what you will learn
Integrating generator back-up will also be covered. Participants will concentrate on battery safety, wiring, and maintenance, and will wire balance of system components including: combiner boxes, disconnects, power centers, controllers, battery banks, and inverters. Set-up, basic programming, and testing of components for specific battery-based applications will be integrated into the lab sessions. Students will learn fundamental procedures for safe installation and commissioning practices, and all exercises will have an emphasis on battery safety considerations. The maximum eight to one student-to-instructor ratio and comprehensive lab setting create the ultimate environment to get your first hands-on PV and battery experience.
Prerequisites: PV 101 AND any PV203 (PV203 PVOL203 or PV203 PREP)
Solar Energy International’s industry-recognized Renewable Energy Lab Facility in Paonia, Colorado is located on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains along the North Fork of the Gunnison River and at the base of the 11,395 foot tall Mt. Lamborn. Our educational center offers students an unparalleled opportunity to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom in a beautiful location.
Staff consider our location a little piece of heaven, and the best kept secret in solar.
- 5 Days
- 40 hours/week
course materialssee full material list >
Please bring your Solar Electric Handbook from your PV101 or PVOL101 course.
Bill Hoffer has been working in the solar industry in the Pacific North-West for over 16 years. He is an SEI Alumini since 1994, a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer, and a Professional Mechanical Engineer in Washington State. His first job in solar industry with Applied Power Corporation was designing remote off-grid mountaintop cell sites, when 10kW were considered “big” systems. In 1995 he designed the 360kW (160 kW installed in 1996) off-grid system with generator backup at Dangling Rope Marina on Lake Powell, the largest National Park system in the US at that time. He has worked as a designer and installer of residential and commercial systems up to 500 kW. In addition he has designed and tested Balance of System components for Trace Engineering and Outback Power Systems, as well as an innovative solar module system for Silicon Energy. He currently runs his own consulting business, Sunergy Engineering Services PLLC, focused on commissioning utility scale and BIPV systems. He also lives in a strawbale home he designed and built himself and is an avid gardener and ski and dance instructor.
The pursuit of independence ultimately led Jay to the field of Renewables. Coming from a career as a mountain guide and educator, it only felt right to understand the world away from the grid. A workshop with SEI laid the foundation, and from there things just fell into place. Eventually, partnered with his wife Lena, they founded Nunatak Alternative Energy Solutions based in the Elk Mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado. Specializing in remote off-grid system installation and design, the mountain environment taught them many lessons in dealing with harsh environments. The challenge and creative problem solving involved in design and implementation of these systems has made a passion out of a career. Being a contract workshop instructor for SEI since 2006 has allowed Jay to dovetail his time as an educator with practical real-world experience. Time off is spent outside: hunting, skiing, running rivers, or just letting his daughter teach him a thing or two about the world.
Orion has been involved in the solar energy industry for over ten years, both as an industry professional and as an advocate through education and community outreach. In 2006 Orion earned an A.A.S. degree in Photovoltaic Installation and Design from San Juan College. In 2008 he became certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) as a Solar PV Installation Professional. He is currently on the board of directors for the Montana Renewable Energy Association (MREA), playing an active role in the organizations goal of promoting renewable energy awareness throughout the state.
As a partner/owner of Onsite Energy Inc., Orion focuses on commercial solar project development, but wears many hats within the company, including sales, design, installation, and operations and maintenance procedures.
Orion is a Montana native who grew up off-the grid and currently resides in net-zero energy home, powered by solar electricity, solar hot water, and wood heat. Dedicated to a lifetime of teaching, living, and working with renewable energy technologies, he is hopeful for our clean energy future.
Outside of work he tries to spend as much time as possible within the many Montana wilderness areas…backcountry snowboarding, backpacking, boating, and enjoying the open spaces.
Workshop and Training Program Policies (CLICK HERE for Complete School Catalog)
Solar Energy International (SEI) is approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools.*
Enrollment: Prospective students may enroll anytime. Late enrollments will be accepted only one week into the course for online courses, and the first day of class for in-person and hands-on labs courses. Enrollment is on a first-come basis and class sizes are limited. To reserve a space you can register online or call in to register at 970-527-7657 option 1 and make payment in full. If you are sending a check, call first to check on availability and to let us know that you are sending payment.
Lodging & Logistics: SEI’s main campus and Lab Facility is in Paonia, Colorado. For detailed info about Paonia click here. Many of our workshops are held in other parts of the country and the world. Local logistics and lodging for each workshop venue are usually available on the location page for each workshop. More information will be sent upon confirmation of registration.
Waiting List: If a workshop is full we will place you on the waiting list. There is no charge to be on the waiting list. If space becomes available, we contact the first person on the list. You then have 24 hours to register before we move on to the next person.
Transfers: If you choose to transfer your space to someone in your company or family, a $100 administration fee is charged.
Cancellation & Refund Policies: Students not accepted to the school are entitled to all moneys paid. Students who cancel this contract by notifying the school within three (3) business days are entitled to a full refund of all tuition and fees paid. Students, who withdraw after three (3) business days, but before commencement of classes, are entitled to a full refund of all tuition and fees paid except the maximum cancellation charge of $150.00 or 25% of the contract price, whichever is less. In the case of students withdrawing after commencement of classes, the school will retain a cancellation charge plus a percentage of tuition and fees, which is based on the percentage of contact hours attended (if training is offered as distance education: “based on the percentage of no. of lessons completed”)*. The refund is based on the official date of termination or formal documented withdrawal. Please visit ‘Complete school catalog’ link above for full cancellation information and refund table. If you are unable to complete your course due to illness or natural disaster, please contact the administration office.
If SEI Cancels a Workshop: Rarely, SEI must cancel a workshop due to low enrollment, instructor illness or other unforeseen circumstances. We will notify you if a workshop for which you have registered has been cancelled. You may then enroll in another workshop (based on availability) or receive a full refund of tuition. Notification of cancellation will normally occur one month prior to the beginning of the workshop; in rare cases, however, it may be less. SEI is not responsible for losses incurred on housing, travel or other arrangements.
Entrance Requirements: SEI is an open enrollment training organization. However, students still must meet the prerequisites for any course(s) for which they would like to register. Additionally, if a student wishes to be considered for admission into the SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program, a separate application for admission is required. This program is a selective admissions program where we ask students to complete an application that requires an essay where they can indicate their dedication to successful program completion and their relevant transferable skills that would make them a good candidate for this rigorous training program. Please see application for details, https://www.solarenergy.org/sei-solar-professionals-certificate-program/. The school does not discriminate based on race, sex, religion, ethnic origin, or disability. By completing the SEI enrollment form, all students agree to comply with the requirements and directions of the training and supply any information that is relevant to safety and medical issues. Additionally, students completing this enrollment form attest to the fact that he or she is physically capable of performing all requirements of the training and agree to comply with all safety regulations and directions given by instructional staff.
Previous Credits: Credits from another institution will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and SEI only allows the transfer of a PV101 equivalent course with the same amount of contact hours and learning objectives as SEI’s PV101 course. The student may be asked to provide a transcript, certificate of completion, course catalog, link to the course description from the transferring school’s website showing equivalent course, or may be required to take a PV101 opt-out quiz to prove proficiency of course material. SEI does not guarantee transferability of our credits to another institution unless there is an articulated agreement with another institution.
Attendance / Online Course Progress Requirements: Students are expected to arrive on time for class with proper materials. Instructors may request your withdrawal from a course or program if absences or tardiness exceed 50%. In the SEI Online Campus, course participation and acceptable progress is determined by attempting ALL graded activities with a passing grade of 70% or higher averaged across all graded activities. Students who are unable to continue classes for medical reasons or severe personal problems will be required to take a leave of absence until they are able to return to class. Proper documentation will be required and a formal request for withdrawal will be required to substantiate a student’s withdrawal request.
Progress Policy: Students must maintain an 70% grade point average to complete the SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program. Those who do not, will be given an opportunity to retake courses, for a retake fee of ½ the original tuition price of each course. The retake option is available anytime within one year of original course start date. The student may be dropped from the program if acceptable progress is not satisfactory after multiple attempts to pass a course. Dropping of a student from the SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program shall be at the school Director’s discretion. The Executive Director has final authority and shall notify the student of the final decision.
Financial Assistance: SEI has a limited number of partial tuition scholarships available for international and low-income participants. We also offer a work/trade program for people taking 8 weeks or more of workshops. Click here for additional info.
Placement Assistance: Solar Energy International (SEI) offers employment assistance to graduates, consisting of job lead referrals and job skills development. While providing resources to help you in your job search, we make no guarantee, expressed or implied, of future employment. Current law prohibits any school from guaranteeing job placement as an inducement to enroll students.
Conduct Policy: All students are expected to act maturely and are required to respect other students and faculty members. Possession of weapons, illegal drugs, and alcohol of any kind are not allowed at any time on school property. Any violation of school policies may result in permanent dismissal from school.
Dismissal: Any student may be dismissed for violations of rules and regulations of the school, as set forth in school publications. A student also may be withdrawn from classes if he or she does not prepare sufficiently, neglects assignments, or makes unsatisfactory progress. The Executive Director, after consultation with all parties involved, makes the final decision. The Executive Director may temporarily suspend students whose conduct is disruptive or unacceptable to the academic setting. After appropriate counseling, students who demonstrate a genuine desire to learn and conform to school standards of conduct, may be allowed to resume attendance. The Executive Director will review each case and decide upon re-admittance.
Student Grievance Procedure: If a student has a grievance regarding any SEI policy or staff member they should contact, via email, SEI’s Executive Director, Kathy Swartz at [email protected] Students should first discuss any instructional grievances directly with their instructor. If unable to come to a mutually acceptable conclusion, students should contact, via email, SEI’s Executive Director, Kathy Swartz at [email protected] for in-person and hands-on lab courses. For SEI Online Campus courses contact via email, SEI’s Director of Online Learning, Chris Turek at [email protected]. Final decisions may be appealed to SEI’s Executive Director, Kathy Swartz at [email protected]. Once a grievance is submitted via email to the Executive Director, within one week, she will investigate the grievance and arrange an appointment if necessary with the student for discussion. Every effort will be made to resolve any grievance in a timely manner.
Student Complaints: Attempting to resolve any issue with the School first is strongly encouraged. Student Complaints may be brought to the attention of the Division of Private Occupational Schools online at http://highered.colorado.gov/dpos ,303 862-3001. There is a two-year statute of limitations for the Division to take action on a student complaint (from student’s last day of attendance).
Membership: SEI is a membership based training organization that offers training to it’s members. Your registration for a tuition based course includes a one year Basic Membership in SEI’s Friends and Alumni Association. As part of your membership, SEI’s monthly e-newsletter will be emailed to you if you have not already subscribed. You can also use the SEI Alumni and Friends Association Logo on your personal website, blog, social media, or your business marketing materials. Please remember to link back to SEI with http://www.solarenergy.org when possible. For information on other membership levels please visit https://www.solarenergy.org/become-a-member/
*SEI is not regulated in Texas under Chapter 132 of the Texas Education Code.