PV Curriculum DeveloperAlejandro is an SEI alumnus with almost 10 years of experience in installation and commissioning of telecom equipment. He studied Electronic Engineering at the Technological Institute of Costa Rica but eventually decided to change to a more environmentally conscious industry. In 2014, Alejandro completed a master’s degree in Renewable Energies where he first learned about solar energy. Soon after, he started pursuing SEI ́s Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems Certificate, where he did a work-trade to help him complete the program. After finishing the certificate program, he joined the SEI PV Curriculum Development team. Alejandro is very interested in intentional and sustainable communities in rural areas, believing solar energy to be a big part of the development of these types of agroecological households and settlements. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outside with his family, cooking and sports in general.
InstructorAlex Jahp began his career in the renewable energy field after becoming interested in PV upon seeing the impact that it was having on the ground in rural Africa. Upon returning from his travels, Alex began a work trade program with SEI in 2015 – trading work for classes. He has since worked as a project foreman and as an electrician on a mix of commercial, residential and off-grid PV and has received a NABCEP Professional PV Installer certification. Most recently Alex felt called to return to what got him into the PV field in the first place: providing light and electricity in lesser developed countries. Alex has worked as the Technical Project Manager for Light Up The World in Peru since 2017 heading up design and training for the organization. He spends any other free time surfing, biking and traveling.
PV Curriculum DeveloperAmy found her way to PV in sunny Arizona, as part of an interest in off-grid sustainable living and natural building. She began drafting residential PV systems in 2005, and made an appearance in residential-scale wind power manufacturing as a drafter and document control specialist until 2008, when she moved to California where the PV industry was blossoming. She jumped right in and started designing residential systems, and eventually found herself designing and coordinating multi-megawatt commercial-scale PV projects. She took every opportunity to get out of the office and onto the roof, and in 2011 she became a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional. With special interests in large-scale utility interconnections and multi-use land projects (utilizing landfills, parking lots, etc. for PV), she has worked for several industry-leading companies on projects in multiple states. Amy has a deep love of sharing her knowledge and experience through education and is thrilled to be a part of the SEI Curriculum Development team, in addition to her independent PV system design and consulting work. She can also be found playing and teaching fiddle and singing traditional bluegrass and country music in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Andre Simao was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. With a mechanical engineering background, he has joined the solar industry in 2004. His first job in the solar industry with R&D bridge and product development team. From there, he's being linked into the execution of wide range projects. Solar PV on-grid up to multi MWp, microgrid solar PV systems, hybrid PV systems and diesel replacement. On the other hand, he also works with solar thermal systems up to mid-range temperatures (up to 300C), on this field he has executed solar thermal jobs from thermosiphon in villas, to forced circulation systems in sports stadiums and hotels.
He has worked as a designer and installer of residential and commercial/industrial/utility systems up to mainly in Europe and Gulf region.
Nowadays, he currently runs his own consulting / construction, advisory and project management business, Solar Hands LLC, focused on helping people to optimize, develop and bring solar PV and Solar
He lives in Dubai with his family and enjoying spending his time between music, books and family activities.
SEI InstructorChanna Silva is an international consultant with over 8 years of progressive experience in Solar and renewable energy technologies, with a Master of Engineering Science in Solar & Renewable Energy from the University of New South Wales, Australia and Master of Engineering Management from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. He also a Certified Expert in Climate and Renewable Energy Finance by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in Germany. He overlooked over many MW scale projects in Sri Lanka, Australia, Fiji and Middle East. In February 2019, He co-founded nSolar Consultants, a Sri Lankan based international consultancy firm where He leads as the Chief Technical Officer. He establishes and leads the company’s technological developments while providing all necessary services as a consultant and conducts research on technologies such as storage, floating solar PV, hybrid systems. In addition to the consultancy services, He also provides training and conducts workshops in solar PV internationally. When he is not involved in solar PV, you can find him enjoying and experiencing different cultures, cuisines and travelling the world with family.
InstructorChristopher Freitas taught with SEI since 1992 and most recently was the CTO for Redback Technologies of Brisbane, Australia. Previous to that, he co-founded OutBack Power Systems and was the Director of Engineering at Trace Engineering, where he worked from 1994 to 2001. Christopher installed his first PV system in 1986 and has worked continuously since then in the solar industry developing products, providing training and overseeing projects in the US and internationally. He lives in Washington state and is powered from both grid-tied and off-grid PV and micro-hydro systems.
InstructorDiane is a Professional Engineer (Mech) who spent most of her career in Alberta, Canada cheering on the solar industry as it continued to make progress in a hydrocarbon dominant area. Understanding the need for diversity while living in a location with an abundance of both resources (sunshine and old dinosaurs) helped Diane operate under the umbrella of “energy industry” since Y2K. With a successful background in instrumentation and controls the transition to finally dedicate 100% of her time to sustainability was easy. Since 2015 she has been operating a renewable energy business in Alberta designing and installing solar projects in western Canada and the United States. Her focus is primarily on battery-based designs, both off-grid and multimode. Diane also runs an urban farm business offering local, sustainable food options and working on greenhouse technologies using solar energy. Instructing for Solar Energy International was a natural decision when they offered classes in Calgary for the first time and she hasn’t looked back since!
SEI InstructorErnesto’s background is in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Universidad Tec de Monterrey of Mexico. After some years working for private companies like GE, he decided to work in the PV industry. He started out in the comercial side as a technical representative for the first PV companies in Mexico by introducing the grid connected systems in 2008. Since then he has evolved in other fields as a project manager, in engineering and as an outsourced PV installer. He has now 5 years with his own company selling, installing and servicing residential and commercial PV costumers. Ernesto also works as a technical trainer for Solar Energy International. He has a NABCEP associate certification, university teaching experience and holds an MBA.
SEI InstructorJason started bending wire and conduit in 1991 as an electrician’s apprentice then entered the PV world when moving off grid in 1994. After lots of self-learning and on the job training, he started an electrical contracting company in 1999 that designs and installs off-grid solar electric systems in the Pacific Northwest. From 2001-2012 Jason taught classes for SEI’s satellite classrooms in WA State and Costa Rica and in 2016 he co-founded Remote Energy, a non profit organization bringing solar technical and vocational training to rural populations worldwide. A few battery banks later, his off-grid home, office and electric vehicle continue to be powered from the sun.
SEI InstructorMark Mrohs is a ‘Solar Pioneer’-started making space solar cells in 1974 and has continued to work in solar pv his entire career. He has been the Manager or Director of Training for ARCO Solar, Siemens Solar, Astropower, GE Solar, Sunpower, SunEdison... and now consults with SEI. He has a degree in Physics and in Education with a focus on Instructional Design. He has delivered solar technical training in over 20 countries, including running a 3-year World Bank funded solar technician training program in India. He sits on the NABCEP Exam Review Committee, yes the folks that come up with the questions for the PV Professional Exam. He has roots in theater (father was a stage actor, and he attended the Ecole Jacque LeCoq School of mime and movement in Paris) and brings an artistic flare together with his deep background in science to make any teaching event truly unique and fun.
SEI InstructorMarlon Acevedo Rios is an Electrical Engineer from University of Antioquia, Colombia and he has a MSc in in Energy and Nuclear Engineering with emphasis on Renewable Energy at the Polytechnic of Turin in Italy. Marlon actively works in the solar sector in Colombia as engineer in all kind of solar projects: from one or two PV modules for Off-Grid pumping system for a isolated rural/indigenous community up to thousands of kilowatts for Grid-Tie solar projects in Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sector; he also works as a professor teaching solar technology at University of Antioquia, Association of Electrical Engineers from University of Antioquia (AIE UdeA), Exposolar Colombia among others. He enjoys sharing his experience with others because as he said: “when I teaching I learn twice.”
SEI InstructorOriginally from Veracruz, Mexico, Rafael moved to Tucson, Arizona in 2012 to pursue a career in renewable energy. With a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, he went on to obtain a master’s degree in Engineering Management with focus in renewable energy from the University of Arizona. Rafael has been working in the solar industry for over 6 years, with experience in both Arizona and California. He is NABCEP certified and currently works as an electrical engineer for Technicians for Sustainability, an employee-owned cooperative in Tucson where he shares ownership with his colleagues.
InstructorBorn and raised in Northwest Mexico, Santiago moved to Tucson, Arizona in 2014. He has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and a certificate in Supply Chain Management and Logistics. Santiago has a background in farming, growing grains and vegetables as well as producing vermicompost and other organic fertilizers. Santiago has been working for Technicians for Sustainability as an Installer and a Service Technician since March 2017. He enjoys spending time with his wife Maria and his two daughters Fernanda & Luisa, also loves cooking, traveling and is always up for learning new things.
Guest InstructorSteve McCarney has a 40+ year career in solar energy applications and has been deeply involved in supporting vaccine cold chain activities starting in 1985. Since 2004 he has contributed to WHO PQS efforts and was employed with Project Optimize, then as s Director of Cold Chain Solutions for the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF). In 2019 he founded Sunny Day LLC to provide ongoing technical support to foster cold chain improvements and solar energy projects in public health.
InstructorTamara made a radical career shift in 2008 from promoting democratic development in the former Soviet Union to working in the solar industry in Mexico. Landing on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, she quickly understood the need to live sustainably to not damage the fragile environment. She designed and built two off-grid homes (PV, rain water collection and storage, dry composting toilets, experimental natural building materials). This was her first contact with solar and she was hooked immediately. After taking every SEI class available at the time, she established an off-grid solar company in Tulum, Mexico in 2009. Tamara is actively involved in all aspects of the business including sales, system design, installation, operations and maintenance. She relocated the business to Xcalak in 2014, where Ecolocos serves nearly 100 off-grid residences and small businesses. When not on a roof or in a battery room, she can be found visiting neighbors in her solar-powered golf cart, swimming, making soap or working on some small sustainability project or another.
InstructorEissa graduated with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Omdurman Islamic University in 2003; he also holds an MBA from Sudan Academy of Science; and rounds out his education as an SEI Alumni with his NABCEP Associate's certification. Eissa has been in the solar industry since 2008 when he supervised the swapping of more than 522 mobile network stations from conventional power supply to Off-Grid and Hybrid solar systems in Sudan, Mali, Ethiopia and Egypt. He now serves on the leading Technical Sales Team at ALSA SOLAR SYSTEMS which is based in Dubai and does megawatt scale projects in the MENA region.
InstructorErnesto Grossman was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. He's always looked for practical and innovative solutions that could help the environment and the entire collective. Ernesto got his BS in Mechanical Engineering back home in Venezuela and then pursued his MS in Mechanical Engineering at CU Boulder. Within that time, the track he devoted himself to was energy and environment. Graduated in 2013 and since then he has been kicking the streets installing and implementing solar at the residential, commercial and off-grid levels. He believes in the fractal micro-grid model, where different resources like solar+storage+EV play a key role towards decentralizing the energy markets around the US and the World. He knows that following this recipe will successfully shift the way we share energy and interact. At the end is about boosting local economies within bigger regional and national economies. Currently managing Golden Solar Electric to make the latter something tangible and enjoyable. Ernesto resides in Longmont, Colorado with his beautiful wife Andrea, Daughter Alana and dog Mambo.
InstructorJimmy has been in the solar industry for 10 years since graduating from Appalachian State University's renewable energy program. He started in the industry as an installer on residential and commercial projects and from there moved on to commercial system design. Currently he runs his own business doing contract design, design review and system inspection. Outside of solar he enjoys spending time with his family, riding motorcycles and playing music
InstructorLuis Coronado Coronado is Msc Mechanical Engineer from Universidad de Costa Rica and Magister in Renewable Energies from Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain and MBA from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. He was working for more than 10 years in large hydroelectric power plants and wind power plants for ICE (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad) in Costa Rica, since 2003 he has been working in the area of renewable energies with his own company Interdinámica Energía, designing generation projects with different types of Renewable Energy sources such as photovoltaic, wind and micro hydro, which is his specialty, he has also developed projects for pumping and low enthalpy water heating. He is part of the renewable energies commission of Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos de Costa Rica. He has been an international consultant for the BCIE, BID, and other specialized agencies, he is currently working in the area of feasibility, design, due diligence and commissioning of grid tie and off- grid projects, interconnected to the electricity grid, operated with renewable sources. Now he also makes consultancies at the regional level, focused on the area of business development with renewable sources in developing countries, giving assistance to non-profit organizations.
InstructorRamon, known better as Reny, is a Caribbean native, from the Dominican Republic, that grew up in New York City. He is now residing in the Windy City of Chicago. He has been involved in architecture and renewable energy since 2009. Reny holds a BS in Architectural Engineering Technology and AAS in Environmental Technologies with an emphasis in Solar Energy. He is a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional. He enjoys spending time with his family, motorcycles, cycling, hiking, camping, and of course baseball. He is currently working as a Senior Design Engineer for Borrego Solar Systems in Chicago, and is also an active member of NABCEP’s PVIP Exam Committee.
Director of Curriculum Development and InstructionSarah Wilder has been working in the solar energy industry since 2003, when she began her career as an entry-level solar thermal installer. Since that time, Sarah has filled many roles in the industry, from PV installer to project manager to co-owner of a solar installation company to training and technical support manager at a large PV module manufacturer. She is a NABCEP-certified PV Installation Professional and a licensed Oregon Limited Renewable Technician. Sarah holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado and a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University. In her free time Sarah can be found in some beautiful outdoor space with her family, diligently working on house projects, or relaxing with a cold beer and some good folk music.
InstructorSarah's interest in renewable energy systems began during her years at Montana State University, when her family moved to Southeast Alaska. During a visit to the remote, coastal communities in the area, the off-grid power systems there, many of which combined solar, wind and micro-hydro, captured her imagination. After graduating from MSU in 2006 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Sarah worked for Independent Power Systems as an installer. Since then, she has held sales and management positions, and spent a year designing large commercial PV systems for Meridian Solar in Austin, Texas. She earned her Master Electrician license in 2016 and joined OnSite Energy as Project Manager in 2017. She lives in Livingston, Montana.
InstructorCarlos is a Costa Rican Electromechanical Engineer with experience in off-grid solar installations since 1997 and grid-tied installations since 2004. He does design, installation, and maintenance of solar systems. His other experiences includes performing due-dilligence on solar projects, specialized consultancy on CSP, teaching and more.
InstructorJeff Nicholson has been involved in solar since 2012, when he helped build Sigora Solar, Virginia's largest solar integrator. Jeff is a NABCEP-Certified PV Installation Professional and Technical Sales professional. He's been involved in every aspect of the solar industry, from sales and marketing, to installation and system design, to management of a fast-growing installation company. He now helps Sigora develop special projects and works on state-level solar policy issues. Before embarking on the solarcoaster, Jeff worked as an engineering project manager, a home inspector, and a math teacher.
SEI Curriculum Translator and Developer
Max E. Fernandez
InstructorMax studied electrical engineering at the University of Costa Rica and has been working on energy efficiency and renewable energy since 2005. He has been involved in the solar energy sector of Central America since 2010 where he has worked as an advisor in the design and implementation of large scale and self-consumption photovoltaic projects. He was part of the technical group that developed the "International Program of Specialization in Photovoltaic Systems" given by the Technological Institute of Costa Rica. He also was part of the group for the development of the mobile application "BAC SOLAR", a tool for calculating the profitability of solar photovoltaic systems in Costa Rica. In 2015, he obtained SEI's "Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic Systems Certificate" and "Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems Certificate". Since then, Max has collaborated with SEI's Hispanic team to promote the development of courses in Costa Rica. He currently works as a technical advisor on energy for the Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency Program and Promotion of Geothermal Energy in Central America Program, which are implemented by German Cooperation (GIZ) in Central America.
Pablo Hernández Domancic
InstructorPablo is a professional technician in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, living in La Serena, Chile. He'sdesigned and installed off-grid, hybrid, and grid-tied PV systems since 2012. In addition, Pablo has completed residential hot water systems, energy efficiency assessments and related activities in the field. He is an SEI Alumni and is excited to join the team as an instructor. He is looking forward to sharing his experience, accepting new challenges, and more than anything, to keep learning. When he's not "on the roof", Pablo enjoys playing the guitar, swimming at the beach and taking on dirt jumps on his mountain bike.
Luis Fernando Mulcue Nieto
InstructorLuis Fernando Mulcue Nieto is a Physical Engineer who has his Masters in Physics, Masters in Photovoltaic Solar Energy, and is a PhD Candidate in Physics and Engineering - Renewable Energies. After graduating with honors, he published scientific articles about solar energy in international journals. He was awarded "Grupo de Energía de Bogotá" for his research in simulation of photovoltaic systems. Luis Fernando was also recognized by the Institute for the Development of Alternative Energies in Latin America (IDEAL) in Brazil and the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) in Ecuador, for his invention of an equation that allows engineers and architects to more easily design buildings utilizing solar energy. Likewise, he proposed an international regulation so that the use of the solar panels be as efficient as possible. He currently develops scientific models for use in Architecture of future solar buildings or BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics). For this reason he developed an app for Android called RAITSUN, which predicts the electricity production of a building if all its walls, windows, decks, etc. are solar panels. In addition the app calculates the annual profitability of the energy generated. He is also investigating the design of more economical and efficient solar cells for BIPV, using physical techniques of nanotechnology. Luis Fernando enjoys helping families in trouble, and going out to sea with his wife Kerly and his son David.
Kienan Maxfield has been working in solar design, troubleshooting, and installation since he was 18. He began to focus on the off-grid sector in 2011 and ever since, he has lived in an off-grid lodge in the middle of nowhere, powered by solar and wind. All of his water comes from a solar direct well which is gravity fed to his home. He has held the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Certificate since 2014. Kienan has a love for math, troubleshooting/diagnostics, tools, design, and anything that’s technical. Based out of Utah, he runs his own business “Maxfield Solar” which offers design, installation, and all other services for solar, wind, and hydro; but he finds himself diagnosing and servicing remote off-grid systems more than anything else.