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Battery-based Solar Training Gets Personal

Posted by: april
May 9, 2012

Solar Energy International Renewable Energy Education Program Team LeaderBy Kathy Swartz, Renewable Energy Training Director

PAONIA, Colorado — Batteries. They are not often talked about in the PV industry that is so dominated by grid-tied, battery-less PV systems. Battery-systems are complicated. Messy. Perplexing.

But yet, these systems have the power to change lives, create independence from the grid, expand businesses, and challenge installers who are bored with grid-tied systems.

This week kicked off Solar Energy International's first PV301L: Solar Electric Lab Week (Battery-Based) solar training at our state-of-the-art PV Lab Facility in Paonia, Colorado. The students who come to SEI are ordinary people with extraordinary stories. And the students taking this week's Battery-based Lab Week are no exception.

Solar Energy International PV Lab FacilityThis is a hard-core group. They had to take at least 80 hours of training in order to get into this class, and most of them are well past this. They came to Paonia from six states and three countries.

Imagine how a battery-based PV system can change lives.

Chima is a senior installer at a major East Coast installation company. He only installs grid-tied systems, but yet, he came to this hands-on workshop because he's originally from Nigeria and wants to take this technology back to his home country. Khodor is a university professor from Edinburgh, UK. Originally from Lebanon, his goal it to install a system on his parents' home. In the land of frequent power outages, everyone has a generator and diesel is expensive, yet solar is a viable solution. Then there's Michael, a recent college graduate who will soon receive his Peace Corps assignment. His goal is to incorporate renewable energy into whatever community he will soon be living and working in.

Imagine how this class can expand your business into another realm of energy independence.

Chris and Lisa are both electricians who want to incorporate PV into their individual businesses in Colorado and New Mexico. And there's Doug, an architect of tiny, 200 square-foot strawbale homes. His goal is to design homes with stand-alone PV systems.

Solar Energy International PV Lab FacilityWe often meet existing installers who have mainly worked on grid-tied systems but yet there's enough demand to make them want to expand into off-grid systems. Like Colorado-based installers Steve and Mac, and Anthony from Texas. They come for the challenge and are proving themselves worthy.

Imagine where your solar journey may take you.

Plus, there's Mike, Daniel, and Chuck who are exploring career options and taking solar classes as a way to gain knowledge and to see where it may lead them.

Each week, we have the privilege of meeting and getting to know YOU, our alumni.

Your stories inspire us to continue to create the most up-to-date, industry-supported PV training program. We don't cut corners when it comes to training because there's too much at stake — in the lives you are improving, the businesses you are expanding, and your impact to the world.

For more information on Solar Energy International's PV training program click here.

*Many thanks to Jay Peltz of Peltz Power and Darren Emmons from Outback Power for teaching this week's PV301L.


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