Energy storage is the fastest moving area within the solar energy industry. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that 10 GW of battery storage capacity will be added to the grid over the next two years. As more storage is being deployed alongside solar at every scale, it’s important to HeatSpring and our expert instructors to have course information updated alongside the changing industry.

What to expect in “Designing Small Scale PV Systems with Energy Storage” 

Learning with Chris LaForge means that you will be taught the foundational knowledge to understand how energy storage truly works. Energy storage is deeply complex. There are not one-size-fits-all solutions for all customers, no matter how much marketers may sell that idea. 

Chris emphasizes the importance of fully understanding what you are doing and communicating that information and value to your customers. Chris does this through video lectures, interviews, in-depth readings, discussion board conversations, and culminating in a capstone project where Chris provides feedback on designs created by students.

What’s new in this course update

Lithium ion battery chemistries are continuing to become more and more prevalent across the industry. These smart batteries can provide a backup power source as well as help customers save money if their utility has things like demand charges or time-of-use rates. In this course update, Chris interviews technical sales representatives from a number of companies to learn exactly how their batteries operate, what makes their technology unique, and more. 

Seasoned solar professionals know that the National Fire Protection Association updates the National Electrical Code (NEC) every three years. With each new version of the NEC, there are a number of relevant updates within the industry. The 2017 NEC includes the new addition of Article 706 covering energy storage systems. This section was updated and expanded in the 2020 NEC. Chris will walk through the major updates energy storage professionals need to know to safely install storage systems as well as remain compliant with standards. 

Finally, Chris draws on his own professional experience installing PV systems with energy storage to include a section on system commissioning. Properly educating customers on how energy storage systems work is one of the most important ways to ensure client satisfaction at the end of installation and when they need to utilize their energy storage system in the event of a grid outage. All too often, customers don’t understand what loads will be backed up if the grid electricity is out and how quickly those loads can deplete a battery when not intentionally selected. Chris walks students through his commissioning process with the client where he simulates an artificial power outage with the client present. While this step can add some time and energy to the end of the installation, Chris has seen time and time again in his 30+ years of working in solar and energy storage, the benefits of well-educated customers in their new equipment are well worth the investment.

Are you ready to build deep foundational knowledge in designing small scale PV systems with energy storage? Sign up today for this new and improved course!