This important effort promotes standardization of designs, packaged systems and code compliance with the overall goals of reducing systems costs and improving the quality and reliability of installations. Adequate documentation for systems and equipment are key to the design review and approval process, which can greatly facilitate the process for all those involved in plans review, permitting, installation, inspection and approval of PV systems. This activity includes maintaining public records of approved designs on the Internet, and interfacing with system suppliers and integrators to ensure system approval and certification criteria are being met.
FSEC received ISO accreditation from A2LA and PowerMark certification for PV system design review and approval process in 2001. As of early 2002, the SERES has reviewed and approved a total of 58 designs from 4 major suppliers. Plans for FY03 include assisting in reviews, meetings and other activities in support of Sandia's collaboration with the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to develop a listing of packaged PV systems on the RUS List of Materials. This is an important activity to expand markets and applications within the US, and may be linked to the new Farm Bill, which establishes a loan and grant program to assist eligible farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses in purchasing renewable energy systems. Consistent with FSEC’s state mandate, the SERES also intends to apply for State of Florida administrative authorization for required system certifications in Florida by 2004.
For current information on approved systems and other supporting documentation on the design review and approval process, including application forms, checklists, and examples, see our PV System Certification page.