1. Introduction

This is a program that helps one design an NEC compliant photovoltaic and wind energy system.

My domestead in the mountains of Colorado south of Rocky Mountain National Park.

1.1. What is GnuAE ?

GnuAE is a GNOME/GTK compliant GUI for designing photovoltaic and wind powered houses with compliance to the National Electrical Code. This is important, because you'll need to met the code for everything if you get permits, and if you decide you aren't getting permits, or don't need one, then you still don't want to burn your house down because the ampacity was all wrong, or the voltage drop is so huge, you barely get any power from your array. Paying attention to the NEC code, if if you don't plan to follow it 100% is important.

From personal experience, you want to wire to code. Although welding cable makes perfectly fine replacement for the big gauge wire the NEC specifies, the same calculations apply. My own experience was with my fixer upper geodesic domes. Then non-NEC compliant wiring led to the inverter blowing out a short time after I bought the house due to poor electrical isolation. (the generator shorted out, and took the inverter with it) Then we had no AC power till I replaced the inverter... (and then later redesigned and rebuilt everything, which is what spawned GnuAE)

GnuAE is designed to make it much easier to wire for NEC code compliance without studying all 800 some pages of the NEC specification. Even for an electrician, the interdependencies between calculations is daunting. While DC wiring is much simpler than AC wiring, most household systems are both.

GnuAE currently only runs on Linux, although some attention has been paid to eventual ports to MacOSX and M$ WinDoze. This is the initial beta release, so your mileage may vary... I'm sorry I'm not a GUI programmer, I'm more of a system hacker. Please contribute to the development of this project by helping track down bugs, or add features.

I hope the information contained in this document, along with GnuAE helps you go off grid, or improve your off-grid life.