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Grounding PV Systems in 2014

Guest Lecturer: Ryan Mayfield

On February 13th 2014, Ryan Mayfield, owner at Renewable Energy Associates, solar PV expert, author and educator, shared an incredible #SolarMOOC lecture on grounding and bonding of PV systems.  Ryan provides a down to earth perspective that offers a more easily digestible perspective of code language.  Topics of this lecture include:

  • A review of grounding and bonding concepts and terminology
  • Explanation and review of Article 250 NEC 2011 code references that define requirements for grounding and bonding
  • Explanation and review of Article 690 NEC 2011 code references that define requirements for grounding and bonding of PV systems and how they differ from 250
  • Changes to the grounding and bonding requirements that we can expect to see in 2014 NEC, and explanations of them


Lecture Video


Topic Articles: 

Common Residential PV System Code Violations: SolarProTM article by Ryan Mayfield

An overview of common errors and mistakes associated with the installation PV systems that can cause problems and failed inspections

Ungrounded V Power Systems in the NEC: SolarProTM article by Jason Fisher and David Brearley

“No, the sky is not falling—the ground just got lifted. However, while Code allows for the elimination of the grounded dc system and circuit conductors, all of the associated non–current-carrying conductive materials in an ungrounded PV system are still connected to earth.”- SolarProTM

Grounding Compendium for PV Systems: SolarProTM article by Rebekah Hren and Brian Mehalic:

“Why is PV system grounding so confusing and the subject so contentious? Perhaps because no concise yet detailed collection of information related to the topic has existed—until now, that is.”- SolarProTM

White Papers:

The Ground Fault Protection Blindspot: A Safety Concern for LArger PV Systems in the US

“This document addresses an important safety issue in the design of many U.S. photovoltaic (PV) systems. This
safety issue—undetected faults in grounded PV array conductors—came to light during investigations into two
well-publicized PV system fires. The first occurred on April 5, 2008, in Bakersfield, California, and the second
occurred on April 16, 2011, in Mount Holly, North Carolina.” – excerpt from White Paper intro, Bill Brooks


About the Lecturer:

Ryan Mayfield – #SolarMOOC Expert page with links to 2 lectures presented

Renewable Energy Associates: Ryan Mayfield’s company page, and contact form




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