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PV Instructors Gather in Paonia for SEI's Fifth Annual Training Event

Posted by: april
March 19, 2012
Solar Energy International Renewable Energy Education Program Team LeaderBy Kathy Swartz, Solar Energy International Renewable Energy Training Director

Last week was one of my favorite weeks of the year. Solar Energy International hosted more than 34 of our PV instructors and staff as we came together in Paonia, Colorado, for three incredible days for our Fifth Annual PV Instructor Training. Solar Energy International gathered our passionate instructors into one room to discuss technical issues and share expertise. It's hard to imagine a bigger PV brain trust gathered together - not because they had to be, but because they wanted to be.Solar Energy International PV Instructor Training

The training began with Bill Brooks, who is always a favorite with the group. We spent a day discussing 2011 National Electric Coded changes as well as what's proposed for 2014. SEI also brought in Steve Szczecinski from Erico who is a specialist in grounding, and surge and lightning protection. Throughout the training, our instructors shared their expertise through focused sessions on a variety of topics, including:

  • Home Performance - Building, Whole House Audit, Energy Pros with Analysis (Gary Handelin)
  • Solar and Batteries in the Developing World (Carol Weis & Brad Burkhartzmeyer)
  • Tools, Tips and Techniques (Ken Gardner)
  • Residual Current Monitoring (David DelVecchio)
  • PV System Design Software (Brian Mehalic)
  • Weather Data Sets for System Design (Rebekah Hren)
  • AC Coupled Battery Based PV Systems (Zeke Yewdall)
  • Chinese Module Trade Dispute (Liz Merry)
  • Innovative Solar Cooker Design and LED lighting (Ed Eaton)

We spent a sunny afternoon at our Paonia-based PV Lab Facility using and discussing a variety of specialized tools including: ground resistance meters, IV curve tracers, and the new Seaward solar meter-some of the tools that we'll be using in our NEW PV351L: Tools and Techniques for Operation and Maintenance Lab Week.

And did I mention the food? We are so grateful for all the wonderful restaurants that catered throughout the week. We are lucky that Paonia is located in an incredible valley that's full of exceptional locally grown food. Though the training went from 9-5 each day, the discussions and camaraderie extended well into the nights (and sometimes early mornings.) The nights went late and the mornings started early and yet our instructors were as enthusiastic and passionate as ever. They really are an incredible group.

Thank you SEI instructors-we couldn't do this without you!

Learn more about SEI instructors here.


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