UCLA Extension

Large Scale Solar Power Engineering Design

This course is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of large scale solar power engineering design and implementation. The multi-disciplinary nature of photovoltaic technologies, and the integrated system design and implementation necessitates diverse multi-disciplinary engineering proficiency in electrical, solar, structural, environmental, system integration and construction management disciplines. This course covers all aspects of a successful design and installation of large solar systems.

Each lecture is designed to provide students with pragmatic design and implementation practices.

This course is intended for architects, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, structural engineers, program managers, construction managers, commercial and residential developers, science and technology teachers, and community and city planners.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to solar and photovoltaic physics
  • Introduction to solar power technologies
  • Phase I – Solar Power System Feasibility study
  • Phase II – Detail Solar Power System Design
  • Phase III – Solar Power System Integration
  • Phase IV – Solar Power System Project Management
  • Phase V – Solar Power Project Supervision and Commissioning
  • Phase VI – Customer Training
  • Phase VII – Solar Power System Maintenance

Coordinator and Lecturer

Peter Gevorkian, PhD, President of Vector Delta Design Group, Inc. an Electrical Engineering and Solar Power Design Consulting located in La Canada, California. Dr. Peter Gevorkian is president of Vector Delta Design Group, Inc. an Electrical Engineering and Solar Power Design Consulting firm located in La Canada, California. Previously, Dr. Gevorkian held several positions in major corporations including director of R&D at Magnavox, director of Man-Less Flight Data Acquisition and Control at Teledyne, director of industrial process control at Johnson Controls. Some of the technologies that he has developed include advanced solar power energy management and control systems; intelligent solar power system cleansing robotics, solar desalination system, automated agricultural soil chemistry control technology, GPS based digital seismic detector and flood detectors and other technologies.

Dr. Gevorkian holds a B.S in electrical engineering, an M.S. in computer science and PhD. in electrical engineering. He has been active member of Canadian and California board of professional engineers and member of California Society of Energy Engineers and Association of Southern California Energy Engineers.

Dr. Gevorkian has authored several widely used textbooks in renewable energy systems design. They include: Sustainable Energy Systems in Architectural Design McGraw-Hill, Sustainable Energy systems Engineering, McGraw-Hill , Alternative Energy Systems in Building Design. McGraw-Hill , Large Scale Solar Photovoltaic System Design-McGraw-Hill, Large Scale Solar Power Construction and Economics, Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Gevorkian was recipient of the American Institute of Architect (AIA) 2007 Engineering Merit Award for Renewable Energy Systems Engineering Design and Exceptional Contribution to Advancement of Solar Power Co-generation in Building Design, AIA 2007 Design Honor Award for recipient for Outstanding Engineering Design for the Metropolitan Water District’s Museum of Water & Life Museum located in Hemet California, AIA 2008 Honor Award for Outstand Design Achievement in Solar Power Engineering. In 2009 The America Institute of Architects, California Council conferred The Honor Award for Excellence in Solar Power Design. In 2010 Dr. Gevorkian was nominated by University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering for Medal of Honor for Engineering Achievement.

Daily Schedule

Day 1

Phase ISolar Power System Feasibility Study

  • Solar platform topology study for roof-top, carport and ground mount solar power systems.
  • Platform shading analysis
  • Study and evaluation of the site electrical system and grid connectivity configuration
  • Site electrical power demand loading analysis
  • Optional electrical energy audit
  • Solar power platform topology mapping analysis
  • Alternative technologies evaluation that would be best suited for specific types of solar platforms (i.e., roof mount, building integrated, car port or ground mount)
  • Analysis of PV module support structures for various types of platforms
  • Preliminary study of underground conduit runs and solar inter-platform interconnectivity
  • Principles of Econometric analysis and modeling of the solar power project, which include solar projected construction cost estimates, solar power system output generation financial contribution for the life cycle of the project and analysis of financial options.
  • Feasibility study report preparation, covering detail outline of the site survey discoveries, solar power system energy output production analysis, solar platform topographic solar power system overlays, discussions regarding specific types of solar power technologies that are best suited for the project, financial analysis and recommendations.
  • Electrical engineering documents, as built single line diagrams, switchgear riser diagrams, panel schedules, site plan, architectural plans, locations and equipment layout diagrams of all electrical and power distribution rooms and enclosures
  • Electrical bills analysis
  • Roof mount solar power system, roof mount mechanical equipment and vents clearances
  • Site underground conduit plans
  • Energy audit documentation and reports (if any)

Day 2

Phase IIDetailed Solar Power Engineering Design

  • Review and evaluation of all pertinent existing site plans, electrical service demand load and electrical design documentation.
  • Evaluation and analysis of client’s electrical power demand distribution system as well as existing grid interface equipment such as metering, power distribution and transformer stations.
  • Evaluation and study of all possible site solar power platforms such as roof mount, carport, BIPV or ground mount systems.
  • Analysis of power production potential of each solar power platform within the project site.
  • Evaluation and recommendation of best use of technologies for various solar platforms such as, ground mount fixed angle and single axis and dual axis tracking, carports and roof mount solar photovoltaic power co-generation system.
  • Economic analysis of cost effective technology alternatives best suited for the project.
  • Customer assistance for completion and filing of rebate application forms (if applicable).
  • Final design scope of engineering services includes platform shading analysis, preparation of electrical design and construction documentation.
  • Generation of project specific solar power system design specification.
  • Contract and bid evaluation methodology.

Day 3

Phase IIISolar Power System Integration Supervision

  • Study of engineering plans and documents
  • Material take-off
  • Preparation of shop drawing
  • Material and equipment procurement
  • Work force mobilization and site specific construction crew training
  • Construction and project coordination procedures
  • Site logistics, which include material storage, site office space, site assembly location, material handling, material transportation, equipment rental and environmental compliance procedures etc.
  • Establishment of occupational safety and health (OSHA) procedures
  • Project site preparation, which may include grading, solar power support structure foundation works, roof structural reinforcement, roofing material replacement etc.
  • Establishment of site maintenance and security procedures
  • Establishment of construction supervision procedures
  • Establishment of integration and test procedures
  • Establishment of test and commissioning test procedures

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815

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