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Solar energy technicians, also known as a Solar Photovoltaic (PVT) Technicians, are generally responsible for installing, fixing, and maintaining solar energy systems that provide solar power. They are responsible for the assembly, installation, and maintenance of agricultural and rooftop systems and systems mounted to other types of structures. PVTs must be able to read blueprints, schematics, and specifications and may need to confer with building inspectors occasionally.
Solar technicians are often mechanically minded and like to work outdoors. Their work is physical, requiring them to be on their feet most of the day, climb ladders, and carry the panels. A solar technician cannot be afraid of heights and should be comfortable working individually as well as in groups. The installation of solar panels often requires the ability to work as part of a team, while service and maintenance are often solo work.
Solar technicians have a variety of job responsibilities, which depend on their experience and education. CCHST prepares graduates to write the NABCEP Associate Exam in Photovoltaics (PVA).
Upon successful completion, graduates of this program find positions working as:
Solar PV Systems Technicians can make on an average $19.79 – $32.41 per hour
*(source: ca.indeed.com 2020)
Candidates must submit a copy of their Secondary School Diploma (OSSD, GED, or better), if this is not available they will be required to pass the Scholastic Level Exam (SLE).
This module will provide students with an overview of computer applications, the Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Students will develop the professional skills needed in modern business world through a series of projects and simulations in an interactive digital environment.
This module will provide students the tools to develop business English and interpersonal communication skills necessary to function in the modern business setting. In addition, this module provides a review of English grammar, sentence structure and punctuation as they apply to business communications. Students will develop effective interpersonal communication skills for managing personal and working relationships. The importance of diversity inclusion and teamwork will also be explored.
In this module students will learn to identify key contributions to the development of PV Technology, common types of PV system applications for both stand-alone and utility interactive systems with and without energy storage. Students will also learn to associate key features and benefits of specific types of PV systems, including residential, commercial, BIPV, concentrating PV and utility-scale.
In this module students will learn the different safety precautions that need to be taken, withstanding different weather conditions, special requirements such as reading labels in photovoltaic projects. Students will also learn about the different types of safety equipment they will be required to use and wear while working.
In this module students will learn the meaning of basic electrical parameters including electrical charge, current, voltage, power and resistance. Students will also learn the function and purpose of common electrical system components, including conductors, conduits/raceways and enclosures, overcurrent devices, diodes and rectifiers. Students will learn to understand the fundamentals of electric utility system operations, including generation, transmission, distribution and typical electrical service supplies to building and facilities.
In this module students will learn the basic terminology including solar radiation, solar irradiance, solar irradiation, solar insolation. Students will also learn to diagram the sum’s apparent movement across the sky over any given day and over an entire year at any given latitude. Students will also learn to understand the consequences of array shading and best practices for minimizing shading and preserving array output.
In this module students will learn how a solar cell converts sunlight into electrical power and learn how to distinguish between PV cells, modules, panels and arrays. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the effects of varying incident solar irradiance while learning cell temperature on PV module electrical output, illustrate the results on an I-V curve and indicate changes in current, voltage and power.
In this module students will learn the different components, Plate, Active Material, Grid, Separator, Electrolyte, Case, Vent, Sulfation, Primary and Secondary Batteries.
In this module students will learn to understand the basic principles, rationale and strategies for sizing stand-alone PV systems versus utility-interactive PV systems. Included will be the power usage and time of use for various electrical loads, determine the peak power demand and energy consumption over a given period of time.
In this module students will be able to determine all PV and electrical components required as well as determine the best location of current devices. They will design a PV system with the necessary electrical components as specified in component manufacturers or solar manufacturer’s installation manual. Identifying where to put a battery rack and provide direction for the installation of a grounding system will also be covered. Students will also understand the maximize efficiency of the system by designing the most optimal location of panels.
In this module students gain an understanding of the mechanical component integration of photovoltaic arrays. Students will learn the site conditions, hazards, physical and electrical characteristics of PV modules chosen, the desired electrical output for the array, and the mounting system and structural attachments. The considerations for the installation, maintenance, accessibility of equipment, and architectural integration will also be included. The objective is to produce the least-cost mechanical installation that is safe, secure and appropriate for the application
In this module students will discuss various potential problems related to PV system design, components, installation, operation or maintenance that may affect the performance and reliability of PV systems. Students will also learn how to identify the use and meaning of typical performance parameters monitored in PV systems, including DC and AC voltages, currents and power levels, solar energy collected, the electrical energy produced or consumed, and operating temperature.
This module will provide students with the skills to prepare for employment, research employment opportunities within their field of study and be successful in their future career. Some of the topics included will be the preparation of a resume, interview and cover letter.