NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC), 2017 Edition
Major additions reflect the continuing growth in renewable power technology. The newest NEC addresses the advancement of privately owned wind and solar power generation and distribution equipment -- including coverage of higher voltage systems that were once only the utilities' domain. The new consumer role is a major factor in energy decentralization, and expanded NEC coverage is vital for designers, engineers, contractors, and AHJs.
- Large-Scale Photovoltaic (PV) Electric Supply Stations (New Article 691) covers systems that produce at least 5 megawatts (MW) of power, or enough to power 800+ U.S. homes.
- Energy Storage Systems (New Article 706) governs ESS installation, disconnection, shutdown, and safety labeling.
- Stand-Alone Systems (New Article 710) covers power production sources that are not connected to the grid, including PV and wind-powered systems.
- Direct Current Microgrids (New Article 712) concerns independent energy distribution networks that allow the utilization of power from dc sources to direct-current loads. Microgrids are on the rise worldwide.
Other NEC revisions protect the public and workers from deadly hazards. New labeling, such as detailed arc flash hazard warning on equipment, helps workers and supervisors assess electrical risks.
- New minimum space clearances for equipment installation clarify the safeguards needed to protect installers and maintainers.
- Fixed Resistance and Electrode Industrial Process Heating Equipment (New Article 425) presents needed regulations for industry.
- Revised provisions for AFCI and GFCI protection improve electrical and fire safety in homes.