The National Electrical Code (NEC) has made some changes as well as added a few articles to the 2017 NEC. If you are in the electrical field, it is a good idea to keep up with the changes that the NEC makes every three years. Here we have listed the scopes of the five new articles that were added to the 2017 NEC.
Article 425 – Fixed Resistance and Electrode Industrial Process Heating Equipment
This covers fixed industrial process heating employing electric resistance or electrode heating technology. Heating equipment include boilers, electric boilers, duct heaters, strip heaters, immersion heaters, process air heaters, or other approved fixed electric equipment used for industrial process heating. This does not apply to heating and room air conditioning for personnel spaces covered by Article 424, fixed heating equipment for pipelines and vessels covered by Article 427, induction and dielectric heating equipment covered by Article 665, and industrial furnaces incorporating silicon carbide, molybdenum, or graphite process heating elements.
Article 691 – Large-Scale Photovoltaic (PV) Electric Power Production Facility
This covers installation of large-scale PV electric power production facilities with a generating capacity of 5000 kilowatts (kW) or more, and not under exclusive utility control. This differs from Article 690 in that these generating stations are not supplying a premises wiring system because of their magnitude. The power generated by a large-scale PV electric supply station is solely for supplying power to an electric utility transmission or distribution system at medium or transmission-level voltages.
Article 706 – Energy Storage Systems (ESS)
This applies to all permanently installed ESS operating at over 50 volts ac or 60 volts dc that may be stand-alone or interactive with other electric power production sources. ESS is one or more components assembled together capable of storing energy for use at a future time. These include batteries, capacitors, and kinetic energy devices (e.g., flywheels and compressed air) and may include inverters or converters.
Article 710 – Stand-Alone Systems
This covers electric power production sources operating in standalone mode. This system is not tied to the grid. It does not have a service or feeder connection. Lastly, it’s completely independent of a utility source. Utility sources include photovoltaic source, wind power source, hydro, fuel cell, or fossil-fuel powered engine generator. All equipment required to be listed or field labeled for intended use.
Article 712 – Direct Current Microgrids
This applies to direct current (dc) microgrids. DC power sources include photovoltaic, AC-DC converters (rectifiers), bidirectional DC-AC inverters/converters, wind turbines, ESSs, and fuel cells. These sources supply power directly into a distribution system to supply DC utilization equipment. Renewable energy sources become more efficient when dc migrogrids eliminate power conversion.
Want to learn more about the 2017 NEC? You can get a copy of the 2017 NEC at the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) website. They also offer free online access to the 2017 NEC to conveniently review codes and standards.