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Mark Carsten - SEI Alumni Highlight

Posted by: chris
September 30, 2013
The "Eco-Experience" was voted " Best Attraction" at the Minnesota State Fair this year. MRES, the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society had solar electric and thermal exhibits. Other exhibits included wind power, electric vehicles, energy efficient lighting and appliances, green lifestyle and materials and personal and regional water management. 

As an MRES Volunteer, I spent 4 hours on different 5 days advocating for solar. People came wondering if solar was finally viable economically and technically? Many had a strong desire to live with solar power and had the gamut of questions. Some had a single question like "Can I pump water at my cabin with solar." 

I completed 5 SEI classes between March and  August and earned two SEI Professional Certificates, Residential & Commercial Photovoltaic Systems Certificate and Solar Business & Technical Sales Certificate. Usually taking two classes at once typically spent over 40 hours a week studying. I am extremely proud of the education I received with SEI. As an architect with 30 years of technical experience, I came to understand the fundamentals of electricity along with a lot about solar electric system design.

At the fair I quickly became confident in sharing about solar from starting with energy efficiency, to siting, sizing, installing and maintaining grid-direct, grid with battery back-up and battery based stand-alone systems. What I had to share SEI taught me. I helped and impressed a lot of folks, including me. Quite a few times fellow solar advocates at the exhibit brought folks to me to talk with. I occasionally stood beside local experienced solar designers and was very comfortable sharing with fair visitors. I look forward to designing and installing solar electric systems. I know I'm new in the industry and have a lot of experience to gain, but I am confident I'm off to a solid start. I had a great time at  the fair, at the Solar Lab in Paonia and in the online classes. Thank you!

Being new in the industry, I consider my SEI training my most valuable credentials. I feature them prominently in my marketing materials, including my 
LinkedIn pages. I told a lot of folks about SEI at the fair. A bit of a branded ware geek, I pointed to my SEI hat proudly.

As an architect, I will be creating energy efficient buildings with the Passive House principals. Residential, commercial and public buildings built to Passive House standards require only 10% of the heating and cooling energy that a traditionally constructed buildings requires. With energy efficient appliances and lighting these buildings will be within a solar electric panel system from becoming zero or net energy buildings. Buildings that create as much or more of the energy they need to operate.

I am very grateful for the training SEI gave me and the opportunity they give us all to create a sustainable built world. Thank you.
Mark Carsten Anderson, RA

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