Solar PV Installer Boot Camp Training + NABCEP Entry Level Exam Prep


Length: 7 weeks

Instructor: Dr. Sean White

Subjects: Solar Design & Installation, NABCEP, Certification Prep

Student Rating

Rating: 8.3/10 (Since July 2015)
774 students have taken this course


Are you an electrician, contractor, or career-changer looking to get started in the solar industry? This introductory training teaches you to design, install, and sell solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. It also prepares you to pass the NABCEP Entry Level Exam. The course includes lecture videos, useful resources, practice quizzes, and discussion board access to instructor Sean White, a certified NABCEP PV Installation Professional and globally-recognized solar educator and author. Students must complete the course AND then pass the NABCEP Entry Level Exam in order to earn 18 advanced NABCEP credits. These credits can be applied toward the training requirements to sit for the NABCEP PV Installation Professional certification exam. Graduates of this course are eligible to sit for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam at any Castle Worldwide testing location in the United States or Canada. (The $100 NABCEP Entry Level Exam fee is not included in the course price.) If you successfully complete this course and do not pass the Entry Level Exam, we'll pay for you to make a second attempt.

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Foundational Course for Solar Installers

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

NOT Included: Sean White's "Solar Photovoltaic Basics" ($35)

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 Entry Level Exam. You can buy the book online (on Amazon or a similar site) for about $35.

Important Note on 18 Advanced NABCEP Credits

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

NABCEP Entry Level Exam Available Anytime In Hundreds of Cities in the United States and Canada

After you complete the course, you can schedule your NABCEP Entry Level Exam by submitting a request and paying the $100 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 in the United States or Canada.

97% Success Rate on the NABCEP Entry Level Exam

The NABCEP Entry Level Exam is a credential is recognized throughout the solar industry. In 2015, 97% of the students who took this course passed the Entry Level Exam. If you successfully complete this course and do not pass the Entry Level Exam the first time you take it, we'll pay the $100 for you to make a second attempt.

Self-Paced Online Course

This course is self-paced and entirely online. The lecture videos and other materials are available any time, and the instructor responds to student questions through a discussion board. In order to participate, you will need an Internet connection and an up-to-date web browser.

Supported by Student Advocate – Tom McCormack

In addition to instructor support via the discussion board, students have access to Tom McCormack, HeatSpring's Student Advocate. He is available to answer general questions via email, discussion board, chat, or phone. (Spanish email support available upon request.)

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.

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

Your Instructor

Person medium screen shot 2014 12 15 at 9.54.43 am

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]

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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 complete the material whenever is convenient and work ahead or catch up if you fall behind. Expect to dedicate a minimum of 5 hours per week to the course. Keep in mind that the instructor will be there to answer your questions and help you learn for the duration of the course. The instructor will only be available to answer questions during the posted session dates, so ask all your questions while we're in session. You will have access to all of the online materials for a full year. Contact Tom McCormack, your Student Advocate, if you have questions before or after the posted session dates. Please review the orientation materials and introduce yourself on the discussion board.

Week 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).

Week 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.

Week 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.

Week 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.

Week 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.

Week 6 - Mounting Systems + Final Questions + Practice Exam

This lesson convers roof, ground, and pole-mounted systems and compares them for performance and cost. Tracking systems, seasonable adjustable, and fixed arrays are examined for performance and construction perspectives. We finish with NABCEP-like questions to review the lessons where you feel like you need additional help to master it.

Week 7 - Bonus-Optional Material-Audio Downloads of Video Lectures by Sean White

The material here is the audio versions of the video portions of this course. Many students find it helpful to listen to lectures while they are driving or performing other tasks that would preclude watching video.

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 this course and all updates we make to it for at least a 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.

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Students who took this course also took

40-Hour Advanced Solar PV Installer Training

Advanced course for experienced solar professionals looking to study for and take the NABCEP PV Installation Professional certification exam.

Free Course: Solar PV Design, Code, Economics, Sales, and Site Visits

The most comprehensive technical free course on solar PV available on the Internet. Learn solar basics, conductor sizing, site visits, array sizing, estimating power production, solar code, solar batteries, and commercial solar design.

Free Course: GreenLancer 101: Site Plan and Array Layout

Students who complete this course will gain a rudimentary knowledge base and skill set in designing a 3-dimensional Site Plan and Array Layout for a PV project. This course will use SketchUp Pro extensively.

Free Course: GreenLancer 101: Prepare Submittal Drawings

Before any PV project can be installed, permitting must be obtained. Students who complete this course will gain a rudimentary knowledge of how to piece together a final submittal drawing for a Permit Package.

Download a free tool used in this course

Residential Solar PV Design 101 Guide

Author: Chris Williams

Residential Solar PV Project Management Gantt Chart

Author: Fred Paris