Managing the Project

#SolarMOOC Newsletter March 06, 2012

If it’s Tuesday, then it is #SolarMOOC Blog Post Day!  Here is your introduction to the upcoming topic area for the next #SolarMOOC Webinar Managing the Project, including reading assignments, problem sets, and a preview of what’s ahead.

Thursday, March 8th, Jeff Gilbert, of Azimuth Solar Training, LLC, will be covering the 2nd Content Domain on the NABCEP PV Installer™ JTA, Project Management. Jeff has several years experience installing and managing solar PV installations. He has also been a solar trainer for the IEC and has his own video training products in development. This session should be informative, as well as interesting as Jeff brings a real world perspective to work and managing solar PV projects, large and small.

We do not expect that there will be that many questions on the exam pertaining to this topic as a subject area discipline, but, that said, because NABCEP values actual field experience to such an extent, Project Management will permeate the test in many ways underlying “situational” questions on all topics. And, because safety is so important, we believe that this is a good time to work in elements pertaining to best practices in organizing, managing, and overseeing the work environment.

 Reading Assignments:

If you haven’t already done so, begin by reading Topic Domain #2, “Managing the Project” from the NABCEP PV Installer™Resource Guide. After that, below are additional resources to key in on:

  • Working Safely with Photovoltaic Systems, Sandia Labs.  This resource is referenced in the NABCEP Resource list and for good reason. While it is somewhat dated, it is 14 pages packed with concise information, including section 5.0 which reviews what to do in the case of an injury on the job. Getting the proper “safety mindset” is crucial as NABCEP Exam questions tend to be “situational”, as opposed to conceptual. Note: Section 4.0 on the NEC code is based on the 2005 code. It does bridge safety to the code in a useful way, but beware as you read of trying to memorize things about the code from this reference. Use more updated materials pertaining to NEC for specific code requirements.
  • Solar Construction Safety from the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association. Review the table of contents and key in on the sections pertaining to safe worksite practices related to PV installations. Skip or ignore the elements about plumbing. This resource has great pictures and diagrams, along with some practice questions that are useful study materials.
  • Photovoltaic Systems, Jim Dunlop Text. This book does not have a chapter on Project Management or Safety, per se, however, there are several side bars and mentions of proper safety practices throughout the text. Use the list on this document to guide you through the book where these references can be found.


For the most part, we will be relying on the current version of the NABCEP PV Installer Resource Guide as a reference.  However, in the previous version of the NABCEP Study Guide there are some meaningful exercises in the back of the study guide that will help test your understanding of safety topics as they pertain to the PV installer activity.  Please answer problems 1-29 (resist the temptation to look at the answers in the back of the guide), and post your solutions in the Forum.

Good luck!!

Managing the Project


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