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Saturday, 3. December 2016
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| GESS II | Categories: Photovoltaic

Week II: Grid-connected and off-grid Photovoltaics

Green Energy Summer School

The second week of the RENAC’s Green Energy Summer School is a unique opportunity to learn more about photovoltaic (PV) and its applications. It covers all aspects of planning, installation, maintenance, quality management and monitoring of both grid-connected and off-grid PV systems. PV systems which are properly planned, installed and with an outstanding performance have a chance in solar markets of the future. Nevertheless, other aspects besides the plant design and installation are crucial to ensure their success. Therefore, non-technical issues related with the operation of PV systems (legal aspects, economics and financing) shall also be discussed. The course is structured in a way that participants with little or no technical experience can develop an understanding for PV technology so that they can assess PV projects from a technical perspective. The course covers planning, installation, maintenance, quality management and monitoring of grid-connected and stand-alone PV systems and includes a survey of potential applications. It combines theory with practical training in RENAC’s Training Center as well as plant visits.


Start date: 28.08.2017
End date: 01.09.2017
Location: Berlin, Germany
Registration Deadline: 07.08.2017
Seminar language: English
Seminar timetable:
Price: 1,500.00 EUR

Early bird price: 1,350.00 EUR
Valid until: 04.07.2017


  • Solar resource and PV systems: Peak sun hours, annual radiation, solar trajectory, angles, reliable data, basics of PV systems and components.
  • PV fundamentals: Solar cell principles, photovoltaic effect, physical processes in solar cell, electrical characteristics of a solar cell, different PV-technologies and their advantages (wafer-based versus thin-film), production of solar cells
  • PV cells and modules: From single cells to PV arrays (series/parallel connection), module variety and specifications, measurements and tests of PV modules, quality requirements, certificates and warranty
  • Electricity output and shading: Methods of optimizing, impact of shading, how to deal with shading, if unavoidable, site surveying – shading analysis (practical exercise)
  • Inverters and inverter-chargers: Inverter technologies & concepts, PV-inverter sizing, installation requirements, types of voltage converters, inverter power ratings, types and examples of inverters-chargers, inverter wiring
  • Further components of PV systems, mechanical mounting: Cable and wiring, electrical safety devices, wind and snow loads, mounting –module mounting methods, mount material, mounting structures for off-grid PV systems, wiring PV arrays, cables
  • Grid connected system design: Site surveying, checklist for roof and ground mounted systems, selection of components, system configuration with exercise, Choosing the place for inverter installation, cable sizing, choosing the DC isolator and decision on the combiner box
  • Electrical installation and grid-connection: Principles, electrical installation on the DC and AC side, connecting to the grid, technical regulations
  • Economic assessment of PV plants: Calculation of grid connected PV systems (with demonstration/exercise), project risks and their mitigation, economic viability of PV plants
  • PV off-grid components: Inverters, batteries, Lights & appliances, charge controllers types of voltage converters, inverter power ratings, types and examples of charge-controller, inverter wiring, battery principles, battery types, battery sizing, wiring, fuses / battery safety, configurations, lights efficacy, comparison of lights, efficiency, DC and AC appliances Charge controller functions and wiring
  • PV-off-grid system design and commisioning: Site surveys, system planning, system sizing
  • System design II and Economics of Off-grid PV systems: Using software to size and design systems and optimise output, using PVGIS demo, PVGIS practical, market analysis, developing a marketing strategy
  • Practical Training: Module characterization with multimeters and I,V curve tester, system assembly and wiring, system commissioning
  • Solar water pumping: Wiring diagram exercises, solar water pumping systems, wiring configuration exercises, solar Pathfinder / shade analysis  


The course is for participants to be able to:

  • carry out the essential steps for the planning, design and installation of a photovoltaic system
  • become familiar with the main aspects and key challenges of the technical implementation of these projects
  • know the components of a PV system, and be able to distinguish the different types of modules and inverters and also know their different connection methods.
  • do the initial design of systems using easily comprehensible software,
  • simulate the power generation costs of different technical variants and have an overview of different software programs.

Target group 

  • Engineers with limited technical knowledge on these technologies
  • Non-technicians, advisors and consultants, bank employees responsible for the finance of renewable energy, insurance company employees
  • Students starting their career in this field
  • Staff from government bodies and other public authorities responsible for renewable energy implementation


Lars Koerner, RENAC

Lars Koerner holds an engineering diploma in Environmental technology and renewable energy from the University of Applied Sciences, Berlin. He has gained several years of experience as project engineer and senior product manager for photovoltaic systems with SolarWorld AG where he also conducted worldwide trainings for staff and customers. He is an expert on decentralized solar hybrid mini-grids.

His experience in the area of solar energy spans further at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), Freiburg where he worked on a monitoring concept for village power supply systems in China and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Frank Jackson, RENAC

Frank Jackson has been involved in the solar energy industry since the early 1990s, running courses and seminars, and designing and installing systems. He has worked in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia. Besides training activities, he has designed and installed numerous photovoltaic systems. He also is involved in running courses for people entering the renewable energies industry. He is editor of the Earthscan Expert series, a new series of books designed to providing clear, practical information for people who want to work with environment



Accomodation RENAC is situated in the center of Berlin with a lot of Hostels/Hotels around it. RENAC will support you in finding a suitable accommodation, nevertheless the booking you have to make yourself.


The Renewable Energy Summer School takes place in RENAC’s Training Center. It is located in the heart of Berlin, at 5 minutes walking distance to the central place Alexanderplatz. Close by to the training premises at RENAC are plenty of boutiques, cafés, bars, museums, cinemas and other opportunities to enjoy the evenings or the week-end during the best season in Berlin.

Info Open Training (Face-to-face)

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