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About this course

This course focuses on quality management in the utility scale solar industry.

Ensuring high quality installations is absolutely essential for a wide range of reasons – from ensuring safe jobsites, to preventing the financial impacts of rework, to ensuring that projects meet their scheduled targets… all of which we’ll cover in depth during this course. We’re also going to teach you best practices around building quality management programs, and I’ll be using my ten years of experience in the solar construction industry to pass on many of the lessons that I’ve learned during my time in the field.

In lesson 1 - we’ll learn the basics of solar PV – and make sure that you understand concepts like voltage, current, resistance – and the difference between power and energy. This section also covers how electricity flows through a solar plant, and introduces you to some of the key players in the design, installation and ownership of a project. We’ll also be spending some time in this section making sure you understand the key components of a utility scale solar power plant. Having a good comprehension of these fundamentals will set you up to understand concepts that we touch on in more depth late in the course.

In Lesson 2, we’ll lay the groundwork for quality management – first explaining why it’s so important in all construction activities, but particularly utility scale solar… then discussing some core principles of quality management and differentiate between quality assurance and quality control.

Finally, in lesson 3 – we’ll put the pieces together – and focus on quality management on large scale solar sites. We’ll chat about the importance of planning and getting everyone speaking the same language when it comes to quality and installations… discuss how the technical drawings are such a critical piece of the puzzle, explain best practices when it comes to quality, look at different forms of quality documentation and discuss lessons learnt and continual improvement.

This course is an amazing resource for anyone who cares about high quality installations on job sites they're involved in. Whether you're a field engineer, a project manager, a construction manager, a superintendent, crew lead, quality lead or a field employee - you're going to gain something from this course and become more a more valuable team member.

Note: This course shares 'Lesson 1 - Basics of Solar PV' with Andy Nyce's Understanding Utility Scale Solar Construction Drawings.

Ready To Sign Up Today? Click Here to Enroll

Course outline

4 modules • 25 assignments • 1:46 hours of video lectures

Welcome • 4 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.

  • Set up email notifications and your student profile
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board
  • Introduction to the Course (14:51 minutes)
  • Introduction to the Course (optional download) (.pdf)
Module 1 • 5 assignments
Basics of Solar

A high level introduction of the basics of solar PV. Firstly we’re going to look at some real fundamentals of solar PV. We'll go through the real basics of electricity so that we’re all on the same page there – we'll review the theory behind voltage, current, power and energy– and make sure that our understanding of these concepts is on point. We’ll then look at the flow of electricity though a solar PV plant – and touch on some of the key components like combiner boxes, inverters and transformers, which we’ll come back to later in the section in more detail. Then from a high level, we’ll look at some of the key players who are involved in the development, engineering, installation and long term maintenance of a large scale solar power plant… and the flow of a project from initiation all the way through to completion.

  • Basics of Solar (35:07 minutes)
  • Basics of Solar (optional download) (.pdf)
  • Engineering - Basics of Solar - Quiz
  • Engineering - Electrical Flow - Quiz
  • How the Inflation Reduction Act will Supercharge Solar in the US
Module 2 • 5 assignments
Quality Management Principles

In this section, we’re going to first lay the groundwork for quality management – explaining why it’s so important in all construction activities, but particularly utility scale solar… and detailing how quality is a topic that has an outsized effect on many other critical processes and systems on a project… and can affect safety, schedule, budget and client relationships. We’ll then look at some wider quality management principles – gaining a general understanding of concepts like customer focus, continual improvement, process based planning and using data to make good decisions. And finally, we’ll wrap up this section by diving into Quality Assurance and Quality Control – or QA/QC. These are two concepts that are often used in the same breath, and many people don’t actually understand the core differences between these two components of a quality management system – so I think it’s worthwhile spending some time discussing the differences and interactions between QA and QC.

  • Quality Management Principles (18:35 minutes)
  • Quality Management Principles (optional download) (.pdf)
  • Quality Management Principles - Quiz
  • Additional Resource (PVTech Article) (.pdf)
  • Top Causes of Solar Performance Issues
Module 3 • 4 assignments
Ensuring Quality in Utility Scale Solar Construction

We’ll begin by reemphazing the importance of planning – and how critical it is to go into projects well prepared. We’ll talk in depth about best practices for quality management in solar construction, and dive deep into the various inspections that need to be undertaken at each step of the build. We’ll then spend some time talking about drawings, and making sure that we have a thorough understanding of why well detailed engineering drawings, solid revision control and good RFI processes are so critical for a high quality project. We’ll touch base on quality documentation, and best practices for designing and managing this paperwork. And then we’ll finish up by going through lessons learned procedures and how to ensure ongoing improvement is a part of your teams’ culture.

  • Ensuring Quality in Utility Scale Solar Construction (26:13 minutes)
  • Ensuring Quality in Utility Scale Solar Construction (optional download) (.pdf)
  • Quality in Utility Scale Solar - Quiz
  • Sample FAI and QC Checklist Templates (.xlsx)
Module 4 • 2 assignments
Expanding Your Opportunities

In this section, we’re going to zoom out a bit from the highly technical and site specific discussions that we’ve been having over the previous lectures – and discuss some broader concepts in regards to career planning, leadership skills, resume building, professional etiquette and a whole lot more. Our goal here is just to touch on some of these ideas and remind you of their broader importance – I’ve seen plenty of people held back from taking the next step in their career because although their technical expertise was solid, they weren’t perceived as ‘client facing’, or their resume was nowhere near up to scratch. I’ve always thought that these are relatively easy things to get right – but you might not know what you don’t know! Hopefully we can help change that and give some perspective of what employers are looking for and provide some tips and tricks to help you take the next step in your career – and truly expand your opportunities.

  • Expanding Your Opportunities (12:08 minutes)
  • Expanding Your Opportunities (optional download) (.pdf)
Conclusion • 5 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!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate
  • Post about your positive experience with your network!

Continuing Education Units

Approved for the following CEUs

  • NABCEP JTA
  • NABCEP RE Elective
  • NABCEP Advanced Credit Hours
  • NABCEP PV Associate Renewal

Approved NABCEP CEU Hours

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

NABCEP Registered Provider

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

Instructor

  • Andy Nyce

    Sr. Director of Project Management, Erthos Inc.
    View profile

    I'm Andy Nyce - originally from New Zealand, but I've spent the last nine years in the United States in a range of engineering, construction, project management and quality control roles in the large scale renewables industry. I've been directly involved in over 2GW of execution at every level of installation, management and commissioning. I'm currently the Sr.... Learn more

Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?
You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 4 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 11 reviews
23
students have taken this course
11/21/2023
Robert W
10/25/2023
Matt W
01/23/2024
Jasson A

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