Solar Energy International PV101 Training

**THE CLASS IS CURRENTLY FULL. If you are still interested in attending, you can add your name to the waitlist here**

This course is an introductory-level training for those interested in becoming solar photovoltaic installers. The goal of the course is to create a fundamental understanding of the core concepts necessary to work with all solar PV systems, including system components, site analysis, PV module criteria, mounting solutions, safety, and commissioning. Read more about the curriculum below.

This training is offered by the Montana Renewable Energy Association in partnership with Solar Energy International, and is sponsored by the NorthWestern Energy USB Program. Read about the instructors below.

Space is limited to 25 participants.

When: February 13-17, 2017. 9:00 am – 5:00 pm each day, with one half-day of system tours included. (Additional online course to follow at no cost; see below*)

Where: Weatherization Training Center, 705 Osterman Drive, Bozeman

Cost: $50 for MREA members, $75 for non-members. Registration fees are non-refundable.

*Students who complete this weeklong course will have the option of registering (at no additional cost) for a 6-week online course on Battery-Based PV System Fundamentals, also from Solar Energy International, which will be held February 27 through April 9. Students who complete both the in-person and online courses will be eligible to take the NABCEP Associates Entry Level Exam.

To register for the course, fill out the registration form and complete payment below. Your registration is not complete until your payment has been confirmed.

**THE CLASS IS CURRENTLY FULL. If you are still interested in attending, you can add your name to the waitlist here**

About the instructors: 

Jay Pozner: The pursuit of independence ultimately led Jay to the field of Renewables. Coming from a career as a mountain guide and educator, it only felt right to understand the world away from the grid. A workshop with SEI laid the foundation, and from there things just fell into place. Eventually, partnered with his wife Lena, they founded Nunatak Alternative Energy Solutions based in the Elk Mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado. Specializing in remote off-grid system installation and design, the mountain environment taught them many lessons in dealing with harsh environments. The challenge and creative problem solving involved in design and implementation of these systems has made a passion out of a career. Being a contract workshop instructor for SEI since 2006 has allowed Jay to dovetail his time as an educator with practical real-world experience. Time off is spent outside: hunting, skiing, running rivers, or just letting his daughter teach him a thing or two about the world.

Laura Conchelos: Laura is a Canadian transplant who found her way to SEI through New Hampshire, Antarctica and New Mexico. Needing a break from doing construction for the United States Antarctic Program and being interested in renewable energy, a coworker introduced her to SEI. Since taking their classes, she has worked as an installer for a large solar company in Santa Fe, New Mexico and recently moved to the San Luis Valley of Colorado where she enjoys the fishing, hiking and skiing. She also loves installing grid-tied and off grid systems with SGS Renewables in Monte Vista, Colorado! Laura is a NABCEP certified PV installer.

Curriculum Details: 

Students who complete the PV101 workshop will be able to perform the following:

  • Differentiate between various renewable energy sources and types of systems
  • Perform power and energy calculations
  • Evaluate utility bills and rate plans, perform a load analysis for a grid-direct system, and compare system production to energy consumption
  • Describe energy efficiency measures that can be implemented to reduce electricity usage and PV system size
  • Analyze different net metering rules, rebates, and incentives that affect the final cost of a PV system
  • Diagram and list the features, applications, and components of the following PV system types:  DC direct, stand-alone, grid-direct, and grid-tied with battery back-up
  • Obtain and apply specifications for PV modules and determine their performance given various environmental and operating conditions
  • Identify various types of digital multimeters and explain how to use them safely
  • Diagram and determine the power, current, and voltage characteristics of PV modules in different series and parallel configurations
  • Determine the magnetic declination, define azimuth and altitude angle and evaluate the shade potential for a given site
  • Estimate energy production of a PV system based on location specifics including orientation and tilt angle
  • List the pros and cons of different mounting systems (ground, pole, roof, and trackers) and determine the number of modules that can fit in a given roof space
  • Given specific site criteria, evaluate what type of inverter is appropriate
  • Decipher balance-of-system equipment specification sheets to determine the critical information needed for system design
  • Design a residential grid-direct system including the array, inverter, circuit conductors, and overcurrent protection
  • Define equipment grounding, system grounding, and components and conductors used for grounding
  • Identify the following wires and components on schematics of residential grid-direct systems: disconnects, inverter, equipment grounding conductors, ungrounded conductors, grounded conductors, the grounding electrode(s), and the AC and DC system grounds
  • Identify potential safety hazards and the proper personal protective equipment for working on grid-direct PV systems
  • List the order of installation, commissioning, and decommissioning of a grid-direct PV system