Solar Hot Water Design & Installation


Length: 6 weeks

Instructor: Bob Ramlow

Subjects: Solar: NABCEP, Solar: Solar Thermal, Solar: Certification Prep

Student Rating

Rating: 9.0/10 (view ratings)
87 students have taken this course


Learn how to design and install solar hot water (thermal) systems from one of the pioneers. Bob Ramlow is an ISPQ Emeritus Master Trainer in the solar thermal industry. His book 'Solar Water Heating' is recognized as a comprehensive design and installation manual and serves as our guide for preparing participants for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam. This course includes Bob's book, video lessons, reading assignments, quizzes, discussion, homework problems, and discussion board access to Bob. It's the most comprehensive course available for building professionals looking to add solar thermal to their skill set.

The $120 NABCEP Entry Level Exam fee is not included in the course price. (We separated out this fee because some people do not need to take the exam.)

This course is now available to start any time. Participants will still have discussion board access to Bob, but responses may be delayed several days during periods when Bob is traveling or does not have internet access.

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Prepare for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam (Exam Fee Not Included)

After completing this course, you will be well-prepared to take the Solar Thermal NABCEP Entry Level Exam. The $100 exam fee is NOT included in the course tuition. After completing the course, participants may pay the exam fee and take the exam at one of hundreds of testing centers in the U.S. and Canada.

Included: "Solar Water Heating" by Bob Ramlow

Instructor Bob Ramlow is one of the world's leading solar thermal experts. He has helped design or install more than 1,000 solar hot water systems and has been teaching for over two decades. His seminal textbook, "Solar Water Heating: A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Water and Space Heating Systems," is included with this course.

Self-Paced Online Course

This online course is both self-serve and self-paced. You can begin instantly upon enrollment.

Access Information and Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible for as long as the course is offered on the marketplace, with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Earn a Certificate of Completion

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 one-click LinkedIn integration.

Great course. I gained lots of knowledge from a very knowledgeable instructor and have a tremendous amount of extra materials I wasn't expecting. The course workload was perfect for the time allotted. I plan on continuing with other courses. Well worth the money!

- Rich Manning, Energy Master LI Building Consultants


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Bob Ramlow

Bob is an ISPQ Emeritus Master Trainer with more than 30 years experience designing and installing solar systems and has been a driving force in the growth of solar thermal use. Bob is co-owner of Artha Sustainable Living Center LLC and the author of 'Solar Water Heating', A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Water and Space Heating Systems, the first book of it's kind...[more]

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Course Outline

Welcome - 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. Typically access is extended for much longer.

Week 1 - Fundamentals of Solar Hot Water Systems

Welcome to the most comprehensive solar thermal training for professionals! We’re excited to get going. Topics covered this week include: History of the solar thermal industry, Outline of solar thermal markets, Fundamentals of solar thermal, and understanding the solar resource, including site assessment.

Week 2 - Solar Hot Water System Types and Configuration Options

Topics covered this week: Low and High Temperature Systems, Passive Direct, Passive Indirect, Active Direct, Active Indirect, Pressurized, Drainback, Flooded, Draindown, Swimming Pool Systems, Flat Plate, Evacuated Tubes, Concentrating Collectors, Unglazed v. Glazed. Everything you ever wanted to know about collectors and systems.

Week 3 - Mounting the Solar Collectors and Installation Considerations

Topics covered this week: How collectors are mounted, roof considerations, ground mount considerations and system installation considerations. A presentation of photos from real world installations is included with comments from Bob.

Week 4 - Necessary System Components and Component Sizing

Topics covered this week: Everything about system components including component descriptions and component sizing formulas.

Week 5 - Sizing the Solar Hot Water System and Using Design Software

TOPICS COVERED: How to properly size a solar water heating system using formulas, rules of thumb and using computer modeling systems. A complete tutorial about how to use a popular sizing and analysis program is included. An in-depth discussion of the economics of solar water heating systems is also included.

Week 6 - System Startup, Commissioning, and Troubleshooting

This is the big finish, and it's been an intense six weeks of concentrated material. Fortunately, you have up to 120 days to view this material and complete the final assignments. After completing the course you can schedule your NABCEP Solar Thermal Entry Level Exam. TOPICS COVERED: Commissioning and troubleshooting a system, solar space heating systems, and safety issues are also covered.

After The Course - Feedback and Additional Resources

No matter how great this course is, we know it's just one part of a bigger journey. In this module we'll start thinking about what comes next. You'll provide feedback on the course, request a certificate of completion, and learn about additional resources. Don't forget that you'll have access to the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year). Typically access is extended for much longer without any action needed. If access is removed, contact us for an extension. Feel free to come back as much as you like to continue learning, and please stay in touch. Let us know what you do next and how we can help.

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