Emily Petrossian (second from the left in the photo) is the newest member of a battery manufacturing company based in California. She is the latest team member to attend solar installation training at Solar Energy International (SEI), sponsored by a company who routinely send their employees to train with SEI. Her goal was simple: to understand the uses and applications of her company’s battery technology in the solar field. Emily was well versed in batteries, providing technical support to customers. However, she wanted grow her knowledge as more people asked sought answers about the batteries in their solar electric systems. So, her employer enrolled in her in SEI’s courses and she arrived in Paonia, Colorado to complete the hands-on PV301L: Solar Electric Lab Week (Battery-Based). In fact, the SEI Battery Lab Class was her first hands on solar experience.

In her week at the SEI Campus in Paonia, CO, Emily and her fellow classmates worked with a wide range of battery-­based PV system components and architectures. Supervised by instructors who live and breathe battery-­based PV, small groups of students installed, tested, and commissioned numerous PV systems with energy storage capability. Emily, who was on the other side of the process, implemented her technical knowledge of batteries in a real world setting, side by side with classmates who are becoming certified solar installers or looking to use the class to install stand alone and multimode systems for their homes or businesses.

Emily says of her experience “ I have a newfound respect for the installers out in the field…there’s lots of hard labor and lots of knowledge.” Luckily, Emily is equipped with much more of that knowledge to take back to California to better serve her customers. She feels her solar installation training “was extremely beneficial” and will help her grow her career. She will however miss the small town vibe and relaxed pace of Paonia. However, there’s always a chance to SEI’s training campus because, as Emily can attest, there’s always more ways to use batteries, and consequently, always more to learn..