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The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) has published IAPMO IS 34 (Installation Standards for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Energy Storage Systems), as the result of a memorandum of understanding between IAPMO, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) – Los Angeles County Chapter.
The provisions contained within the standard will also be incorporated as an appendix in the 2021 Uniform Solar, Hydronics and Geothermal Code (USHGC). The 2021 USHGC is scheduled to be published in early 2021.
IAPMO IS 34 addresses the most relevant and comprehensive provisional language for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage systems. It contains enforceable installation provisions, plan details, electrical requirements and calculations, marking and labeling, and product safety standards for such solar PV installations in residential applications as roof-mounted panels and ground-mounted arrays. The standard further includes annexes for additional information pertaining to size and optimization of solar PV with energy storage systems (PV-ESS), best practices for electrical work safety, smart solar monitoring technology, and sample site plans for various residential PV and solar PV with battery energy storage system (PV-BESS).
IAPMO IS 34 provides vital information necessary for the design, construction, and installation of PV systems to meet code compliance requirements; pave the road for Zero Net Energy (NZE) residential and non-residential buildings and on-site battery storage systems; and help save both time and money for owners, engineers, architects, contractors, manufacturers and utilities.
This comprehensive document serves as the first illustrative manual of its kind in the nation and was generated by a committee of experts in the installation and inspection of solar PV systems, including: LADWP, NECA, Aztec Solar, Sunrun, CSULA, SunEarth, Inc., Sound Geothermal, Donald Dickerson Associates, ASHRAE, and Southern California Pipe Trades Council.
"This standard allows the above trades and manufacturers to further accelerate the market transformation of renewable energy and at the same time educate the stakeholders at a very simple, non-technical language, which was not previously available to homeowners, business owners, designers, architects, engineers, installers and enforcing agencies throughout the country. Hopefully, through further collaborations we can narrow the gap toward achieving our NZE goals, as well as reducing the greenhouse gas emissions in the near future. Needless to say, this can provide more green jobs in the arena of emerging technologies and green building initiatives for all concerned trades," Efficiency Solutions Engineering and DWP La Kretz Labs Sustainability and Economic Development – Efficiency Solutions Manager Amir Tabakh said.
Jim Willson, manager for NECA-LA, added that NECA – Los Angeles County is proud to be a part of the informative and professional manual along with IAPMO and LADWP. “Our NECA/IBEW Electrical Training Institute in Commerce, Calif., is not only the largest electrical training center in North America, it is a Net Zero facility. This manual will be a foundational document to build upon as the nation accelerates the adoption of more NZE buildings and decarbonization,” he said.
Hugo Aguilar, IAPMO's senior vice president of codes and standards said that IAPMO is delighted to be part of the effort and pave the road to Net Zero Energy. “I would like to thank the committee members, LADWP and NECA for taking part in the development of this installation standard. It is an example of how the industry can come together to protect our natural resources and to address environmental concerns. This comprehensive document addresses the latest advancements, such as smart solar monitoring technology, and contains enforceable provisions that authorities having jurisdiction can utilized for the safe installation of PV systems,” he added.
Founded in 1926, IAPMO seeks to be a worldwide leader in the plumbing and mechanical industry through protecting health and safety. IAPMO develops industry standards with a focus on innovative plumbing products, solar heating systems and components, mechanical products (including heating, ventilation, cooling and refrigeration system products) and products used in the recreational vehicle and the manufactured housing industry.
A copy of IAPMO IS 34 can be purchased through the IAPMO Online Store.