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Solar Energy International's Colorado Winter Wonderland

Posted by: chris
January 17, 2013

Winter is in full swing in Colorado at our PV lab facility and office. There is a deep layer of snow coating lab roof tops and modules. One of the great things about Colorado in the winter is once the sun comes out everything turns into magic, with the flat surface of every snow flake catching the sun, turning our lab facility into a winter wonderland of glittering diamonds. Staff has been busy keeping the arrays clear of snow for some fantastic cold weather energy output, as well as preparing for the upcoming summer labs.


Upgrades to the labs start with our PV 351L class, which is being expanded to five days from the former four-day format. This is our highest level lab class geared toward industry professionals. This lab has a heavy emphasis on system commissioning and troubleshooting tools and techniques. With the expansion of this lab we are able to spend even more time in the field experimenting with tools such as the IV curve tracer, insulation resistance tester (megger), thermal camera, and other high level system commissioning meters and tools. The highlight of this lab culminates with a day of troubleshooting common errors on live PV systems utilizing the meters, tools, and methods you learn throughout the week. This lab has a limited number of slots open to keep the student to tool (and instructor) ratio low This allows students more time with their hands on the tools, so contact SEI today to get enrolled in one of the two that we have on the schedule this summer. June 3rd is the start date of our first PV 351L class in 2013; to learn more about registering for this class click here: PV 351L


The Grid-Direct lab (PV 201L) is going to see improvements including upgrades to the “ballast mount” lab station and the Enphase micro-inverter lab station. This lab features an intense amount of hands on installation experience with a multitude of grid-tied equipment including a variety of inverters, modules, and mounting systems. Participants will fully install, test and commission three different PV systems during this week long workshop, gaining experience on the latest equipment available in the industry. Get your hands-on experience starting May 6th; to register click here: PV 201L

In 2013, our Battery-Based lab (PV 301L) will integrate the new Outback Radian stand-alone inverter package, in addition to our existing lab stations including Sunny Island, Magnum, and Xantrex equipment. The focus of this workshop is on the balance of system equipment including inverters, charge controllers, batteries, power centers, and combiner boxes. The class includes assembling and wiring components for off-grid applications. Workshops start April 29th; click here to register: PV 301L

If you are able to make it out to Colorado before the summer lab season begins, bring your skis and stop by and say “hello” on your way to the mountain. There are seven mountains to choose from within roughly 2 hours of our campus, including Telluride, Aspen-Snowmass (four mountains), Sunlight Mountain, and Powderhorn. Drive a little further and there are many more. Tawnya Parker Workshop Coordinator

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