PV Design & Installation

SPV2000/SPV3000 Accelerated PV Design & Installation Workshops
(40 Contact Hours)

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The SPV2000/SPV3000 Accelerated PV Design & Installation Workshops implement a blended course model carefully designed to provide a solid foundation of knowledge coupled with advanced applied learning activities in a comprehensive conceptual and experiential learning format. This training intensive is designed for individuals seeking careers in the solar energy industry or who are interested in understanding what they need to be able to do to add solar PV-related services to their existing home and/or business.

As the market grows for Photovoltaics, individuals completing this training could find that their employment opportunities are enhanced by starting the job with an understanding of the basic terms and operational aspects of a PV system. These workshops are designed to give a strong understanding of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Installer TM Job Task Analysis (JTA). The details of each course in this bundle can be found below.

Successful completion of this workshop will qualify students to sit for the NABCEPTM Entry Level Exam and will provide 20 Advanced hours towards the NABCEPTM PV Installation Professional Exam.  

PV Design & InstallationSPV2000 SPPI Photovoltaic Systems Foundations Workshop
(20 Contact Hours)

Course Description:

The SolPowerPeople Photovoltaic (PV) Systems Foundations Workshop is an introductory course providing a thorough foundation of knowledge about solar energy technologies. Course content is based on the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Photovoltaic Entry Level Learning Objectives. Highlights include an overview of the history and development of various solar technologies, history and orientation current electric generation technologies and grid topographies, electricity basics, an introduction to earth-sun relationships and environmental factors that affect PV design and performance, PV systems and system components, PV system sizing, an introduction to PV system design, installation and maintenance, as well as working safely with PV systems. Completion of this course provides a sound foundation as to how and why PV systems are designed and work the way that they do in preparation for more advanced PV training.

SPV2000 Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe markets and applications for photovoltaic systems
  2. List the advantages and disadvantages of PV systems vs. other forms of electric generation
  3. Discuss the importance of conservation and energy efficiency and identify a basic energy efficiency elements of a residential structure
  4. Identify safety hazards of photovoltaic systems
  5. Identify safety practices and personal protective equipment used during photovoltaic system installation and maintenance
  6. Describe the history of electricity generation in the United States
  7. Compare and contrast the difference between centralized and distributed electricity generation topographies
  8. Define basic electrical terms and perform power and energy calculations
  9. Explain series/parallel connections and design simple PV arrays and battery banks
  10. Calculate simple circuit values
  11. Define fundamental solar energy terms and concepts
  12. Interpret and utilize NREL Solar Radiation Data Tables to perform PV system production estimates
  13. Describe and utilize latitude specific Sun Path charts to determine the relative position of the sun at various times of day at various times throughout the year.
  14. Identify and use appropriate site assessment tools, including shading analysis and initial production estimators such as NREL PVWATTS Versions 1 & 2
  15. Identify and describe the features and benefits of various PV module technologies
  16. Explain photovoltaic module specifications and calculate module efficiency
  17. Describe purpose, operation, features and benefits of photovoltaic system components for direct PV, grid-tied, off-grid bimodal and hybrid PV systems
  18. Perform a basic load analysis and calculate photovoltaic system sizing for off-grid PV systems
  19. Identify basic photovoltaic system electrical design principles and standards and predict system output projections based on expected environmental conditions
  20. Identify photovoltaic system mechanical design concepts

Student Knowledge and Experience Assumptions:

Class content and assignments assume that participants can apply basic math skills in arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and percentages) and high school algebra (solving basic equations and using formulas). Knowledge of the internet, problem-solving skills and ability to use a calculator is also helpful and recommended. No solar industry experience is assumed.

Class materials (included with course tuition at no additional charge):

Textbook: Solar Electric Handbook: 2nd Edition; Solar Energy International; Pearson, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-256-91816-5

Class Binder: SolPowerPeople, Inc. SPPI PV Systems Foundations Workshop Manual

USB Drive: 4GB USB drive pre-loaded with supplemental materials

What to bring with you to class:

Paper and pencils/pens, calculator, laptop computer if you have one.

Course Delivery:

This course provides in a variety of activities designed engage participants through interactive, collaborative learning experiences including hands-on labs, problem-solving exercises, interactive electronic quizzes, group and self-study assignments. Classroom instruction will consist of interactive lectures, class discussions, exercises, table-top experiments, PowerPoint presentations, Internet illustrations, and videos.

Evaluation:

The student’s successful completion will be determined by:

  1. Participation and completion of classroom and supplemental problem-solving activities
  2. Participation in electronic and written quizzes and exercises
  3. Overall Attendance for 20 contact hours

Certificate of Completion:

At the conclusion of the last day of the class, participants will be given a Certificate of Completion as verification of successful completion of all course requirements.

 

PV Design & InstallationSPV3000 SPPI Advanced Photovoltaic Systems Design & Installation Workshop
(20 Contact Hours)

Course Description:

The SolPowerPeople Photovoltaic (PV) Systems Design & Installation Workshop is an advanced course that builds on the SPV2000 PV Systems Foundations Workshop by immersing the participant in hands-on problems, calculations, individual and group labs designed to build the required knowledge and skills as described in the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Installer TM Job Task Analysis (JTA).

PV systems design coursework highlight include conducting a site survey and shading analysis, grid-tied PV systems sizing and system component selection, PV systems electrical design including evaluation of existing electrical equipment, conductor (wire), conduit, and over-current protection sizing, voltage drop calculations, PV system grounding, utility interconnection, and determining authority having jurisdiction restrictions. PV mechanical design coursework includes roof evaluation, selection of fasteners, and system layout.

PV systems installation coursework includes safety training, equipment inspection, and installation planning and best practices provided through in-class activities, instructor demonstrations, multimedia video presentations, and hands on labs that include three (3) instructor-led fully-functional PV system installations

SPV3000 Course Objectives:

  1. Conduct a thorough site survey including: roof evaluation/structural design, condition of roof surface, determination of roof tilt and azimuth orientation corrected for magnetic declination, and consideration of various live, dead and wind load tolerances; evaluation of existing electrical equipment location and determine appropriate installation location for PV balance of systems equipment (inverters, charge controllers, battery banks, etc.); calculation of required separation distance for tilted flat roof PV installations to avoid inter-­row shading
  2. Interpret and draw simple one-line diagrams, three-line diagrams, simple PV system plan sets for residential and small commercial PV systems
  3. Identify electrical definitions and terms as referenced in the 2011 NEC Articles 100, 690 and other applicable codes pertaining to PV systems installations
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and ability to interpret and apply key articles of the National Electric Code, Article 690, Solar Photovoltaic Systems
  5. Evaluate existing electrical equipment & determine appropriate interconnection method based on 2011 NEC Article 705, Interconnected Electric Power Production Sources
  6. Identify and prepare PV system labels for all electrical equipment in PV systems
  7. Identify, interpret and adhere to manufacturer’s specifications for equipment enclosure ratings, torque settings, working clearances, and design criteria including nameplate ratings for all PV systems equipment
  8. Properly select and size wire for use throughout the PV system as specified in the NEC Code, Article 300
  9. Identify and confirm codes and standards requirements for permitting, inspections, and other matters associated with approvals and code-compliance with local authorities having jurisdiction including local building codes and fire codes.
  10. Identify PV array mounting systems for rooftop, ground, pole-mounted, and building-integrated PV applications and compare and contrast various mechanical design options
  11. Identify desirable material properties for weather sealing materials, fasteners, enclosures, conduit and raceways, and other service ratings appropriate for the intended application,environment and conditions of use consistent with the operating life expectancies of PV systems.
  12. Calculate lag screw withdrawal loads, and work through wind load calculation formulas
  13. Perform PV system installation steps including but not limited to all aspects of assembling PV racking systems, attaching PV modules, attaching ground lugs and all other PV system grounding equipment, mounting and wiring PV electrical equipment, making PV and system wire connections, wiring and connecting charge controllers and energy storage systems
  14. Identify, describe, and use PV system performance measurement tools such as pyranometers, volt meters, ammeters, ohmmeters, and temperature sensors
  15. Performing all safety inspections including determining site hazard assessments, inspecting testing equipment, and inspecting hand and power tools
  16. Perform all commissioning steps including initiation of start-up procedures per manufacturer instructions, taking all performance measurements and comparing actual to expected system output, verifying that all equipment was properly installed according to applicable NEC codes and manufacturer’s specifications, and preparing all required system documentation

Student Knowledge and Experience Assumptions:

The prerequisite for this course is successful completion of the SolPowerPeople, Inc. SPV2000 SPPI PV Systems Foundations Workshop or verification of having achieved a passing score on the NABCEP Entry Level Exam. In addition, class content and assignments assume that participants can apply basic math skills in arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and percentages) and high school algebra (solving basic equations and using formulas). Knowledge of the internet, problem-solving skills and ability to use a calculator is also helpful and recommended. No solar industry experience is assumed.

Textbook: 

Required: Solar Electric Handbook: 2nd Edition; Solar Energy International; Pearson, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-256-91816-5

Recommended: Understanding the NEC Requirements for Solar Photovoltaic Systems, Mike Holt Enterprises, Inc., January 2011 or most recent printing, ISBN: 978-1-932685-54-1

Students are expected to bring the Solar Electric Handbook, 2nd Edition, Solar Energy International, 2013 textbook provided in the pre-requisite SPV2000 Workshop. If the student is attending the class qualifying by having achieved a passing score on the NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam and does not own this text they must obtain and bring their own copy of this textbook or will be required to purchase it from SPPI for an additional charge.

Binder: SolPowerPeople, Inc. Advanced PV Design & Installation Workshop Manual

USB Drive: Additional supplemental files for SPV3000 included on 4 GB USB Drive

What to bring with you to class:

Paper and pencils/pens, calculator, laptop computer if you have one.

Course Delivery:
This course provides in a variety of activities designed engage participants through interactive, collaborative learning experiences including hands-on labs, problem-solving exercises, interactive electronic quizzes, group and self-study assignments. Guided demonstration and direct use of equipment and tools of the solar trade such as multi-meters, irradiance meters, shade analysis tools, expose students first hand to actual field work performed during solar site assessments, PV installations, and system maintenance and performance analysis. Classroom instruction will consist of interactive lectures, class discussions, exercises, table-top experiments, PowerPoint presentations, Internet illustrations, and videos.

Evaluation:

The student’s successful completion will be determined by:

  1. Participation in lab and problem-solving activities and written exercises
  2. Participation in hands-on training labs and all individual and group assignments
  3. Participation in electronic and written quizzes and exercises
  4. Overall Attendance for 20 contact hours

Certificate of Completion:

At the conclusion of the last day of the class, participants will be given a Certificate of Completion as verification of successful completion of all course requirements.

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