Pace University
New York City | Westchester

Solar PV Design and Installation Basics Workshop

Course Format

40 Hours; Offered Monday-Friday or 5 Saturdays, Instructor led. Class runs from 9am-5:30pm.

Cost $1500 -  Includes all study materials and NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam.


Prerequisite: Electricity Basics for Solar PV Design and Installation Basics*

This class requires fundamental electrical knowledge. A 12 hour prerequisite course Electricity Basics for Solar PV Design and Installation must be taken prior to attending the Solar PV Design and Installation class. This two day course will run in the weeks prior to the Solar PV Design and Installation class and covers electrical theory and characteristics, electrical equations, including Ohm's Law, electrical and photovoltaic circuits.  Students will be introduced to the National Electric Code, the proper use of hand tools, schematic drawings and more, and will be prepared to successfully participate in the Solar Photo Voltaic Design and Installation Course. 

*Licensed electricians and electrical engineers are not required to take this course.

You Will Learn To

  • Work Safely with PV Systems
  • Adapt the Design to a Specific Site
  • Install sub-systems and components onsite
  • Review, inspect and commission the system
  • Maintain and Troubleshoot the System
  • Understand the National Electric Code

Who Should Enroll

This course is designed for electricians, homeowners, contractors and others who have an interest in Solar PV and wish to learn the basics of designing and installing a PV system. Participants must have a basic knowledge of electricity and must possess the ability work with hand tools.

Course Description

Based on the ten objectives contained in the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Entry Level Program this 40-hour class covers the basics of designing and installing both a grid-tied system and an off-grid system with battery backup. The course includes lectures, videos and two Solar PV installations by all participants. The course will also cover system costs, NYSERDA, State and Federal incentives and rebates, net metering and all system components including thin-film sheets and crystal panels, inverters, wiring, connections, roof and ground mounting options and hardware, battery backup and chargers and output monitoring devices.

Upon successful completion of this course, the curriculum will enable students to pass the NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) PV Entry Level Exam. It is designed for those individuals wanting to get into the solar field; achievement of the NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam is a way for candidates to demonstrate that they have achieved a basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of the application, design, installation and operation of grid-tied and stand-alone PV Systems.

Our instructors are involved in the solar field as business owner and consultant. They are able to give a "real world" view of the solar industry and answer your questions from their work experience. The equipment used in the class is in working order and of the latest technology. You will receive a manual and CD study guide to review curriculum and answer questions with practice tests for the NABCEP Entry level exam. At the end of class you will receive a certificate of completion from Pace University.

Detailed Course Outline

1.       Introduction
2.       Applications
a.       Standalone Systems
b.      Grid-Connected Systems
c.       Grid-Interactive Systems
d.      Utility-Scale Solar Generating Systems
3.       Ohm’s Law and Power
a.       Applying Ohm’s Law to Series and Parallel Circuits
b.      Ohm’s Law and Power
c.       Series and Parallel Circuits in Solar PV Systems
d.      Peak Sun and Power
4.       PV System Components
a.       PV Panels
b.      Inverters
c.       Batteries
d.      Charge Controllers
e.      BOS Components
5.       Safety Considerations in PV Systems
a.       Fall Protection
b.      Battery Hazards
c.       Electrical Hazards
d.      Meter Safety
6.       Site Assessment
a.       Customer Interview
b.      Power Consumption
c.       Roof Evaluation
d.      Array Orientation
e.      Equipment Location
6.       System Design
a.        Panel Nameplate Data
b.      Solar Array Sizing
c.       Inverter Selection
d.      Battery Bank size
e.      Selecting a Charge Controller
f.        Adjusting PV Conductors
7.       Installation
a.       Forces Exerted on the Panels/Support System
b.      Roof-Mounted Installations
c.       Ground-Mounted Installation
d.      Electrical System Installation
e.      Assessing System Output Power
8.       Maintenance
9.       Troubleshooting
a.       Loose or Corroded System Connections
b.      Inverter Losses
c.       Heat Fade
d.      Burnt Terminals
e.      Bypass Diode Failure
10.       Codes and Standards
11.       Emerging Technologies


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