SEI Team Member, Laura Walters, Travels to Uganda with We Care Solar
by Laura Walters, SEI PV Curriculum Developer
I just got back from a bit over two weeks in the southwest corner of Uganda working with We Care Solar, as a Solar Ambassador. We Care Solar partnered with Solar Energy International in fall of 2012 to train Solar Ambassadors from around the world to teach and install Solar Suitcase systems. This trip was part of a Grand Challenge grant for Saving Lives at Birth. About 150 Solar Suitcases will be installed in about 100 clinics in four districts of southwest Uganda. This was my first international trip with We Care, and my first time to Africa. It was absolutely incredible!
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SEI Launches Comprehensive Online Solar Training Schedule - March 10th
SEI's next online courses start March 10th and will be offering the following courses:
In Response to "Grid Defection"
SEI Offers More Battery Based Training
Distributed electricity generation, especially solar PV, is rapidly spreading and getting much cheaper. Distributed electricity storage is doing the same, thanks largely to mass production of batteries for electric vehicles. Solar power is already starting to erode some utilities’ sales and revenues.
This report demonstrates why SEI’s battery-based PV training is experiencing a major resurgence in recent years. In response to the growing need for battery based PV training, SEI is traveling to Hawaii this spring for a series of PV101 and PV203 workshops in order to help businesses who want to learn more about how to install grid-tied with battery-back up systems.
In addition, SEI is offering a series of battery-based PV classes in Paonia, Colorado this summer, including the popular PV301L: Solar Electric Lab Week (Battery-Based).
PV351L in Vegas - Solar O&M Baby!
Solar Energy International took its popular lab class, Tools and Techniques for PV System Operations and Maintenance, on the road, and was graciously hosted by the Electrical JATC of Southern Nevada. The weather was fantastic and the training facility top notch – perfect conditions for three days of theory and hands on with a variety of PV systems and tools.
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SEI Alumni Highlight: The Solar Snow Blower
by Dean Iandoli - President at Quabbin Solar - SEI Alumni
"Oh don't worry, it'll just slide off." That's what I heard over and over again as I was building my first solar farm in Massachusetts. I own two different 2MW solar generating facilities in central MA. They are both ground mounts with 2x portrait racks at a 30 degree angle. There is 24" from the leading edges of the arrays to the ground. "Wait, so you're telling me that snow is just going to slide off…I do't think so" was usually my response.
But over and over I was told to not worry…which didn't convince me. And my concerns were validated during the system's first winter 2012/2013. In Massachusetts we had what I would call a very average winter as far as snowfall went. And guess what, the snow didn't always just slide off. In fact I watched during the end of December and beginning of January how a compilation of snowstorms flatlined my production for 8 days straight. Screw that.
Read Dean Iandoli's Full Blog...
Attend the Free Whole Earth Summit
SEI Co-founder, Johnny Weiss, to present at FREE ONLINE CONFERENCE! 42 visionary leaders converging March 11-13. Come join and help build a resilient path forward. FREE ONLINE SUMMIT INFO: http://www.profcs.com/app/?af=1576532
February Has Been the Month for
by Jess Finnigan, SEI Workshop Coordinator
February has been the month of conferences! Already this month, SEI has attended Solar Middle East and Solar Power Colorado conference (hosted by CO Solar Energies Industries Association), and will be attending the International Roofing Expo, and MiaGreen Expo and Conference at the end of the month.
For the Workshop Coordinator, that means checklists. I live for checklists!
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- Instructor flights and hotel rooms booked—check
- Powerpoint slides formatted for notebooks and ordered—check
- Flyers printed—check
- New business cards designed and ordered—check
- NABCEP credits assigned and Records of completion printed—check
- Shipping crate dug out of the snow and packed—check
- Luggage bags packed and weighed and last minute books and flyers stuffed in—check
SEI Transfers Solar Rollers to Startup Nonprofit Energetics Education
SEI Alumni Highlight: Rebecca Offensend - Strategy Director, SunSaluter
The Solar Rollers program, in which high school teams design, build and race sophisticated solar-powered remote control cars, is transferring from Solar Energy International to Energetics Education, a startup non-profit based in Carbondale. The program is the only one of its kind in the US and was successfully trialed in 2013 with four teams from the Roaring Fork Valley. Solar Rollers recently won the Excellence in Secondary Education award from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education.
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by Rebecca Offensend - SunSaluter - SEI Alumna
At this time last year, I knew nothing about solar energy. But 9 months ago, I was brought on as the Strategy Director for SunSaluter, a social enterprise tackling solar energy efficiency and clean water. The SunSaluter product is a solar tracker designed for the developing world that uses the power of gravity and water to rotate solar panels and increase efficiency, helping users get more energy from their panels.
When I started my job, I was nervous that my lack of knowledge about solar energy would hinder my ability to fulfill the organizational mission of spreading clean water and energy as far and as wide as possible. I didn't want to let the organization down, so I knew I needed to learn more about solar.
Soon after I started, I met Kathy from Solar Energy International, and she extended an invitation to Solar PV 101 to get me up to speed on the basics of solar energy. It was an incredible experience. Because the lectures are online, I could watch anytime I wanted, which was hugely helpful when trying to balance early morning calls with partners in India and attending conferences and networking events here in San Francisco at night. The forums were helpful for answering questions, and the instructors really cared about my learning.
Read Rebecca Offensend's Full Blog...
2014 Solar Professionals Certificate Program Candidate Selection
The SEI Student Services Team is reviewing candidate applications for 2014 Solar Professionals Certificate Program (SPCP) - Apply Today!
Applicants should apply as soon as possible in order for SEI Student Services advisors to schedule a training advising session before the next round of prerequisite courses.