Solar PV Installer Boot Camp + NABCEP PV Associate Exam Prep


Instructor: Dr. Sean White

Subjects: Solar: NABCEP, Solar: Certification Prep, Solar: Design and Installation

Length: 6 modules

Student Rating

Rating: 9.1/10 (view ratings)
1,083 students have taken this course


Electricians, contractors, or career-changers: learn how to design, install, and sell solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. You'll have access to an expert instructor, lecture videos, useful resources and practice quizzes to prepare to pass the NABCEP Photovoltaic (PV) Associate Exam.

Dive deep into introductory solar photovoltaic installation and design principles and practices addressed in the NABCEP PV Installer Job Task Analysis.

Your instructor Dr. Sean White is one of HeatSpring's most popular and highest rated instructors and 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. Sean has taken and passed the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Exam twice and also previously served on the exam committee. He was named IREC Trainer of the Year in 2014.

To earn 18 Advanced NABCEP credits, you will need to complete the course AND pass the NABCEP PV Associate Exam. These credits can be applied toward the training requirements to sit for the NABCEP PV Installation Professional certification exam. When you finish this course, you will be eligible to sit for the NABCEP PV Associate Exam at any Castle Worldwide testing location in the United States or Canada. Learn more about NABCEP Exams.

Not Included - Exam Fee
The $150 NABCEP PV Associate Exam fee is a separate fee paid when scheduling your exam after you have completed the course. You must complete this course first then provide your certificate of completion when scheduling your NABCEP exam.

To participate in this course, you'll need to buy a copy of Sean White's book: "Solar Photovoltaic Basics: A Study Guide for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam." The book covers the basics of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and focuses on preparation for the NABCEP PV Associate Exam (which was called the Entry Level Exam until July 2016). You can buy the book online on Amazon or a similar site for about $35.

Ready To Sign Up Today? Click Here to Enroll

Preview the Course Material

Check out a free preview of the course by clicking the button below. This is a live assignment from the course and will give you a good sense for what the course will be like.

Free Preview - History of Solar PV (10 minutes)
Foundational Course For Solar Installers

We packed this course with detailed information that will enable you to begin designing and installing solar systems.

Earn 18 Advanced Nabcep Credits

In order to claim their 18 advanced NABCEP credits, students MUST pass the NABCEP PV Associate Exam after completing this course.

Nabcep Photovoltaic Associate Exam

After you complete the course, you can schedule your NABCEP PV Associate Exam by submitting a request and paying the $150 exam fee (which is not included in the course price). You can schedule your exam for whenever you feel adequately prepared and have a convenient time available. The exam can be taken at any Castle Worldwide testing location.

97% Success Rate On The Nabcep Photovoltaic Associate Exam

The NABCEP PV Associate Exam is a credential is recognized throughout the solar industry. In 2015, 97% of the students who took this course passed the NABCEP PV Associate Exam.

Self Paced Online Course

This online course is 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 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Access can be extended beyond 1 year with a monthly membership. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. 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 LinkedIn integration.

The Solar PV Boot Camp online course provided by HeatSpring was excellent. It is a comprehensive course which blends reading resources with video lessons. It is obvious that a continuous improvement process is used through student feedback and test metrics to assure that students have a high success rate when taking the NABCEP test.

- Joseph Fraioli, EarthCoupler Renewables

Outstanding medium for obtaining foundational knowledge in PV for anyone trying to solidify their skills.

- Asim Khan, Spectrum Power

A great introduction to the world of PV systems.

- Jamal Khoury

I would highly recommend this course to anyone who would like to enter the field of photovoltaic installation.

- David Goldthwaite, Raytheon

Would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in getting into the solar/energy industry. Very well done.

- Rick Ross, Connecticut Green Bank

This Solar PV Boot Camp training course was taught in a very comprehensive and fun manner. Learning with entertaining lectures at its best.

- Jose Caceres

Sean is a great instructor, and extraordinarily knowledgeable on the subject matter. It is a very good class.

- Tedrowe Bonner, Rubicon Seven

The course offered through HeatSpring was extremely educational. Honestly, it was the best online course I've ever taken.

- Kristina Flesher, Sunny Skies - Solar & Wind

Worth every penny if you are serious about not just passing [the NABCEP PV Associate Exam] but actually learning the fundamentals of solar to be functional in the industry.

- Rex Wilson

I feel confident about entering this field thanks to the excellent material in the [NABCEP PV Associate] prep course! Very patient and helpful teachers and support staff.

- Danielle Laberge, Grassroots Solar

Sean explains the material in the book and in the lectures in a manner that is very easy to follow and very easy to understand. In my opinion anyone who is willing to take this course should use Sean White's class and lecture because I didn't go to school for electrical and how they would understand everything that was taught. I truly feel that I am ready to take the [NABCEP PV Associate exam] with confidence and being able to pass the test with ease.

- Eric Beaudette, Skyline Solar

I passed the Associate Exam with 24 points to spare. HeatSpring did over prepare me for the test!

- Forest Stroud

+ Read more student ratings and reviews for this course


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Dr. Sean White

2014 IREC Trainer of the Year

Dr. Sean White was the 2014 Interstate Renewable Energy Council Trainer of the Year. He is an ISPQ 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...[more]

Free Preview - History of Solar PV (10 minutes)

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.

  • 2017 NEC Free Download (Resource)
  • Introduction to HeatSpring (1 minute) (Video) preview
  • Resource: NABCEP Photovoltaic Associate Candidate Information Sheet (Download .pdf)
  • Important Note on 18 Advanced NABCEP Credits (Text)
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile (Text)
  • Connect with your instructor Sean on LinkedIn (Resource)
  • Audio versions of lectures are located in: After The Course - Feedback and Additional Resources (Text)
  • Discussion Board - One Question Per Post (Text)
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board (Text)
Module 1 - History of Solar, Markets and Applications for Solar PV, and Safety Basics

This week 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).

  • Purchase the book for this course: "Solar Photovoltaic Basics: A Study Guide for the NABCEP Associate Exam" (Resource)
  • Review: NABCEP Photovoltaic Associate Exam Job Task Analysis (JTA) (Resource)
  • Read Chapter 1 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - PV Markets and Applications (Text)
  • History of Solar PV (10 minutes) (Video) preview
  • PV Markets and Applications (1 hour 5 minutes) (Video)
  • Required Discussion Board Post #1 (Text)
  • Read Chapter 2 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - Safety Basics (Text)
  • Safety Basics (54 minutes) (Video)
  • Required Discussion Board Post #2 (Text)
  • Week 1 Quiz (Quiz)
  • Note on Posting Discussion Board Questions (Text)
Module 2 - Electricity Basics + Solar Energy Fundamentals

This week 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 (Text)
  • Electricity Basics (57 minutes) (Video)
  • PV Math Quiz (10 questions) (Quiz)
  • Required Discussion Board Post #1 (Text)
  • Read Chapter 4 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - Solar Energy Fundamentals (Text)
  • Solar Energy Fundamentals - Part 1 (1 hour) (Video)
  • Solar Energy Fundamentals - Part 2 (1 hour 15 minutes) (Video)
  • Required Discussion Board Post #2 (Text)
  • Solar Energy Fundamentals Quiz (Quiz)
Module 3 - PV Module Fundamentals and System Components

This week 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 (Text)
  • PV Module Fundamentals - Part 1 (29 minutes) (Video) preview
  • PV Module Fundamentals - Part 2 (56 minutes) (Video)
  • PV Module Fundamentals - Part 3 (29 minutes) (Video)
  • Required Discussion Board Post #1 (Text)
  • Read Chapter 6 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - System Components (Text)
  • System Components - Part 1 (55 minutes) (Video)
  • System Components - Part 2 (27 minutes) (Video)
  • System Components - Part 3 (44 minutes) (Video)
  • Required Discussion Board Post #2 (Text)
  • Week 3 Quiz PV Module Fundamentals and System Components (Quiz)
Module 4 - PV System Sizing and Electrical Design

This week 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 (Text)
  • PV System Sizing - (1 hour 52 minutes) (Video)
  • PV System Sizing - PVWatts (1 hour 5 minutes) (Video)
  • Required Discussion Board Post #1 (Text)
  • Read Chapter 8 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - PV System Electrical Design (Text)
  • PV System Electrical Design (2 hours 8 minutes) (Video)
  • Required Discussion Board Post #2 (Text)
  • Week 4 Quiz (Quiz)
Module 5 - Solar PV Components and Complete Systems

Beginning with a close-up look at each element of grid-tied and off-grid systems, including: modules, inverters, charge controllers, batteries and more, these elements are then configured into complete systems. We'll also cover series and parallel wiring for batteries, and interaction between charge controllers and batteries.

  • Read Chapter 9 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - PV System Mechanical Design (Text)
  • PV System Mechanical Design - Part 1 (1 hour 43 minutes) (Video)
  • PV System Mechanical Design - Part 2 (1 hour 15 minutes) (Video)
  • Required Discussion Board Post #1 (Text)
  • Read Chapter 10 in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" - Performance Analysis, Maintenance, and Troubleshooting (Text)
  • Performance Analysis, Maintenance and Troubleshooting (54 minutes) (Video)
  • Required Discussion Board Post #2 (Text)
  • Site Survey Form (Resource)
  • Optional: Interactive System Sizing Instructions (Resource)
  • Optional: Interactive System Sizing Worksheet (Resource)
  • Optional: Stand-Alone System Sizing Instructions (Resource)
  • Optional: Stand-Alone System Sizing Worksheet (Resource)
  • Quiz Week 5 (Quiz)
Module 6 - Voltage Temperature Calculations + Practice Exam

This week, you'll learn about voltage temperature calculations, review some useful resources and take a 70-question practice exam to see how well you've mastered the material presented during the course.

  • Read Special Section - Voltage Temperature Calculations in "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" (Text)
  • String Sizing - Voltage Temperature Calculations (2 hours) (Video)
  • String Sizing Quiz (Quiz)
  • Permit Inspection Checklist (Resource)
  • Maintenance Task Report (Resource)
  • Life Cycle Cost Worksheets (Resource)
  • Photovoltaic (PV) Installer Resource Guide - 2016 (Resource)
  • Reference File for Practice Exam (Download .pdf)
  • Practice Exam 1 (70 questions) (Quiz)
  • Practice Exam 2 (75 Questions) (Quiz)
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). 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.

  • Important Reminder on 18 Advanced NABCEP Credits (Text)
  • List of Castle Worldwide Test Site Cities (Resource)
  • NABCEP Photovoltaic Associate Exam Candidate Information Form (Download .pdf)
  • Scheduling Your NABCEP Photovoltaic Associate Exam (Text)
  • NABCEP Photovoltaic Associate Exam Learning Objectives (Resource)
  • 1 - Markets and Applications (Audio .m4a)
  • 2 - Safety Basics (Audio .m4a)
  • 3 - Electricity Basics (Audio .m4a)
  • 4 - Solar Energy Fundamentals (Audio .m4a)
  • 5 - PV Module Fundamentals (Audio .m4a)
  • 6 - PV System Components (Audio .m4a)
  • 7 - PV System Sizing (Audio .m4a)
  • 8 - PV System Electrical Design (Audio .m4a)
  • 9 - PV System Mechanical Design (Audio .m4a)
  • 10-Performance Analysis, Maintenance and Troubleshooting (Audio .m4a)
  • String Sizing - Special Section - Voltage Temperature Calculations (Audio .m4a)
  • "PV Math" by John Wiles (Download .pdf)
  • 2017 NEC Changes (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 1.1 (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 1.2 (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 1.3 (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 1.4 (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 2.1 (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 2.2 (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 2.3 (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 2.4 (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 3.1 (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 3.2 (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 3.3 (Video)
  • Optional - ASEO Class 3.4 (Video)
  • Associate New Material (Text)
  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials (Text)
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey (Survey)
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member (Resource)
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate (Certificate)
  • Passing score on a NABCEP Associate Examination (Text)
Free Preview - History of Solar PV (10 minutes)

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