Learn from the Best: Meet the Solar Professionals Behind SEI’s Solar Training Program
A highlight of the team that creates and oversees SEI’s industry-leading curriculum
What a month! A message from
SEI Executive Director – Kathy Swartz:
“During the week of May 14, we had three classes running at SEI’s headquarters in Paonia, Colorado: MH101, PV303, and a special contract training for the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Evironment
That Thursday, we had all three classes on campus for a catered dinner and bonfire. It may have been one of the best get-togethers we’ve ever had in Paonia. Bonfire, cornhole, frisbee, plentiful food and drink, music, dancing, kiddos running around, and so much laughter. Everyone was so happy and mingling together under a beautiful Paonia sunset and then starry night.
Wednesday, the entire hydro class stayed until at least 8pm setting up a gravity light and a device that creates drinkable water from the air. SEI Instructor Ken Gardener bought both. There were no directions for the water device and the class figured it out. Ken went above and beyond, as always, including adding in extra real-world site assessments and tours.”
We will miss all of the wonderful students who came through Paonia this spring, and we are so excited to meet all of the new students in the summer and fall!
Get your solar training on this summer with SEI in Colorado
Spots still available for in-person grid-direct and battery labs
Do you learn best by rolling up your sleeves and getting to work on actual solar systems? At our lab yard in Paonia, Colorado, we offer this experience for both grid-tied and battery-based systems in week-long labs instructed by industry experts. We still have spots available for in-person workshops in June and July. Check out our offerings for the summer below:
SEIPS Tech Tips: Meter Selection for Solar PV Systems
by Joe Villacci – SEIPS Technical Manager
Choosing the correct meter for electrical testing means paying close attention to the specifications of the meter, testing requirements, and site conditions. Functional options, voltage, current, and safety ratings can vary dramatically between meters, which can easily lead to inaccurate or false readings and job site hazards due to the use of an inappropriate meter. SEIPS technicians often bring a wide variety of meters to the job site for performance testing and troubleshooting, including insulation resistance testers, I-V curve tracing equipment, environmental sensors, and data loggers, but the most common meters we use are standard digital multi-meters and clamp-on ammeters.
Latest SEI Lab Facility updates:
Spotlight on new, donated technology
SEI would like to send a big shout out to Zero Mass Water for taking water vapor in the air and condensing it to a drinkable form! Recently, SEI, through a generous donation by board member and instructor Ken Gardner, acquired a Zero Mass Water unit that with the aid of PV can take everyday air and change it to very drinkable water. The unit sits on campus for students to see, demo and drink from! Director of Campus and Hands-On Training, Pete Mueller, comments, “there is so much need around the world for a stand-alone system that produces clean water from air”. Come check out the system at the Paonia, CO lab yard and have a glass of water on us. To learn more about Zero Mass Water visit: https://www.zeromasswater.com/
SEI welcomes first Lithium Ion battery in the Paonia Lab Facility
Solar Energy International recently added a brand new SMA Sunny Island AC-coupled system to it’s battery-based hands-on training in the Paonia, Colorado lab yard.
A huge thanks goes out to Blue Planet Energy and our SEI instructor Kyle Bolger helping SEI get its first Lithium Ion Battery!
Come train on an emerging storage technology, Lithium Ion at SEI to stay on top of the latest trends in solar+storage technology.
Join the SEI Team! SEI is hiring a Student Services Adviser
Position description: This position is the first point of contact for students, either via phone or email. The ideal candidate for this position is fluent in both English and Spanish, and has excellent customer service skills to serve our English and Spanish-speaking students. The candidate must have wide knowledge of the organization, and our training program, and be a great team-player who communicates well. This position includes registering students for our training, online user administration, student advising, and maintaining student records within our database. This is a part-time position (25 hours per week; Monday to Friday 1-6pm MST) and can be based remotely.
In Colorado next month: Come out to the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association Summer Solstice (We’ll be there!)
Join COSEIA and New Energy Colorado at our Summer Solstice Concert in the park! Celebrate with us with fantastic live music, food and drinks as we celebrate our successes and an industry and prepare for the future. Our event will be held on Wednesday June 20th from 5:30pm-9:30pm at the Lakewood Heritage Center – 801 S Yarrow St., Lakewood, CO 80226
SEI will be representing with a solar cooking demonstration, you won’t want to miss it!
PV101 training announced for Muscat, Oman July 8th-12th
The next SEI solar PV technical training in the MENA region is coming soon! SEI, In partnership with Shams Global Solutions, will be leading their third PV101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) course in Muscat, Oman. the PV101 course will run from July 8th -12th, 2018 at the German University of Technology (GUtech) in Muscat. PV101 is the first and currently only solar photovoltaic training course officially certified by Oman’s Distribution Code Review Panel (DCRP) and supports applications to become a DCRP approved Solar Professional! PV101 builds solid understanding of various components, system architectures, and applications for PV systems and is ideal for professionals looking to get their start in the solar industry including designers, installers, engineers and educators.
SEI launches Solar Forward:
A new solar advising program for rural Colorado communities
Solar Energy International (SEI) has launched a new statewide initiative for rural communities in Colorado. Read more aboutthe program that powers rural Colorado communities into the future by starting or supporting solar markets:
SEI is seeking communities interested in growing their local solar, renewable energy, and energy efficiency markets to participate in a new program, Solar Forward. The Solar Forward program is a grassroots approach, relying mainly on community participation, to stimulate solar growth in a region. SEI’s Solar Forward community adviser will partner with a community group to provide tools and technical expertise to drive solar initiatives in the community. The adviser will assist communities every step of the way in the program planning and implementation processes.
Thank you to everyone who came out to the
2018 Western Slope Solar Fair and Permaculture Expo!
If sticking to the schedule was how we measured success at the 4th annual 2018 Western Slope Solar Fair and Permaculture Expo, we didn’t do very well. On the night of May 19th, folks danced and mingled in the fading twilight to the tunes of local band Jericho while our dedicated volunteers were packing up and counting donations, well past the posted closing time. Luckily, we decided to use the more well-established metrics of money raised and fun had by all, and this year’s Solar Fair at the SEI campus was a huge success.
SEI was once again privileged to host local businesses representing sustainable agriculture, clean energy, grassroots activism, and the delicious local food and drink that epitomize Colorado’s North Fork Valley. All day, hundreds of people from the surrounding communities came by bike, carpool, or were shuttled from the pickup point in downtown Paonia to discuss local issues, sample the local treats, learn about growing produce in an earth-friendly way, and get educated on renewable energy generation while enjoying a variety of local musical acts.
Students make new, furry friends in Paonia!
Congratulations to our May, 2018
Solar Professionals Certificate Program Graduates!