The day after completing the SEI battery lab, I drove to install my first off-grid system in Moab, UT. The customer lives in Montezuma Canyon, which is an ancient Anasazi Indian area. There is no excavation allowed in the Montezuma Canyon, so there are no power lines. There are cliff dwellings and ancient kiva sites all along the road into the site.
SEI helped grow my business by giving me the tools to properly size and design an off-grid solar energy system. Every class I took helped me to understand more about inverter, solar and battery technology. The instructors had tons of hands on experience that helped me to learn lessons outside of the textbook. The lab was the best part of the entire experience at SEI. Working with the equipment and completing an installation gave me the confidence to go out and do the work in the field.
Having SEI experience on my resume has been great when talking to customers (and other installers). With installers, there is an instant mutual understanding that we are on the same page when designing systems. Our customers are always impressed when they hear I have completed our training at the premiere training facility in the United States.
Working with all the different kinds of inverters at SEI was another great experience. I personally wired SMA, Outback, Schneider Electric and Magnum inverters during my training at SEI. In addition to the inverters, the lab gave me experience wiring power distribuition panels and combiner boxes. We even installed a ground mount solar array.
I am still in contact with a number of my instructors and the staff at SEI. Iron Edison’s first employee recieved PV101 training at SEI. We used the SEI alumni message board to find our second employee. I pull out my SEI training manual nearly every week to check my work.
Iron Edison is on the verge of growing into a much larger organization. We have grown recently moved into a brand new office space here in Lakewood, CO. We have 4 full-time employees and plan on hiring 2 more in the coming weeks. Our technology is proving to be a great fit in off-grid solar systems, and we will continue to train our employees on the sound principles of system design used by SEI.