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SHOL101: Solar Thermal Training - Solar Hot Water Design and Installation - Online

Students in this course will learn the theory, design considerations and installation strategies necessary to install and maintain a solar domestic hot water system. Passive solar water heaters, drainback systems, antifreeze systems, and photovoltaic powered systems are all addressed, as well as an introduction to pool and space heating systems.

what you will learn

The course will familiarize students with industry history, the distribution chain, jobs in the industry, safe practices, and national codes and standards. Students will explore the different types of collectors, systems, components, and materials used in solar heating systems and determine their appropriate applications.

The course will also examine the techniques and tools used for installing solar heating equipment. Finally, students will learn how to conduct site assessments, analyze hot water loads, develop accurate system sizing and project cost estimates, and identify the economic and non-economic benefits of a solar heating system.

Students who complete the SHOL101 course will be able to perform the following:

  • Differentiate between various renewable energy sources and types of systems
  • Perform calculations as needed for system sizing and other exercises.
  • Evaluate the different types of SH systems and their suitability for specific climates.
  • Describe solar energy and applications for solar heating systems.
  • Identify components specific to various types of solar water heating and solar pool heating systems.
  • List the applications, operation, and functionality of the following SH systems – solar pool heating, ICS, thermosyphon, direct forced circulation, drainback, and antifreeze.
  • Obtain specifications for various solar collectors and determine collector performance given various environmental and operating conditions.
  • Identify various types of tools used in the SH industry and explain how to use them safely.
  • Determine the magnetic declination, define azimuth and altitude angle and evaluate the shade potential for a given site.
  • Estimate energy production of a SH system based on location specifics including orientation and tilt angle.
  • Describe methods of attaching mounting hardware to a collector.
  • Evaluate what type of solar heating system is most appropriate based on specific site criteria.
  • Identify appropriate codes and standards concerning the installation, operation, and maintenance of SWH systems.
  • Identify potential safety hazards and the proper personal protective equipment for working on solar heating systems.
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helpful information

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This course was developed by two of the solar heating industry’s most respected leaders: Chuck Marken and Vaughan Woodruff.

Chuck Marken is an instructor for Solar Energy International and a licensed Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC-R contractor in NM. He started installing solar water heating systems in 1979 and PV systems in 1983. Chuck is also a technical editor for Home Power and SolarPro magazines and has authored more than 50 articles on solar topics. He has hands on experience selling, installing and servicing hundreds of solar energy systems of all types – including off grid and grid connected PV systems, hot water and swimming pool solar systems. After founding and owning AAA Solar for more than 25 years, he sold the company in 2010. He has, through contracts with Sandia National Laboratories supporting the US Department of Energy, served as a subject matter expert for the Solar Instructor Training Network and Solar America Cities program. He has also taught classes and workshops for numerous other educational and not for profit organizations in the US and is the co-author of the current NABCEP Solar Heating Resource Guide.

Vaughan Woodruff is owner of Insource Renewables, a solar design/build and consulting firm in Pittsfield, ME. A trained engineer and educator, Vaughan serves diverse roles in the solar heating industry. He is a NABCEP-Certified Solar Heating Installer, serves on committees for NABCEP, IAPMO, and IREC, and was the former lead solar thermal instructor for the Northeast and Northern Mid Atlantic regions of the Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network. Vaughan is the co-author of the NABCEP Solar Heating Installer Resource Guide, author of NYSERDA’s Field Inspection Guidelines for Solar Heating Systems, and has been published in Home Power and SolarPro magazines. In addition to his work with SEI, Vaughan provides training for a variety of schools and organizations.

nabcep certification information

SEI Contact Training Hours: 60 hours online

This course provides approved credit hours towards the following NABCEP Certifications and Recertifications:

  • PV Installation Professional (Recertification only)
  • PV Design Specialist (Recertification only)
  • PV Installation Specialist (Recertification only)
  • PV Commissioning and Maintenance Specialist (Recertification only)
  • PV Technical Sales Professional (Recertification only)
  • SH Associate
  • Solar Heating Installer

Please visit NABCEP’S online course catalog for credit hours breakdown.

This course also provides 24 Continuing Education Hours (CEH) with NATE (North American Technician Excellence), specifically 8 hrs Heating Hydronics – Gas Installer; 8 hrs Heating Hydronics – Oil Installer; 8 hrs Heating Hydronics – Gas Servicer; and 8 hrs Heating Hydronics – Oil Servicer

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course materials

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