q&A: NABCEP NEC adoption, Higher Power PV modules & Solar Manufacturers Going out of Business
In this podcast, we are going answer questions related to solar and energy storage. The first question is about NABCEP and how they are going about adopting the latest version of the NEC. The next question is about higher power PV modules and are they bigger and more dangerous to install. The last question is about how to deal with and what to do about the possibility of manufacturers going out of business. To find out more about Solar and Energy Storage Systems (ESS) go to solarSEAN.com
23 Jun 2021
New UL PV Listing 61730 replacing UL 1703 for making the test work around the world and UL 3741 listing for Rapid Shutdown (Hazard Control Systems) with Bill Brooks PE
In this podcast we talk about the new UL standard for PV, which replaces UL 1703 for PV with UL 61730, which took place in December of 2020. You can still use UL 1703, just if you come out with a new module design, it needs to comply with UL 61730, which makes things easier, since it is the same test around the world, instead of having a different test for the US and Europe for instance. We also talk about the new UL 3741 PV Hazard Control Standard, aka the Rapid Shutdown standard, which is another way of complying with 690.12 in the 2020 NEC, so you can perhaps have up to 3 modules in series after shutdown now. Mid Circuit Interrupters (MCI) on every third module maybe all you need for rapid shutdown as long as it is a UL 3741 listed solution. This is big news and a new way to deal with rapid shutdown. An MCI is likely to be a switch that does not do maximum power point tracking (MPPT), or you can have a dc-to-dc converter (optimizer) that does MPPT on a group of 3 PV modules.…
17 Jun 2021
International Fire Code (IFC) and Energy Storage Systems (ESS) with Bill Brooks
In this podcast we cover the requirements of the International Fire Code and Energy Storage Systems and sizes of these Energy Storage Systems in the International Fire Code. There are special size requirements as we will learn soon. We were primarily covering the 2018 IFC, the 2021 IFC does not come out yet as of this podcast and even when it does come out it doesn't mean that it’s get adopted right away in your state and so the different sizes of the Energy Storage Systems that we're going to talk about cover from larger than one- and two-family dwellings up to large utility scale systems. Can you get bigger than the utility scale not that I know about, but I'd be interested in your crazy comments? Did you know that ventilation is not required for valve regulated lead acid batteries? That's right ventilation is not required for valve regulated lead acid batteries and you know that now. And also, did you know that the International Fire Code does not apply when you were applying the…
9 Jun 2021
2021 International Residential Code (IRC) and more with Bill Brooks
In this podcast we cover the 2021 IRC has not been published yet and which Bill is helping write. We also discuss the relationship with the International Fire Code (IFC) and the International Building Code (IBC). The IRC, IBC and IFC are published by the International Code Council (ICC). Some of the subjects we cover are vehicle impact protection for Energy Storage Systems (ESS), parking bollards, parking curbs, installation locations, not installed in habitable rooms, habitable room definitions, sheet rock (5/8" gypsum requirements) in relation to ESS which are non-combustible wall requirements, ESS in relationship to garage windows vs. bedroom windows, kWh maximum size per area, 80kWh house maximum, Section 1206.1-1206.9 of IFC, Fire detection, Smoke alarms, California Residential Code (CRC), which copies the IRC, stand-by power, and more! To learn more about energy storage, solar, the building codes, the NEC and everything else, go to www.solarsean.com
2 Jun 2021
International Residential Code (IRC) and Energy Storage Systems (ESS) with Bill Brooks
In this podcast Bill Brooks covers the International Residential Code from the International Code Council (ICC), which are rules in addition to the NEC for installing ESSs in 1- and 2-family dwellings. Bill Brooks is instrumental in writing the material that we cover and sits on many different panels, such as the UL 9540 standards technical panel, and comes up with the rules. Stay tuned for another podcast where we will cover the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Fire Code (IFC), which are used for other than 1- and 2-family dwellings. We cover here: UL 9540 (umbrella standard), UL 1973, UL 1741, 2018 IRC, 2021 IRC, 2024 IRC insight, LG Chem Battery, Tesla Powerwall, SolarEdge, SMA, BYD, Enphase, Sonnen, Inverters and sub-assemblies, lithium-ion and lead-acid battery preferred applications, using retired EVs to power your house according to the 2018 IRC, NEC 625 Bidirectional EV charging/discharging, battery locations, habitable locations, ventilation, hydrogen…
21 Apr 2021
BIPV and Tesla Solar Glass with Bill Brooks
Building Integrated PV (BIPV) has been around forever as far as the solar industry is concerned (4 or 5 decades). It has never taken off like people think. There has always been a lot of hype around BIPV, especially amongst laypeople. Will Tesla change BIPV forever? I would think not, except I will never underestimate a guy that turned a small EV company into the world's most valuable automaker, lands reusable rockets routinely, and can make non-human primates play video games with their thoughts, all things which were considered impossible. For more information and education on solar and storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com !
14 Apr 2021
2020 NEC Article 706 Energy Storage Systems
In this podcast we are going to go over NEC 706 with Bill Brooks, thy guy who wrote a lot of this material and was there every step of the way. Sometimes Bill does not agree with what ends up in the NEC and he will let you know it here first on this podcast. To have fun and learn more about solar and storage, go to SolarSEAN.com
24 Mar 2021
Calculating Short Circuit Current Rating of Equipment Podcast
We are going to cover short circuit current rating of equipment with Bill Brooks. Bill Brooks has been in the solar industry for many decades and knows everything about solar and energy storage. He writes the codes, he does consulting, he's a busy guy and here he is on this podcast. To have fun and learn more about solar and storage, go to SolarSEAN.com
17 Mar 2021
Utility Scale Solar and Energy Storage System Grounding Electrode Conductor Configurations and More
In this episode, we are going to present a particular rumoured certification exam question and then get into the details of how you may install large central inverters with grounding electrode conductors. This is an advanced topic, but if you are a beginner, you can still be amazed at how these huge multi-million dollar PV systems are put together. To have fun and to learn more about solar and storage, go to SolarSEAN.com
3 Mar 2021
Solar Energy Fundamentals Part 4: Shading
Solar PV shading can be worse than you think, since solar cells are connected in series. We will cover the Solmetric Suneye shading device, (note that Vivant Solar was bought by Sunrun since the recording of this podcast), we will cover some software that can digest shading information, such as Aurora Solar, Helioscope, Energy Toolbase, PVsyst, Albedo, Sketchup, Skelion, PVCAD, AutoCAD, and more. Then we talk about single-axis trackers, concentrated PV, seasonal tilting, concentrating PV, seasonal tilt and many more angles.
24 Feb 2021
Solar Energy Fundamentals Part 3
In this episode, we are going to cover, air mass, global solar radiation, direct solar radiation, albedo solar radiation, diffuse solar radiation, bifacial solar, pyranometers, pyrheliometers and the solar constant. To have fun and to learn more about solar and storage, go to SolarSEAN.com
17 Feb 2021
Solar Energy Fundamentals Part 2
This podcast covers the effects of temperature and irradiance on PV voltage and current and all different kinds of azimuth, which is what a compass reads. Did you know that the magnetic North Pole is moving from Canada to Russia? To have fun and to learn more about solar and storage, go to SolarSEAN.com
10 Feb 2021
Solar Energy Fundamentals Part 1
When light comes from the closest star (the sun), it will give us solar power and solar energy. We are going to talk about the difference and how to quantify irradiance and irradiation. We also get into solar insolation, tilt angles, peak sun hours in different locations including Germany, the home of Hermann Scheer who kicked off the solar revolution! To have fun and to learn more about solar and storage, go to SolarSEAN.com
3 Feb 2021
Electricity Basics Part 2
Energy comes in many forms. From kWhs, to Joules, to cheeseburgers, to a gallon of gas, see how you can convert these different energy containing forms. We also will get into the speed of electricity, Ohm’s law, Horsepower, the NABCEP PVA exam and PV module level rapid shutdown for PV systems on buildings. To have fun and to learn more about solar and storage, go to SolarSEAN.com
27 Jan 2021
Electricity Basics Part 1
Many people in the solar and storage industry do not know much about electricity and now is the time to have fun and learn. In this episode, we will introduce you to people with names like Volta, Ampere and Ohm, get ready to power your brain cells with all of that stored energy from last nights tacos. This podcast includes both basic and advanced material and this episode is on the basic side. If you are advanced, you still can learn something, such as how to explain things to normal people. To have fun and to learn more about solar and storage, go to SolarSEAN.com
13 Jan 2021
Code Compliant Conductor Sizing: a 2021 take on a 2011 SolarPro Article
One of the most difficult things to do with the NEC, is to understand how to use it to properly size wires. You can get 10 of the top experts in the world in a room and if you talk about how to properly size a wire, you can be sure there will be exciting conversations (disagreements). The best article I ever read on the subject was in the now retired SolarPro Magazine, where you can still access old articles at www.solarprofessional.com. May SolarPro someday be resurrected! Wire sizing is very uniform throughout the NEC, so if you truly understand this article, you will be able to wire size about anything, including an energy storage system or a circuit to an air conditioner on the roof. As I read this article that is based on the 2011 NEC, I make comments and update how to comply with the 2020 NEC. A few differences are that we no longer have 1A fuse increments below 15A (we skip from 10A to 15A now) and we no longer derate for conduit in sunlight on a rooftop. Warning: This…
30 Dec 2020
PV Safety Basics Part 2
The most misunderstood PV label (“terminals on line and load side may be energized in the open position”), DC and AC disconnects, Capacitors, PV is on when the Sun is up, Pocket Voltage Indicator, Hot Stick Voltage Detectors (only work with alternating current), Lockout Tagout (LOTO), Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), 6-feet = Fall Protection, Guardrail Fall Protection, Safety Net Fall Protection, Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS), Anchor, Harness, Lifeline, Shock Absorbing Lanyard, Ladders Safety, Fiberglass vs. Aluminum Ladders, Working Around Power Lines, 3 points of contact, Tool Backpack, Yoyo (self-retracting lifeline) and Sun Exposure!
23 Dec 2020
PV Safety Basics Part 1
NEC, too much current on a wire, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) for employees, NFPA, Battery Bank Locations, AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction), NABCEP, Hydrogen and Ventilation with Lead-Acid Batteries, Guarding Live Parts, Working Spaces NEC 110.26, Panelboards, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Fall Protection, Arc-Flash Protection, Skylights, Ergonomics, Staging, Preventing Lumbar Disc Injuries, Volt Meter Testing, First Aid Kits and Eye Wash Stations.
16 Dec 2020
PV Markets and Applications Part 3
AC-Modules, Direct PV Systems, Water Pumping with PV, Self-Regulating PV, Hybrid PV Systems vs. Hybrid Inverters, Solar Living Institute (RIP), Pumped Hydro Storage, Utility Scale Solar Farms, Large Scale PV Electric Supply Stations (NEC 691), PV Feed-in-Tariff’s, NexTracker Single Axis Trackers, Distributed Generation (DG), NABCEP, Community Solar, Community Choice Aggregation (CCAs), SEIA Houses per MW, 6kW per house average, Energy Efficiency, Resistance Heater 100% efficiency vs. Heat Pumps that are 3x better than 100%, Spectrolab Space Solar.
9 Dec 2020
PV Markets and Applications Part 2
Utility Interactive PV Systems, Direct Current, Alternating Current, 5-minute UL 1741 anti-islanding requirements, PV the anti-load, net-metering, residential and commercial voltages, 120/240V, 120/208V, 277/480V, Delta, Stinger, Medium Voltage, High Voltage and Ultra High Voltage Connections, Nikola Tesla, Utility Scale PV, NEC Article 691, Charge Controllers, Stand-alone (off-grid), Rectifier (ac-to-dc), Tesla Powerwall, AC-Coupled PV, DC-Coupled PV and SolarEdge. Stay tuned for Part 3 of PV Markets and Applications Next Week!
2 Dec 2020
PV Markets and Applications Part 1
PV Markets and Applications, Grid-Tied PV with and without Batteries, Voltage Sags and Peaks, California Rule 21, Energy Storage, Smart Electronics, Bidirectional EVs, UL 1741, UL 1703, CE, NEC, Anti-islanding, Stand-alone, Multimode Inverters, Microgrid Interconnect Device (MID), Interactive Inverter, Solar in Space, Space Based Solar Power (SBSP), Portable Solar Power, Hybrid, Utility Scale PV, Distributed Generation (DG), Concentrated PV, Concentrated Solar Thermal, Solar Thermal vs. Solar PV. Stay tuned for Markets and Applications Part 2 of 3 next week!
25 Nov 2020
History, Present and Future of Solar PV
PV Markets and Applications, NABCEP Exam, Edmund Becquerel, Photovoltaic Effect, Einstein’s Photoelectric Effect, PV Flash Testing, Bell Labs, Vanguard 1 Satellite, World Installed Capacity of PV, 1 TW of PV Installed, Hockey Stick PV Growth, Space Based Solar Power (SBSP), Dyson Sphere, Swanson’s Law, PV $77/watt in 1977, Solar PV and Eclipses, Guerrilla Solar and Perpetual Solar Flight with the Solar Impulse.
18 Nov 2020
Comparing Battery Technologies
What makes different battery technologies better for different applications, primary and secondary batteries, state of charge (SOC) vs. depth of discharge (DOD), voltage vs. charge, battery open circuit voltage, battery internal resistance, lithium vs. lead acid, battery nominal voltage, 3.6V, 3.2V and 2V, cycle life factors, energy per weight, energy per volume, power per weight vs. energy, arbitrage, self consumption, max discharge current vs. continuous current, charge voltage vs. nominal voltage vs. float voltage, BMS, algorithms, NiMH, NiCad, recycling batteries. To find out more about everything solar and storage, go to solarSEAN.com
11 Nov 2020
2020 NEC Article 705 Interconnected Power Production Systems from an Energy Storage System (ESS) perspective
Article 705 applies to PV and ESS. Everything we say here is going to apply to anything backfeeding the grid or a microgrid, however we will use ESS examples. We cover anti-islanding, Microgrid Interconnect Devices (MID), IEEE, Microgrid System definition, 705.11 Supply-Side Connections, 705.12 Load-Side Connections, 705.13 Power Control Systems (PCS), Article 705 Part 2 AC Microgrids. To find out more about everything solar and storage, go to solarSEAN.com
4 Nov 2020
Energy Storage relevant material in the 2020 NEC, Chapter 6 Special Equipment, Chapter 7 Special Conditions, Chapter 8 Communication Systems, Chapter 9 Tables
In this podcast we cover material in Chapters 6 & 7 in the NEC (not including 706 ESS in detail, which we covered in a previous podcast) from an ESS point of view, including 625 EV Power Transfer Systems, EVSE=EV supply equipment, 692 Fuel Cells, 702 Standby Systems, ATS (automatic transfer switch), MID (microgrid interconnect device), 705 Interconnected Power Production Sources, 706 Energy Storage Systems (ESS), 710 Stand-Alone Systems, 712 DC Microgrids, 750 Energy Management Systems, Power Control Systems, Chapter 8 Communication Systems, Chapter 9 Tables, Conduit Fill Tables, Voltage Drop Tables. To find out more about everything solar and storage, go to solarSEAN.com
28 Oct 2020
Energy Storage System Code in the NEC besides Article 706 ESS
Article 90 Introduction, Art. 100 Definitions, Art. 110 Requirements for Electrical Installations, Art. 200 Use and Identification of Grounded Conductors, Art. 240 Overcurrent Protection, Article 250 Grounding and Bonding (& Soares book), Art. 310 Conductors for General Wiring, Art. 358 EMT, Art. 480 Storage Batteries and Chapter 5 Special Occupancies, including aircraft hangers! To learn more about energy storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com
21 Oct 2020
NEC Article 706 Energy Storage Systems part III to end
In this podcast we will go over and explain NEC Article 706 Energy Storage Systems Part III “Installation Requirements”, Part IV “Circuit Requirements”, Part V “Flow Battery Energy Storage Systems” and Part VI “Other Energy Storage Technologies”. To learn more about energy storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com
14 Oct 2020
NEC and Energy Storage Systems (ESS) including Article 706 Parts I and II
In this podcast we go over: ESS and the NEC, 2020, 2017 and 2014 NEC, 706 ESS, 710 Stand-Alone Systems, 712 DC Microgrids, 690 PV, NABCEP, 1897 NEC, 1984 NEC, Statistics, NEC Chapters 1-4, 5, 6, 7, Article 705 Interconnected Power Production Sources, Chapter 8 Communications, Chapter 9 Tables, NFPA 855 Standard for the Installation of Energy Storage Systems, 2020 NEC pdf, Article 480 Storage Batteries, NECA, UL 1973, UL 1989, UL 9540, UL 2436, Flywheels, Inverters, Converters, Gravity ESS, UPS, Flow Battery, AHJ, Qualified Person, Details of Sections 706.2 through 706.16 (Parts I and II of 706). Part I of Article 706 is “General” and Part II is “Disconnecting Means”. To learn more about energy storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com
7 Oct 2020
Energy Storage Tech Comparisons including Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Lithium-Ion vs. Lead-Acid, Sodium Sulfur, UL 9540 and UL 1973
In this podcast, we will cover: Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Bloom Energy, Bloom Box, Hydrogen from Natural Gas, Server Module, Ethanol, Lithium vs. Lead-Acid, Solar Family Reunion, Nameplate Capacity vs. Usable Capacity, Round Trip Efficiency, Cobalt, Graphite Anode, NMC, LFP, LifePo, NCA, Reactive Power (Q), Black Start, VRLA, AGM, NiMH, Silicon Graphite Anode, Tesla batteries, Sodium Sulfur, UL 9540, UL 1973, LG and more To learn more about energy storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com
1 Oct 2020
Energy Storage System Markets Podcast
In this podcast, we will cover Energy Storage Systems (ESS) growth rates, Lithium and other markets, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), Molten Salt Storage, Fly Wheel Storage, Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), Ternary Batteries (NMC or NCA vs. LFP), Energy Density vs. Specific Energy, Battery Memory Myths, Protection Circuits, Lead-Acid Deep Cycle Batteries, Maintenance, Equalization, NiMH, NiCad, Lithium vs. Lithium-Ion Batteries, Lithium Air Battery, Lithium Polymer, Microporous Electrolyte vs. Porous Separator, Tesla battery cost advantage rumors, Vanadium Redox Flow Battery, Anolyte, Catholyte, Oxidation, Zinc Bromine Flow Batteries, NEC and more! To learn more about energy storage, go to www.solarSEAN.com
4 Sept 2020
Common Energy Storage System (ESS) Components for Large-Sized Projects
In this podcast, we will focus on the following manufacturers: Samsung, LG, Mitsubishi and Sungrow. (In another podcast we will cover other manufacturers) Some of the topics included here are: Diversified manufacturers and bankruptcy risks, warranty insurance, distributed energy storage, UPS, residential and telecom smaller scale comparisons, virtual power plants (VPP), cells, racks, containers, peak shifting, smoothing, power vs. energy applications, frequency regulation, pouch, prismatic and cylinder cells, capacity, specific energy, energy density, software, PLC, state of charge, power control systems (PCS NEC 705.13), artificial intelligence (AI), grid stabilization, voltage control, monitoring, voltage drop (rise), UL 1741, C-rate, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), lithium vs. sodium sulfur battery, and energy management systems (EMS). To learn more, go to www.solarSEAN.com where you can find classes, flashcards, consulting and everything under the sun.
28 Aug 2020
Battery Charging and Discharging Podcast
In this podcast, we will cover: battery charging and discharging, voltage levels, coulomb counting, data, temperatures, loads, warranties, battery management systems (BMS), smart batteries, dumb batteries, self discharge, rubber band effect, button battery dangers, FAA battery rules. To learn more about batteries go to www.solarSEAN.com
22 Aug 2020
Lithium Battery Topics
Topics covered: Transportation of batteries, lithium metal dendrites, lithium ion, International Air Transportation Association (IATA), surprise thermal events, recycling lithium batteries, battery aging, rock content, cutoff voltage, battery sweet zone, stratification, faded, 2nd hand EV batteries used for stationary ESS and data science. For more excitement and to grow your brain and to increase your value as a human being, go to www.solarSEAN.com
15 Aug 2020
VPP (Virtual Power Plants)
In this episode Sean talks about virtual power plants, which is the aggregation of many small energy storage systems together to end up with the energy storage capacity of a large utility scale energy storage facility. This distributed energy storage, working in harmony with each other can provide many benefits to the grid and to consumers. To find out more about energy storage, PV and everything else, go to solarSEAN.com.
8 Aug 2020
Lithium-ion Battery basics
In this podcast, we will cover, C-rates, hour rates, E-rates, comparing lithium to lead-acid batteries, DOD, battery cells, modules and packs, series and parallel connections, cylindrical, prismatic and pouch batteries, cathodes, anodes, electron flow vs. conventional current direction, electrolytes and the graphite anode. To learn more, go to solarSEAN.com
29 Jul 2020
Greg Smith of Sonnen Battery Part 4 of 4
This is the fourth and final part of an interview with Greg Smith of Sonnen Battery. In this podcast we cover Greg’s opinion against rapid shutdown (RSD) requirements of the NEC, a book he is writing, whole house backup and how fast a Sonnen can react to a grid outage, which is 100 milliseconds. To find out more about everything solar and storage, go to solarSEAN.com
23 Jul 2020
AC and DC Coupling of PV and Energy Storage
When you connect PV to Energy Storage, you have to decide if you are going to have them connected together via ac or dc electricity. There are benefits to each for different applications. We will talk about the nuances of ac coupling and dc coupling and give you the benefits and drawbacks of each. To find out more and expand your knowledge, go to solarsean.com
16 Jul 2020
Electricity Basics from Energy Storage Class
In this podcast, we will learn about the basics of electricity, from voltage to the speed of electricity. We will even get inside of the heads of Charles Coulomb and Henry Ampere. Did you know that 1A is about 6 x 10^18 electrons passing by in a second? And that that many electrons, besides being a lot is also called a coulomb and some batteries do charging by coulomb counting. How can anyone count that high? For more interesting facts, listen to Sean's podcasts, go to solarsean.com and sign up for Sean's HeatSpring classes or hire him live!
4 Jul 2020
Energy Storage System Common Components Part 2 of 2
In this series of Podcasts we are going to take an unbiased look at different popular Energy System Components. In this podcast we will cover Solar Generac/Pika, Sonnen, Solis, Sol-Ark, Fortress, KiloVault, Trojan Trillium, Rolls, Sunverge, Schneider, SimpliPhi, SMA, BYD and Victron. To find out more about Sean White, solar and energy storage classes, NABCEP exam Prep, books and customized projects, or even solar installations, go to solarsean.com
22 Jun 2020
Energy Storage System Common Components Part 1
In this series of Podcasts we are going to take an unbiased look at different popular Energy System Components. In this podcast we will cover Solar Edge StorEdge, LG Chem RESU, Enphase and Tesla. In upcoming podcasts in this series, we will cover Generac/Pika, Sonnen, Solis, Sol-Ark, Fortress, KiloVault, Trojan Trillium, Rolls, Sunverge, Schneider, SimpliPhi, SMA, BYD and Victron. To find out more about Sean White, solar and energy storage classes, NABCEP exam Prep, books and customized projects, or even solar installations, go to solarsean.com
14 Jun 2020
Lithium Chemistry Podcast
Upon finishing this podcast, you will forever remember the top three lithium-ion battery chemistries, which are LFP, NMC and NCA, also known as Lithium Iron Phosphate, Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide and Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide. We will cover more about lithium batteries, such as including the definition of specific energy, which is energy per weight, rather than energy density, which is energy per volume. To learn more about solar and energy storage, classes and Sean White, go to solarSEAN.com!
8 Jun 2020
Greg Smith of Sonnen Battery Part 3
Greg used to be the face of SMA America training and now is the face of Sonnen battery education in the US. This episode, we talk about energy storage self-consumption, energy storage without backup being common in Germany, PG&E public safety power shutoffs and demand for backup in the us, autonomy, ac-coupling, frequency control, module level power electronics, and some companies overestimating the shading losses with string inverters, which Greg is passionate about. To find out more about solar education and the easiest way to pass NABCEP exams, go to solarSEAN.com
29 May 2020
Brian Hayden Co-founder HeatSpring Renewable Energy Online Training Platform Part 4
In this part of my interview with Brian Hayden, we discuss drones, space, making online class content, how COVID effects the solar industry, a view of the solar industry stepping back and blurring out the ups and downs and what does good online training look like. To find out more about this podcast or HeatSpring online training, where Sean has now had 15k students sign up for his online classes, go to solarsean.com
22 May 2020
Radio Station 705: 2020 NEC 705 Interconnected Power Production Sources
This is a reading from the 2020 NEC of Article 705 Interconnected Power Production Sources, which features 705.11 Supply-Side Source Connections, 705.12 Load-Side Source Connections and the new in 2020 705.13 Power Control Systems (PCS). 705.13 is new and will be very useful for making interconnections, so that we are not limited by the options in 705.11 and 705.12. When we have very smart electronics coordinating the currents, such as with smart load centers, CTs and smart inverters, PCSs can make sure our busbars do not melt. Artificial Intelligence anyone? For someone who is just learning about PV or energy storage and has no idea about the NEC, this might be overwhelming, or at least a way to get familiar with the terminology while falling to sleep. For those of you that are familiar with the NEC, dive into island mode! For more information about Sean White, Solar and Energy Storage, such as online classes or hiring Sean to teach at your company for NABCEP credit, go to solarsea…
16 May 2020
Greg Smith of Sonnen Battery Part 2
This week, we discuss the importance of software, artificial intelligence, controllable breakers, 2020 NEC 690.13 Power Control Systems, home automation platforms, blockchain, benefits to ac coupling, a 10,000 cycle warranty, Shell’s purchase of Sonnen and Shell’s renewable energy history. To find out more about Sean White’s, online classes or to hire Sean for live trainings for NABCEP credit go to www.solarsean.com.
8 May 2020
Greg Smith of Sonnen Battery and formerly of SMA, Part 1
Greg Smith is a micro-Celebrity in the Solar and Storage industry. He has been the top US technical training manager at two of the top German renewable energy companies. Sonnen is perhaps the most mature lithium ion company in the world that has just celebrated its 10th birthday. If you have been to a big solar show in the US in the last 10 years, you have passed Greg, probably with a crowd around him, as he is excited about the technology he espouses. This is part 1 of a series of podcasts with Greg. In this episode we cover Virtual Power Plants (VPPs), Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) Lithium-ion batteries, UL 9540 listing of complete Energy Storage Systems and what the inspectors sometimes look for. To find out more about Sean White, go to solarsean.com
1 May 2020
HeatSpring Online Renewable Energy Training Platform Co-founder Brian Hayden week 3
This week we learn how HeatSpring came to be by two MBA candidates from Boston based Babson College’s entrepreneur program. Their recipe is to find the best instructors, who are SMEs that like to teach and many often write books. HeatSpring has been a success story. We also discuss Grid Alternatives, which is an organization that compliments online solar training very well and is often described as the Habitat for Humanity for solar, where people, including our students get free hands-on experience installing solar on real houses, and at the same time getting that feel good feeling for helping people in need get away from under their monthly electricity bills. To learn more about Sean White or his classes, go to solarsean.com
23 Apr 2020
Brian Hayden Co-founder of HeatSpring Part 2:
Brian Hayden discusses how HeatSpring started as an offshoot of two HS co-founders trying to get educated in renewable energy with the idea of becoming integrators. They were unsuccessful at finding the education they wanted, so they started HeatSpring, with the idea that they would get the best instructors in the world who are often authors. They would let the instructors use their own material and split the revenue rather than getting cheap instructors to make curriculum, teach classes and taking most of the profits for their organizations, google add-words and high pressure sales people, which is what they found in the industry. Sean learns in this podcast how HeatSpring started out with live trainings in Boston and evolved to go at your own pace 100% online education. Find out more about the “most excellent” free and not free HeatSpring classes at solarsean.com
17 Apr 2020
Brian Hayden Part 1: Sean White Reverse Interviews Brian Hayden, Co-Founder of the Heatspring Online Renewable Energy Training Platform
Sean White gets interviewed as he was getting ready to interview Brian Hayden. They were having a conversation which fortunately was recorded where Brian Hayden, a podcaster himself seemed to be interviewing the interviewer. This part 1 of a multiple part series of conversations with Brian Hayden. Brian has a podcast of his own, which goes well with his Entrepreneurship course at the world renowned University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship. Brian's podcast is called Finding Your Venture and can be found at FindingYourVenture.com. To find out more about Sean, to sign up for his courses or to hire him, go to solarsean.com. Stay safe!
7 Apr 2020
More Bidirectional EV with Bill Brooks
In this podcast, we go off on the EV manufacturers for not having a good enough excuse to let us connect our cars up for bidirectional purposes. Rather than blaming it on the warranty only being for 100,000 miles or 10 years, why not add 33,000kWh to the mix and then if you overused your battery powering your house, that could be another way for your battery warranty to expire. Bill picked 33MWh and if it is good enough for Bill, it is good enough for the EV industry. Let's start a movement and agree to buy the first EV that offers this technology. We know they can all easily do it and it is not an engineering problem. Perhaps the battery industry is more interested in selling batteries for your car and your home separately. EV to grid is also known as V2G. This podcast is part of a free class titled "Solar Building Codes, Fire Codes, EVs, Rapid Shutdown and Energy Storage Systems", which you can find the link to by going to www.solarsean.com
31 Mar 2020
EV to Grid: Bill Brooks talks about NEC Article 625 EV Power Transfer System
In this episode, we talk about 2020 NEC Article 625 Electric Vehicle Power Transfer System. It is ok with the NEC that we can use our cars to feed the grid and power our homes, so what is the hold up with the EV manufacturers? We will cover more of this answer in our next episode, but this time we will get into the details, and focus on 625.42 Rating, which will allow us to 4000A of EV chargers (and bidirectional EV Power Transfer Systems) on a 1000A feeder as long as we have the load management to make everything safe. 625.42 was the inspiration for 2020 NEC 705.13 Power Control Systems! You can also learn more about these topics in our online Heatspring classes, some of them free. Find your way there and to many good places at the address of solarsean.com!
25 Mar 2020
Bill Brooks on Solar PV Rooftop Setbacks and Pathways
The 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) now allows for 18 inches from the ridge instead of 3 feet. Bill was involved in the process of making these rules and explains how the 2018 IRC works. This is very important for those of you involved in rooftop solar markets in the US. In some states you can go all the way up to the ridge, other states you can go up to 18 inches from the ridge and yet in others it is 3 feet. With the price of solar PV so low, people are wanting to put as much PV as they can on their roofs, including on the north side. This podcast contains material from a recently released Heatspring free online class entitled: Solar Building Codes, Fire Codes, EVs, Rapid Shutdown and Energy Storage Systems. This free online course counts for 2 hours of NABCEP continuing education credits and prerequisites. You can find out more by going to www.solarsean.com.
18 Mar 2020
Bill Brooks Interview
Bill Brooks has been in the solar industry for 32 years. He trains inspectors, consults with solar farm owners, is a licensed professional engineer, is on code making panel 4 and is in charge of writing much of the NEC as it pertains to solar energy. Brooks teaches and writes books with Sean White. This interview is part of the 40-hour Advanced PV and NABCEP Certification exam prep and CEU online class on Heatspring. They were both coronavirus free at the time of this interview.
10 Mar 2020
2020 NEC Radio 710 Stand-Alone Systems
NEC Article 710 Stand-Alone Systems is short and this reading will get you thinking about living off the grid or will get you ready for when the apocalypse comes and your prepper tendencies pay off!
6 Mar 2020
Sean White Interviews the Worlds First Solar Installer who Brokers Alien Tech to Elon
Funny interview! Sean White interviews the worlds first solar installer Bob. Bob has been installing solar for longer than you can imagine! Bob sometimes works for the aliens on the History Channel.
20 Feb 2020
Radio 706 Energy Storage Systems
2020 NEC article 706 Energy Storage Systems (ESS) is the latest in implementing storage technology into the grid and off grid. Lithium battery technology is decreasing in price as the price decreases and as intermittent renewables take over. This podcast is an energetic reading of article 706 and a way to catch up on the code as you drive, exercise or sleep through osmosis. NEC Article 706 is complimented by Article 690 PV Systems, Article 705 Interconnections and Article 480 batteries. Learn!
31 Dec 2019
2020 NEC radio 690
This podcast is a reading from NEC Article 690 PV systems [Skip to the next podcast if the NEC is not your cup of tea]. Every 3 years the NEC comes out and I choose to pod-post it for you and my Heatspring Online PV classes. If you are not a technical PV person, you will find listening to this podcast exceptional for insomnia and becoming familiar with solar lingo. When I first read the NEC, I had no idea what it meant, but it did become familiar and was a step towards enlightenment.
1 hr 28 mins
3 Dec 2019
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) podcast with CCA inventor Paul Fenn Part 2
This is part 2 of a 2 part series.
3 Dec 2019
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) podcast with CCA inventor Paul Fenn Part 1
Paul Fenn of Local Power came up with the idea for the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) law at the University of Chicago. The CCA law has been passed in over 1500 municipalities. Utilities spent millions trying to stop CCAs. Bloomberg Business Week said Paul is the "utility industry’s enemy number 1”. David does not kill Goliath here. His CCA law does not do away with utilities and still uses them for lines, poles and billing. This is part 1 of a 2 part series.
2 Dec 2019
Book writing interview at Get Published podcast
Sean White gets interviewed about his book writing on the get published podcast.
28 Dec 2018
Rapid Shutdown of PV Systems on Buildings came into the US Codes in the 2014 version of the NEC and has been changing ever since. This provision was put in place so that firefighters will feel safe to save buildings with PV on them.
21 Nov 2018
Exponential Growth of Solar and Energy Storage
The solar industry has been growing at such a fast pace, that if it kept growing this fast, earth would be completely covered with PV and look like the Death Star in less than a century. This is driven by cheap PV and a need for cleaner and cheaper energy.
8 Nov 2018
NEC Overview (2017 NEC)
The National Electrical Code (NEC) is the most thoroughly detailed Code for installing PV systems in the world. Join us for a brief overview.