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


Length: 6 weeks

Instructor: Fred Paris

Partner: High Performance Building Institute


The best way into the solar industry. This ISPQ accredited, 40-hour solar training teaches you to design, install, and sell solar PV (electric) systems, plus helps you pass the NABCEP Entry Level Exam. The course includes the ‘Photovoltaic Systems’ text book, networking with classmates, personal attention from a world-class instructor, and a treasure trove of videos, resources, and practice quizzes. Take it online or in person - doesn’t matter - everyone has access to all the same personal attention, networking, materials, and practice exams. If you take it online, you can also apply your tuition toward an in-person workshop offering if you decide to attend one down the road. Entry Level Exam not included - it's an extra $100 when you're ready to take it.
Everything You Need To Know

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

Pass the NABCEP Entry Level Exam

NABCEP has two exams. This is the first one. It's a difficult test, and the credential is recognized throughout the industry. The more advanced certification is available to those who spend several years in the industry. This course is approved for 18 of your required advanced hours when you get to that point.

ISPQ-Accredited Since 2009

This course has the stamp of approval from the Institute for Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ).

Flexible Exam Scheduling

After you complete the course, you may schedule your exam by submitting a request and paying the $100 exam fee (which is not included in the course price). Since the clock doesn't start running until you pay the additional fee, there's no rush. You can schedule whenever you feel adequately prepared and have a convenient time available.

What a great day it was 3-25-13. Got my results; exam passed. Also thanks to HeatSpring for offering such a great course and a big thanks to a great instructor Fred Paris. Thanks.

- James Bailey

Your Instructor


Fred Paris

Course Instructor, Wind Sun Institute

Fred has been teaching NABCEP students since 2008. At Massasoit College Fred introduced the PV course, wrote the curriculum, and taught the first PV classes. As a Solar practitioner, Fred’s PV projects include high school, residential, commercial, and church projects. Systems include: roof-mount, ground-mount and pole-mounted PV systems - with and without equinox...[more]

Course Outline


Complete all of these required steps to earn the NABCEP Entry Level Certificate: 1) Complete 40 hours of online or in-person training 2) Schedule your Exam 3) Pass the Exam.

WELCOME - Orientation and Tools for Completing the Course

NOTE: We'll send you a copy of the textbook "Photovoltaic Systems." On or before the first day of class, you'll meet the instructor. We think it's really important to get to know him and your classmates on a personal level. This networking and collaboration is central to the course experience. We will also get you comfortable with the NABCEP Entry Level Exam right away; we want you pass that exam at the end of this.

Module 1 - Intro to Renewable & Efficiency Markets + Solar PV System Basics

This lesson starts with the history of PV and draws distinctions between Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency markets. We position Solar PV as the most promising and cost-effective solution when compared to wind, geothermal, and other emerging renewable technologies. We then move on to provide: 1) High level introduction to grid-tied and off-grid PV applications, and 2) Establish Electrical, Solar, and Mechanical as our three areas of study for the course.

Module 2 - Electrical Fundamentals + Solar Safety

This module introduces and defines critical terms and arithmetic methods for system design. Introduction to Voltage, Amperage, Resistance, and how we use Ohm's law to design and engineer PV arrays. Turning our attention to safety, we'll cover the safety lessons of NABCEP. This includes ladder safety, electrical safety, fall protection and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), the role of OSHA, and on-site construction safety.

Module 3 - The Solar Resource

This module introduces solar irradiance, air-mass index, orientation and tilt, and techniques for optimizing solar energy. We'll cover site planning, magnetic declination, altitude, azimuth, Solar Pathfinder, and other tools. The assignments come from your textbook 'Photovoltaic Systems' as well as the CD-ROM included with the book.

Module 4 - PV Module Performance and Optimization

This module covers an introduction to the IV curve, temperature coefficients, series and parallel wiring. Once you get them down, these are simple concepts, over the years we've heard from past students that these concepts are tested repeatedly on the exam, so we really want to get them down.

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.

Module 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.

Schedule and Take the NABCEP Entry Level Exam - Additional Fee For Test

The NABCEP Entry Level Exam questions come directly from the "Photovoltaic Systems" textbook you received as a part of this course. Make sure you have read the entire book, and studied the sections outlined in the online course assignments above. Once you are ready, fill out the form below to begin the scheduling process for your exam at a computer testing facility near you.

Post Course Follow up - Networking, Support, and Continuing Education

Taking this course is not an end in itself - this is the beginning of something great. These assignments will make sure you see the maximum benefit from the training and help make sure you continue down the right path