Power Controls & NEC 2023 | Using code to surpass the 120% rule and avoid MPU

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Recent updates in the National Electric Code have positioned the power control system (PCS) as a central component of home energy management and solar + storage integration. Two valuable PCS selling points include avoiding main panel upgrades (MPU) and surpassing the 120% rule.

In Power Controls & NEC 2023, a special report from Solar Builder and FranklinWH, we explain the origin of PCS in code, the application of PCS in solar + storage system design — and how it impacts your installation business.

“Home electrification will likely drive the need for a larger utility service in the home,” says Douglas Amarhanow, Product Manager with FranklinWH. “Upgrading the utility service for the home is an expensive and complex procedure, which earns electricians revenue but is one they do not enjoy. PCS may be used on the existing service and maintain safety in the home while each electrical appliance is used.”

Inside Power Controls & NEC 2023

  • The definition of PCS in NEC 2020 & 2023.
  • How PCS allows you to surpass the 120% rule.
  • Why AC-coupled ESS is crucial for PCS.
  • The role of intelligent circuits in avoiding MPU (main panel upgrades).

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Excerpts From Report

Changes in NEC 2023

NEC 2023 Power Controls

Avoiding MPU

Main Panel Upgrade (MPU) avoidance is a strategy employed to circumvent the need for upgrading a home’s electrical panel when installing new, high demand appliances. Upgrading a main panel can be costly and time consuming, often requiring significant modifications to the existing electrical infrastructure.

A PCS is an effective method for MPU avoidance by becoming the central panel for managing varied power sources while the main panel remains the interface to the utility grid.

For instance, a PCS can monitor real-time power consumption and dynamically adjust the load distribution to ensure the main panel is not overloaded. During peak usage periods, the PCS can prioritize essential loads and temporarily reduce power to non-critical appliances, thus keeping the total load within safe limits.

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