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Textbooks & Curriculum Licensing Program
Solar Energy International is the leader in developing industry aligned textbooks and curriculum. From our leading textbooks to classroom presentations, assessments, and exercises, SEI's learning material is the leading curriculum in the industry.
Since 2003, SEI has published industry-leading textbooks that set the standard for renewable energy training programs all over the U.S. and internationally. These textbooks include introductory topics for people just entering the field, as well as highly technical topics for solar professionals:
- Introduction to Renewable Energy
iPad / iBooks Format - Click here to purchase on iTunes
- Solar Electric Handbook: Photovoltaic Fundamentals and Applications (2013)
Print and eBook Format. Includes full color, high resolution photos of real-world PV applications, informational graphs, and interviews with professionals throughout the industry. Click here to purchase.
- Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual (2007). Available in English, Spanish and Simplified Chinese. Click here to purchase
- Fotovoltaica: Manual de diseno e instalacion (2007). Click here to purchase.
Curriculum Licensing Program
Solar Energy International's Curriculum Licensing Program is a key way for training institutions to avoid reinventing the wheel when developing their own programs. We provide a fully-developed, fully-packaged training curriculum.
Founded in 1991, SEI's mission is to provide industry-leading technical training and expertise to empower people, communities and businesses worldwide.
- Our PV curriculum was one of the first in the United States to be accredited by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).
- Our curriculum is updated twice a year in order to stay current with the rapidly changing PV industry. We have a full staff committed to keeping our curriculum current and in aligned with industry.
- Our textbook, Solar Electric Handbook: Photovoltaics and Applications and Photovoltaic Design and Installation Manual is used in colleges and training programs around the world and is available in English and Spanish.
- We have 18 instructors who are ISPQ Certified Trainers and 24 instructors who are NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installers - more than any other solar training organization. These instructors, who are actively working in the field, constantly give us feedback to continually improve our curriculum.
- SEI was selected to be one of only nine Regional Trainer-of-Trainers through a $3.1 million Department of Energy Solar Instructor Training Network award. SEI is training-trainers at Community Colleges throughout 14 states in the West.
Frequently Asked Questions
What curriculum does Solar Energy International license?
SEI licenses the following curriculum:
- PV101: Solar Electric Design and Installation
- PV202: Grid-Direct Design and the NEC
- PV203: Battery-Based PV Design
- Solar Hot Water Design and Installation
What types of organizations can license curriculum?
Solar Energy International licenses its curriculum to public universities, community colleges, and technical schools in the United States. Currently, we do not license to for-profit or international institutions.
We encourage all instructors who will be teaching to complete SEI's Train-the-Trainer Certificate through our Solar Professionals Certificate Program. At a minimum, we require that all instructors who will be teaching any of our curricula go through either our online or in-person training of that curriculum so that he/she is familiar with how we teach before teaching it.
What is included in a Curriculum License?
Each curriculum includes the following:
- Dynamic and animated Power Points presentations with clear instructor talking points and notes
- Product spec sheets and calculation exercises for real world applications.
- Quiz banks with rigorous assessment questions and details answers
- All Curriculum is documented with learning outcomes and aligned with industry standards
Our curriculum, including assessments, has been reviewed by industry experts and instructional designers. The curriculum is for in-person training only.
What is the price to license SEI's curriculum?
Our normal licensing agreements are based on an annual or per person fee, which varies depending on the organization's needs, how large an organization is, how long they want to license curriculum, etc. As a non-profit organization, we strive to keep the price affordable, especially when compared to what it takes for an organization to develop its own curriculum.
How long does a license last?
Our normal curriculum licenses are for one to three years in length, depending upon the contractual agreement.
Who is the curriculum designed for?
We can customize our curriculum for technical and non-technical participants with varying degrees of experience. We've also customized curricula for universities, technical training schools, and international development organizations.
If my organization licenses the curriculum, will we then have IREC ISPQ Accreditation since SEI's Curriculum is accredited?
No. Though SEI's curriculum is IREC ISPQ accredited, according to IREC's policies, the accreditation does not transfer between SEI and the organization. To learn about IREC accreditation, go to http://www.irecusa.org/irec-programs/credentialing/ispq/how-to-apply/
Can I administer the NABCEP Entry Level Exam because we license SEI's curriculum?
No. Organizations that want to administer the NABCEP Entry Level Exam must become a Registered Provider, per NABCEP's policies. For more details, go to http://www.nabcep.org/entry-level-program-2/approved-providers
Can I use SEI's curriculum to create my own?
SEI's curriculum is protected intellectual property. If an organization intends to develop its own original curricula and educational works, any copying of Solar Energy International's materials could only be done with prior explicit agreement.
What certifications and educational training requirements do I need to teach solar training courses at my school?
There are currently no national standards for who can teach solar (believe us; we've seen it when it comes to the lack of standards for training). We've seen trainers who have read a book to people who have only installed 1 or 2 systems without training. It scares the heck out of us, as it should the industry.
SEI holds high standards for who can teach for us. For example, SEI requires that an instructor be a working PV professional with 3 years or more of full-time experience in the PV field, NABCEP certified PV installer or currently working towards certification, previous educational experience, etc. We then go through a rigorous training process.
We encourage educational institutions that are interested in training to pursue the ISPQ accreditation for training programs. To ensure continuity, consistency, and quality in the delivery of training, the Interstate Renewable Energy Countil (IREC) is implementing the Institute for Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ) framework of standards and metrics to provide a means to compare content, quality, and resources across a broad range of training programs covering renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed generation technologies. This international framework ensures legitimacy of what's being taught and by whom. For more details, go to http://irecusa.org/irec-programs/credentialing/ispq
I'm planning to teach a solar class at my college and I'm planning on using your book Solar Electric Handbook: Photovoltaic Fundamentals and Applications as part of the course. Does your book have an Instructor Guide?
Our curriculum licensing takes the place of an instructor guide.
How do I license SEI's curriculum?
Contact Chris Smith at (970) 527-7657, ext. 200. Together, we'll work through the details. Once we have a signed contract and payment, SEI will provide you with log-in details to SEI's Solar Educator Academy. This online portal is where you'll have access to SEI's curriculum, our Alumni and Career Services site and other resources.
What if I want SEI to come teach for me?
Contact Kathy Swartz at (970) 527-7657, ext. 207 and she can create a custom training package based upon your needs.