The NABCEP Solar PV Installer Exam is one that will leave you a bit confused- it is full of seemingly over-simplified questions that you should not jump to conclusions on, and questions brimming with extra data that may confuse the real question at hand. What this means is that in order be successful on the Exam you will need a NABCEP study guide that is an adequate resource on topics covered in the NABCEP PV Installer Job Task Analysis.
Fortunately, NABCEP, through the work of Jim Dunlop and Bill Brooks, have put forth just such a resource. Launched late in 2011, the NABCEP PV Installer Resource Guide is an invaluable tool for anyone taking on this very difficult test. And as of December of 2011, the Resource Guide has included as part of the appendix a long list of secondary resources that were a result of a technical committee commissioned to identify resources beyond those originally listed by NABCEP. Many of those resources are web-based publicly available articles from sources like SolarPro Magazine and Home Power Magazine.
Unfortunately, the functionality of the document is somewhat hindered by the fact that these web-based resources are not hyperlinked to the their locations on the World Wide Web. This means that you must manually search for each of the articles to get to them.
SolPowerPeople through a partnership with MyIdeaTree.com has worked to take these linkable resources and put them into a web-based treemap where one can drill down by topic and criticality (Critical, Important, & Useful) and link to the resource needed and have the article launch in a separate window. A treemap is a data visualization tooI that illustrates the relationships between objects. Through this device it creates a visual index of the linkable resources on the web.
By clicking on a topic of the JTA, you will be magically swept to a map of underlying topics and relative articles that have been sought out for you. Clicking on the JTA specified topic resource will then provide a downloadable document or website that will ultimately offer a deeper explanation of the topic.
A secondary benefit of such a tool is that because many of the articles are referenced multiple times by various subtopics within a topic domain, it gives the user some guidance as to which articles should get priority for study, due to the fact they have relevance to more subtopics of the domain.
The MyIdeaTree.com article resource page will be available next week on the SolPowerPeople website- providing instant links to resources that are great additions to any NABCEP Study Guide. New links will be added as they are released and discovered, and the MyIdeaTree map will continue to grow- providing an invaluable resource database for amateurs and pros alike.