Are you an electrician, contractor, or career-changer looking to get started in the solar industry? This introductory Solar PV Installer Training Bootcamp teaches you to design, install, and sell solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. It also prepares you to pass the NABCEP Entry Level Exam.
The course includes Jim Dunlop’s comprehensive ‘Photovoltaic Systems’ text book, networking with classmates, personal attention from an experienced instructor, and a treasure trove of videos, resources, and practice quizzes. Students who complete the course earn 18 advanced NABCEP credits that can be applied toward the training requirements to sit for the NABCEP PV Installation Professional certification exam.
Graduates of this Solar PV Installer course are eligible to sit for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam at any Castle Worldwide testing location in the United States or Canada. (The $100 NABCEP Entry Level Exam fee is not included in the course price.)
Fundamentals Course for Solar Installers
We packed this course with detailed information that will enable you to begin designing and installing solar systems.
“Photovoltaic Systems” Text Book Included (Third Edition)
James Dunlop’s book, “Photovoltaic Systems” is a comprehensive reference guide to the installation of residential and commercial PV systems. It covers the principles of PV electricity and how to incorporate it into stand-alone or utility-connected electrical systems.
Exam Available Anytime In Hundreds of Cities in the United States and Canada
After you complete the Solar PV Installer course, you can schedule your exam by submitting a request and paying the $100 exam fee (which is not included in the course price). You can schedule your exam for whenever you feel adequately prepared and have a convenient time available. The exam can be taken at any Castle Worldwide testing location in the United States or Canada.
Self-Paced Online Course
This course is self-paced and entirely online. The lecture videos and other materials are available any time, and the instructor responds to student questions through a discussion board. In order to participate, you will need an Internet connection and an up-to-date web browser.
Supported by Student Advocate – Tom McCormack
In addition to instructor support via the discussion board, students have access to Tom McCormack, HeatSpring’s Student Advocate. He is available to answer general questions via email, discussion board, chat, or phone. (Spanish email support available upon request.)
Earn Continuing Education Credits
Approved for 18 Advanced NABCEP Certification Hours
94% Success Rate on the NABCEP Entry Level Exam
NABCEP has two exams. The first is the Entry Level Exam. It’s a difficult test, and the credential is recognized throughout the industry. In 2014, 94% of the students who took this course passed the Entry Level Exam.
About the Instructor:
Fred Paris – NABCEP & PV Business Training, Wind Sun Institute
Fred has been teaching NABCEP students since 2008. At Massasoit College Fred introduced the PV course, wrote the curriculum, and taught the first PV classes. As a Solar practitioner, Fred’s PV projects include high school, residential, commercial, and church projects. Systems include: roof-mount, ground-mount and pole-mounted PV systems – with and without equinox adjustment. As invited faculty, Fred supports Northeastern University – teaching the final Strategic Planning module for graduating MBA students. Fred holds AAS, BS, and MBA degrees, and he is still paying off his student loans.
Solar PV Installer Boot Camp Syllabus
When you complete the Solar PV Installer course, you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. In order to request a certificate, you first must complete all the assignments, earn a passing score on all of the quizzes. Once you’ve completed the course sign our honor code and request a certificate of completion.
Welcome – Orientation Materials
This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can complete the material whenever is convenient and work ahead or catch up if you fall behind. Expect to dedicate a minimum of 5 hours per week to the course. Keep in mind that the instructor will be there to answer your questions and help you learn for the duration of the course.
The instructor will only be available to answer questions during the posted session dates, so ask all your questions while we’re in session. You will have access to all of the online materials for a full year. Contact Tom McCormack, your Student Advocate, if you have questions before or after the posted session dates. Please review the orientation materials and introduce yourself on the discussion board.
Week 1 – Intro to Renewable & Efficiency Markets + Solar PV System Basics
The first lesson in the Solar PV Installer course starts with the history of PV and draws distinctions between Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency markets. We position Solar PV as the most promising and cost-effective solution when compared to wind, geothermal, and other emerging renewable technologies. We then move on to provide: 1) High level introduction to grid-tied and off-grid PV applications, and 2) Establish Electrical, Solar, and Mechanical as our three areas of study for the course.
Week 2 – Electrical Fundamentals + Solar Safety
This module introduces and defines critical terms and arithmetic methods for system design. Introduction to Voltage, Amperage, Resistance, and how we use Ohm’s law to design and engineer PV arrays. Turning our attention to safety, we’ll cover the safety lessons of NABCEP. This includes ladder safety, electrical safety, fall protection and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), the role of OSHA, and on-site construction safety.
Week 3 – The Solar Resource
This module introduces solar irradiance, air-mass index, orientation and tilt, and techniques for optimizing solar energy. We’ll cover site planning, magnetic declination, altitude, azimuth, Solar Pathfinder, and other tools. The assignments come from your textbook ‘Photovoltaic Systems’ as well as the CD-ROM included with the book.
Week 4 – PV Module Performance and Optimization
This module covers an introduction to the IV curve, temperature coefficients, series and parallel wiring. Once you get them down, these are simple concepts, over the years we’ve heard from past students that these concepts are tested repeatedly on the exam, so we really want to get them down.
Week 5 – Solar PV Components and Complete Systems
Beginning with a close-up look at each element of grid-tied and off-grid systems, including: modules, inverters, charge controllers, batteries and more, these elements are then configured into complete systems. We’ll also cover series and parallel wiring for batteries, and interaction between charge controllers and batteries.
Week 6 – Mounting Systems + Final Questions + Practice Exam
This lesson covers roof, ground, and pole-mounted systems and compares them for performance and cost. Tracking systems, seasonable adjustable, and fixed arrays are examined for performance and construction perspectives. We finish with NABCEP-like questions to review the lessons where you feel like you need additional help to master it.
Feedback and Additional Resources
In this supplemental module you’ll provide feedback on the course, request a certificate of completion, learn about additional resources, and connect on social media.