About this course

Electricians, contractors, or career-changers: learn the fundamentals of solar PV systems and learn from an expert. You'll have access to an expert instructor, lecture videos and other useful resources.

The instructor for this course, Sean White, is one of HeatSpring's most popular and highest rated instructors. He is available to answer questions on the discussion board while you work through the course materials. He is extremely responsive and answers questions in great detail. He is an IREC Master Trainer, was named 2014 Clean Energy Trainer of the Year, travels around the world to teach seminars on solar technology, and recently published his 3rd book on solar design and installation.

To get the most out of this course, you should also buy a copy of Sean White's book: Solar Photovoltaic Basics. The book covers the basics of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and is a great resource for contractors, electricians, and business professionals who want to enter the solar PV industry. You can buy the book online for about $35, we provide a link in the course for some options.

Important - Does Not Qualify for NABCEP PV Associate Exam
This course DOES NOT qualify you to sit for the PV Associate exam. If you want to be able to take the PV Associate Exam you would need to take the Solar PV Bootcamp + NABCEP PV Associate Exam Prep course instead. NABCEP will only accept applications for the PV Associate exam from students who have completed that course specifically.

This course is approved for 18 hours of NABCEP Advanced PV Training for CEUs and recertification.

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Course outline

6 modules • 114 assignments • 19:37 hours of video lectures

Welcome • 9 assignments
Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Textbook: "Solar Photovoltaic Basics: A Study Guide for the NABCEP Associate Exam 2nd Edition"
  • About this course vs. the other PV Associate Boot Camp
  • Books and resources
  • Live Online Proctoring (LOP) for All NABCEP Exams!
  • Discussion Board Request from Sean and Notes on Posting Discussion Board Questions
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile
  • Connect with your instructor Sean on LinkedIn
  • Audio versions of lectures are located in: Optional Materials
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board
Module 1 • 14 assignments
History of Solar, Markets and Applications for Solar PV, and Safety Basics

You'll learn about the beginnings of solar PV technology, current markets and applications for the technology, and the basic safety considerations and requirements for solar PV installers. Topics include: different types of PV systems, OSHA, National Electrical Code (NEC), arc flashes, overcurrent protection devices, fall protection, and lockout-tagout (LOTO).

  • Read Chapter 1 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - PV Markets and Applications
  • History of Solar PV (13:56 minutes)
  • PV Markets and Applications Part 1 (14:46 minutes) Preview
  • PV Markets and Applications Part 2 (19:03 minutes)
  • PV Markets and Applications Part 3 (20:00 minutes)
  • AC-Coupling, DC-Coupling and Inverter Types, including Multimode Inverter, Stand-Alone Inverter and Interactive Inverter
  • PV Price Per Watt
  • Optional Discussion Board Post #1
  • Read Chapter 2 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - Safety Basics
  • Safety Part 1 (22:22 minutes)
  • Safety Part 2 (24:37 minutes)
  • To view your test results
  • Module 1 Quiz
  • Optional Discussion Board Post #2
Module 2 • 14 assignments
Electricity Basics + Solar Energy Fundamentals

This module covers concepts, definitions, terminology, and formulas related to electricity. It also lays out the science, data, and principles you must understand to grasp how solar energy is collected. Topics include: Ohm's Law, power, energy, voltage, current, batteries, multimeters, measurement, types of DC connections, transmission, insolation data, solar time, sun paths, shading, and solar radiation.

  • Read Chapter 3 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - Electricity Basics
  • Electricity Basics Video 1 (29:46 minutes)
  • Electricity Basics Video 2 (21:20 minutes)
  • PV Math Quiz (20 questions)
  • PV Math Quiz (20 question) With answer and explanations (.pdf)
  • Optional Discussion Board Post #1
  • Read Chapter 4 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - Solar Energy Fundamentals
  • Solar Energy Fundamentals Video 1 (27:29 minutes)
  • Solar Energy Fundamentals Video 2 (29:43 minutes)
  • Solar Energy Fundamentals Video 3 (21:42 minutes)
  • Solar Energy Fundamentals Video 4 (28:45 minutes) Preview
  • Solar Energy Fundamentals Video 5 (30:49 minutes)
  • Solar Energy Fundamentals Quiz
  • Optional Discussion Board Post #2
Module 3 • 16 assignments
PV Module Fundamentals and System Components

This module covers how solar photovoltaic (PV) technology works, the materials used to make PV modules, module efficiency, important formulas, temperature and voltage considerations, and how to test a PV system. It also provides definitions for the primary components that comprise a solar PV system.

  • Read Chapter 5 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - PV Module Fundamentals
  • PV Module Fundamentals - Part 1 (30:08 minutes)
  • PV Module Fundamentals - Part 2 (23:57 minutes)
  • PV Module Fundamentals - Part 3 (23:48 minutes)
  • PV Module Fundamentals - Part 4 (29:18 minutes) Preview
  • Optional Discussion Board Post #1
  • Read Chapter 6 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - System Components
  • System Components - Part 1 (18:55 minutes)
  • System Components - Part 2 (18:30 minutes)
  • System Components - Part 3 (15:11 minutes)
  • System Components - Part 4 (27:36 minutes)
  • System Components - Part 5 (18:09 minutes)
  • System Components - Part 6 (24:53 minutes)
  • Thin Film PV Manufacturing YouTube Video
  • Module 3 Quiz PV Module Fundamentals and System Components
  • Optional Discussion Board Post #2
Module 4 • 20 assignments
PV System Sizing and Electrical Design

This module covers the factors to consider when sizing a grid-tied or off-grid system, system losses, tilt, factors that increase or decrease PV system output, single-line diagrams, ampacity, Ohm's Law, voltage drop, charge controllers, AC- and DC-coupled battery systems, battery charging stages, overcurrent protection devices, and determining voltage ranges.

  • Read Chapter 7 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - PV System Sizing Principles
  • PV System Sizing - Part 1 (30:37 minutes)
  • PV System Sizing - Part 2 (15:58 minutes)
  • PV System Sizing - Part 3 (21:44 minutes)
  • PV System Sizing - Part 4 (16:39 minutes)
  • PV System Sizing - Part 5 (18:06 minutes)
  • PV System Sizing - PVWatts Part 1 (14:54 minutes)
  • PV System Sizing - PVWatts Part 2 (21:28 minutes)
  • PV System Sizing - PV Watts Part 3 (25:49 minutes)
  • System Sizing (Student Request) (23:34 minutes)
  • Optional Discussion Board Post #1
  • Read Chapter 8 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - PV System Electrical Design
  • PV System Electrical Design Part 1 (17:25 minutes)
  • PV System Electrical Design Part 2 (20:27 minutes)
  • PV System Electrical Design Part 3 (13:03 minutes)
  • PV System Electrical Design Part 4 (20:24 minutes)
  • PV System Electrical Design Part 5 (17:31 minutes)
  • IV Curves with Bill Brooks (11:02 minutes) Preview
  • Module 4 Quiz-System Sizing
  • Optional Discussion Board Post #2
Module 5 • 16 assignments
PV System Mechanical Design, Performance Analysis, Maintenance and Troubleshooting

In this module, you will study PV System Mechanical Design, which goes along with Chapter 9 in Solar Photovoltaic Basics. Also included in this module is Performance Analysis, Maintenance and Troubleshooting which goes along with Chapter 10 in Solar Photovoltaic Basics, which means you are getting close to the end!

  • Read Chapter 9 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - PV System Mechanical Design
  • PV System Mechanical Design - Part 1 (17:04 minutes) Preview
  • PV System Mechanical Design - Part 2 (19:34 minutes)
  • PV System Mechanical Design - Part 3 (20:43 minutes)
  • PV System Mechanical Design - Part 4 (20:45 minutes)
  • PV System Mechanical Design - Part 5 (20:44 minutes)
  • PV System Mechanical Design - Part 6 (19:01 minutes)
  • PV System Mechanical Design - Part 7 (19:20 minutes)
  • PV System Mechanical Design - Part 8 (18:09 minutes)
  • PV System Mechanical Design - Part 9 (19:30 minutes)
  • Optional Discussion Board Post #1
  • Read Chapter 10 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - Performance Analysis, Maintenance, and Troubleshooting
  • Performance Analysis, Maintenance and Troubleshooting Part 1 (24:32 minutes)
  • Performance Analysis, Maintenance and Troubleshooting Part 2 (30:00 minutes)
  • Module 5 Quiz
  • Optional Discussion Board Post #2
Module 6 • 19 assignments
Voltage Temperature Calculations + Practice Exams

In this module, you'll learn about voltage temperature calculations, review some useful resources and take exams to see how well you've mastered the material presented during the course. These exams can be repeated here as many times as you want and are highly recommended to be used to prepare for the NABCEP PVA exam! Note: Since 2019, NABCEP has not had any voltage temperature calculations on their PVA exams.

  • Read Special Section - Voltage Temperature Calculations in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics"
  • String Sizing - Voltage Temperature Calculations Part 1 (17:46 minutes)
  • String Sizing - Voltage Temperature Calculations Part 2 (17:44 minutes)
  • String Sizing - Voltage Temperature Calculations Part 3 (26:29 minutes)
  • String Sizing - Voltage Temperature Calculations Part 4 (16:28 minutes)
  • String Sizing - Voltage Temperature Calculations Part 5 (23:24 minutes)
  • String Sizing Quiz
  • Resource: SolSmart Permitting
  • Backfeeding the grid with a Tesla Model S (02:01 minutes)
  • Building Integrated Photovoltaics and Tesla Solarglass (aka Tesla Solar Roof) with Bill Brooks (05:37 minutes)
  • The exam numbers go from 1 being the most recent exam to the higher number being the older exam questions
  • NABCEP Associate Practice Exam 4 - 65 Questions
  • NABCEP Associate Practice Exam 4 - 65 Questions With Answer and Detailed Explanations (.pdf)
  • NABCEP Associate Practice Exam 3 - 70 Questions
  • NABCEP Associate Practice Exam 3 - 70 Questions With Answer and Detailed Explanations (.pdf)
  • NABCEP Associate Practice Exam 2 - 70 Questions
  • NABCEP Associate Practice Exam 2 - 70 Questions With Answer and Detailed Explanations (.pdf)
  • NABCEP Associate Practice Exam 1 - 70 Questions
  • NABCEP Associate Practice Exam 1 - 70 Questions With Answer and Detailed Explanations (.pdf)
Conclusion • 6 assignments
Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • Introducing Bill Brooks! (14:40 minutes)
  • Lots of additional optional videos and audio recordings
  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate

Continuing Education Units

Approved for the following CEUs

  • NABCEP JTA
  • NABCEP RE Elective
  • NABCEP NEC
  • NABCEP Advanced Credit Hours
  • NABCEP PV Associate Renewal
  • NABCEP Building or Fire Code

Approved NABCEP CEU Hours

NABCEP Credential Advanced Hours for Exam Recertification CEU Hours NEC JTA RE Elective Building or Fire Code
18 18 5 18 18 2
0 12 0 0 0 0
5 18 5 18 18 2
18 18 5 18 18 2
18 18 5 18 18 2
18 18 0 18 18 2
18 18 5 18 18 2

NABCEP Registered Provider

This course counts towards the training requirements for taking NABCEP professional certification exams and CEUs for renewing all certifications.

Instructor

  • Sean White

    2014 IREC Trainer of the Year, HeatSpring / White House Energy Inc. / Sean White Solar / Norcal Solar
    View profile

    Sean White was the 2014 Interstate Renewable Energy Council Trainer of the Year. He is an IREC Certified Solar PV Master Trainer and has authored several books on solar. He contributed to the development of the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Job Task Analysis and has been a member of the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Technical Committee. Sean is a... Learn more

Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?
You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 6 module course is delivered entirely online. This course is self-paced and you can set your own schedule to complete the materials. You can begin the lecture videos and other course materials as soon as you enroll. During your year of access the instructor will be in the course answering questions on the discussion board. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.
How long do I have access to the materials?
Students get unlimited access to the course materials as soon as they enroll and for one year (365 days) after enrollment. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world. After the one year of access expires, access can be extended by joining as a HeatSpring member. A single membership extends access to course materials for all past enrollments.
Is there a certificate of completion?
Yes, when you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.
Can I register multiple people?
Yes please visit our HeatSpring for Teams page to get a group discount.

Reviews

4.8
Based on 213 reviews
780
students have taken this course
02/03/2024

The truth is I don't like studying. But with this course and the need to improve myself in my professional life, I am learning to study, concentrate and give my best. I hope I can pass the exam that is my goal

Sebastian Carrillo Rudas
08/09/2023

What a great course! Sean White delivers some great introductory knowledge for solar professionals that want to take the next step in their careers or for anyone interested in learning more about PV solar. 11/10!

Daniel Sammon
Sales Rep/Estimator, Douglass Colony
06/16/2022

It was an honor to take a course with the greatest snowboarder of all time

Moses Zhou

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