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Solar Energy International (SEI) Refocuses Efforts on Clean Energy Workforce Development in Tucson, Arizona - March 4th

Posted by: chris
February 6, 2013

For many years, Solar Energy International (SEI) has been offering technical solar training for Tucson, Arizona residents and surrounding areas. Dozens of area renewable energy technicians and people working in the solar industry have gone through SEI's training program and are now some of the leading small business owners and leaders in the solar industry. On March 4th, SEI will be offering a week long training titled PV101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct).

Christopher Turek, Director of Online and Student Services for SEI pointed out, " SEI has been around before there was really even a formal industry of installers and manufactures. 20 years later, the industry has found legitimacy in the broader energy production sector and our educational organization has been there all along the way producing graduates who are ready for the technical demands found in solar energy.

There are now more than 120,000 people working in the solar industry and there is a growing focus on a highly trained workforce. We hope people check out the full 2013 SEI solar training schedule to find a workshop or lab opportunity that will help them with their career goals."

Jeff Spies, Vice President for Quick Mount PV, who lives in Chandler, Arizona explained how he chose his education through SEI, "After asking around and talking with other business owners in the solar industry, everyone I talked with told me to get my training from SEI. My education through SEI was a key to my success in the solar industry. They are always first on my list of training providers when I talk with people who are interested in entering this highly competitive industry."

The March 4th solar training will provide an overview of the three basic PV system applications, primarily focusing on grid-direct systems. The goal of the course is to create a fundamental understanding of the core concepts necessary to work with all PV systems, including: system components, site analysis, PV module criteria, mounting solutions, safety, and commissioning. The course will also cover the basics of sizing a residential grid-direct system, wire sizing, overcurrent protection, and grounding – all of which will be expanded upon in more advanced courses later on in the SEI training program.

Prerequisites: Before participating in the PV101 in-person workshop, students are required to complete the self-paced PV 101 PREP online component (included in price of PV101, you will automatically be enrolled in PV PREP Online at the time you register for PV101).

PV101 PREP:

This online component allows immediate access to start your solar education! Students receive access information shortly after registration for PV 101. PV 101 PREP enhances students’ learning experience and allows time to cover more information in the PV 101 course.

Students who complete the PV 101 PREP will be able to perform the following:

• Differentiate between various renewable energy sources and types of systems

• Perform power and energy calculations

• Perform a load analysis for a grid-direct system and evaluate utility bills and rate plans

• Implement electrical efficiency measures to reduce system size

The above objectives are covered in the mandatory PV101 PREP that must be completed before participating in a PV101 Solar Electric Design & Installation (Grid-Direct) workshop. PV101 PREP is an online, on-demand instructor-less course, which will require approximately 10-15 hours to complete and will help you be successful in our PV101 workshop.

Students who complete the PV101 workshop will be able to perform the following:

* Differentiate between various renewable energy sources and types of systems

* Perform power and energy calculations

* Evaluate utility bills and rate plans, perform a load analysis for a grid-direct system, and compare system production to energy consumption

* Describe energy efficiency measures that can be implemented to reduce electricity usage and PV system size

* Analyze different net metering rules, rebates, and incentives that affect the final cost of a PV system

* Diagram and list the features, applications, and components of the following PV system types: DC direct, stand-alone, grid-direct, and grid-tied with battery back-up

* Obtain and apply specifications for PV modules and determine their performance given various environmental and operating conditions

* Identify various types of digital multimeters and explain how to use them safely

* Diagram and determine the power, current, and voltage characteristics of PV modules in different series and parallel configurations

* Determine the magnetic declination, define azimuth and altitude angle and evaluate the shade potential for a given site

* Estimate energy production of a PV system based on location specifics including orientation and tilt angle

* List the pros and cons of different mounting systems (ground, pole, roof, and trackers) and determine the number of modules that can fit in a given roof space

* Given specific site criteria, evaluate what type of inverter is appropriate

* Decipher balance-of-system equipment specification sheets to determine the critical information needed for system design

* Design a residential grid-direct system including the array, inverter, circuit conductors, and overcurrent protection

* Define equipment grounding, system grounding, and components and conductors used for grounding

* Identify the following wires and components on schematics of residential grid-direct systems: disconnects, inverter, equipment grounding conductors, ungrounded conductors, grounded conductors, the grounding electrode(s), and the AC and DC system grounds

* Identify potential safety hazards and the proper personal protective equipment for working on grid-direct PV systems

* List the order of installation, commissioning, and decommissioning of a grid-direct PV system

About Solar Energy International

Solar Energy International (SEI) was founded in 1991 as a nonprofit educational organization to help others to use renewable energy resources and sustainable building technologies through education and technical assistance.

Our vision is focused on helping create a more sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants. Through our work, we see clear opportunities to influence people's thinking and behaviors towards energy efficiency and the use of natural, sustainable methods of energy production and utilization.

Solar Energy International is a 501(c)(3) Equal Opportunity Institution and Employer, and is not affiliated with any dealer, manufacturer, distributor, or any other renewable energy commercial enterprise.

Media contact for SEI is Christopher Turek, Director of Online and Student Services - chris(at)solarenergy(dot)org - 970-963-8855 x115 - http://www.solarenergy.org


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