Enter Notebooks
Learning Tools
Learning tools designed for LineLoad

Learn how to build a hypothetical system.

Design a system for an imaginary location, such as the Cosby residence, or the Sandler home, to determine if your calculations are accurate first. Once you have established that your methods are correct, move on and design a system for your own home or business.

Steps include:

1. Determine the total area available
2. That establishes the number of panels you can fit
3. Determine the wattage of the panels total
4. That decides the inverter
5. Determine your orientation and shading factors
6. That determines your annual production
7. Analyze the existing bill
8. That will determine the amount of money you will save.

Learn everything from payback calculations, to wire sizing. Learn how to establish how much backfeeding you can do onto a service panel using the official NEC formulas. Depending on how into it you want to go, you can even learn how to derate for ampacity based on distance of the wires to the roof (yes, there's a factor for that!)

All of the factors are mentioned in the LineLoad kit. It's the best way to learn how to build a PV system, and it's meant to be played as a board game.

Information is reinforced with a series of different [notecards]. Some of the topics on these include:

- Orientation derating % numbers (NREL data)
- What is Amperage / Voltage (visual guide)
- Panel Layout Wiring Game

The note cards are useful and come in handy when trying to complete the game. They cross-reference eachother and cover all of the major concepts of photovolatics, even the more obscure points:

- Why is air mass thicker at an angle?
- Where does the system experience loss?
- What is magnetic declination?

And many other points of information which are part of a day's work for a solar professional.

LineLoad by Ian Applegate | Make Your Own Book


Workshop exercises within it for classrooms to perform. Teaches many of the important things needed for homeowners and electricians to know. Helpful colorful illustrations reinforce the content found with the rest of the kit. Hardcover or softcover available. How do the wires make it up to the roof?

Solar Pathfinder

Also a learning tool for the class

Students (and homeowners) can find out how a solar installer determines what the shading on an array will be over the course of a year, using this neat tool. It was designed by farmers and it's called a Pathfinder. It uses data from the sun to determine annual production.

The information is then entered into a chart, such as this. The chart establishes the amount of sun the array will receive, so that you can scientifically estimate your annual production.

This course teaches how those calculations are made, and it shows you how to perform them yourself using some provided tools and the online resources available.



These are kind of low-budget at the moment, but I'm trying to produce some entertaining cartoons with the LineLoad Curriculum which gets kids motivated with Lego Spacemen.

How else would you expect kids would want to learn?

Recently been developing my stopmotion film techniques. I even won a film contest for it. These sequences could be played in a classroom to enhance the experience of teaching about solar by having kids watch the Lego Spacemen perform the calculations.


Actual Systems I Built