• Feb
  • duration
  • tuition

PV101: Solar Training - Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct)

PV101 is your gateway to a career in the solar industry.  It all starts with the fundamentals, and a solid understanding of various components, system architectures, and applications for PV systems.  Other topics include site analysis, system sizing, array configuration, and performance estimation; electrical design characteristics such as wiring, overcurrent protection, and grounding; a detailed look at module and inverter specifications and characteristics; mounting methods for various roof structures and ground­mounts; and an introduction to safely and effectively commissioning grid­-direct PV systems.  This course focuses on grid-­direct PV systems, the largest and fastest growing segment of the PV industry, but covers material critical to understanding all types of PV systems.  These core concepts are expanded on in SEI’s upper ­level PV courses, which focus more specifically on particular system types, applications and design methodologies.

Additional Details

RAKSEI Partners with American University of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Research & Innovation Center for Solar Training - Feb. 19th! SEI is really excited about our training partnership with the RAK Research and Innovation Center! We will be offering PV101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct)! This training location is only a 1 hour drive from Dubai International airport and is only 30 minutes south of the city of Ras al Khaimah. RAK Research and Innovation Center is a research center for solar and renewable technology development that's a part of the American University of Ras al Khaimah and they have a long history and expertise in the solar sector.

  RAK is the premier location to see first hand experiments in PV systems, micro-grids, grid connected, off grid, PV dust studies, solar thermal, solar desalination, building insulation testing and many other tests that are driving our industry forward. Another really exciting aspect to this partnership is the actual training location. They have build a new classroom training center on site so our instructors and students can spend time in the classroom and then walk out and tour some of the existing systems on site. If you are looking to turn this into a training / vacation opportunity, the training center is located only 1km from the beach! There are multiple beach hotels and resorts within 2-6 km of the training center ranging from luxury resorts to lower budget options. It is a lovely spot to spend the week, solar by day and resort by night!

The training will take place at the RAK Research and Innovation Center in the emirate of Ras al Khaimah. The RAK Research and Innovation Center is situated in the RAKIA Free Zone, near the Al Hamra Mall. The center is only reachable by car and is about a one hour drive from the Dubai International Airport. Please refer to the Google Map link below to find directions from your location.


what you will learn

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

Both our in-person and online PV101 Courses cover the same curriculum with varying levels of hands-on experience offered in our in-person sessions.

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helpful information

Prerequisites: Completion of our free online RE100 Introduction to Renewable Energy, is highly recommended.

To view online sessions of PV101, click PVOL101.

This workshop includes 5 days of classroom lecture with tours, in addition to approximately a 1/2 day of labs. Students receive an introductory level hands-on experience through the opportunity to work on lab kits.  Students will wire a grid-direct system, including the inverter, disconnects, racking, and grounding, using commercially available components and small 20-watt modules.


For information on SEI’s Solar Professionals Certificate Program please click here.  For information on SEI’s workshop and training program policies please click here.

nabcep certification information

After successfully completing this course and PV203, PVOL203 or PV203 PREP, you are eligible to sit for the NABCEP PV Associate Exam
.  The NABCEP PV Associate Exam
includes questions on grid-direct and battery-based PV systems.  For information on NABCEP and signing up for the PV Associate Exam please click here.  Also visit www.nabcep.org for more on their recommendations.
NABCEP Hours for Certification (per NABCEP)

  • PV Installer Certification Requirements: If one takes the NABCEP PV Associate Exam
    and passes, this course will count for 18 hours of “non-advanced training hours” towards taking the NABCEP Installer Certification requirements. If one does not take or doesn’t pass the PV Associate Exam, then this course does not count for NABCEP hours. For information on the PV Associate Exam and to sign up to take the PV Associate Exam through SEI, please visithttps://www.solarenergy.org/nabcep-certification.
  • PV Technical Sales Certification Requirements: This course counts for 20 hours, which covers the PV Technical Sales JTA.
  • PV Associate Recertification: 12 training hours
  • Solar Heating Installer Recertification: This course counts for 6 Non-Technical continuing education hours.

Contact Training Hours with SEI:  40 hours


more on nabcep certification > sei's solar professionals certificate program info >

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course snapshot

  • Ras al Khaimah, UAE
  • 5 days
  • 40 hours/week

course materials

see full material list >


  • Kristopher Sutton

    PV Curriculum Developer and Trainer