Can I Install My Own Solar Panels
Installation. It is possible to do the process of installing solar panels on your own. There are solar systems designed specifically for DIYers that, while sometimes time-consuming, should be more than doable. … If you are only looking to supplement your traditional energy source, DIY solar panels can get the job done.Read more
Do It Yourself Solar Power? – Easy DIY Solar Panel Installation!
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How To Become A Solar Contractor
Commercial and residential solar is growing exponentially in locations across the country, leaving states to play catch-up as far as rolling out contractor requirements and qualifications.
More and more jurisdictions have started to define what it means to be a practicing solar installation professional, however the definitions vary by state – and often county to county.
What’s often confused are the terms solar license and solar certification – and which is required? Learn more below.
Duties Of Solar Photovoltaic Installers
PV installers typically do the following:
- Plan PV system configurations based on customer needs and site conditions
- Measure, cut, and assemble the support structure for solar PV panels
- Install solar modules, panels, and support structures in accordance with building codes and standards
- Connect PV panels to the electrical system
- Apply weather sealant to equipment being installed
- Activate and test PV systems
- Perform routine PV system maintenance
Solar PV panels convert sunlight to electricity, and PV installers put these systems in place. PV installers use a variety of hand and power tools to install PV panels. They often use drills, wrenches, saws, and screwdrivers to connect panels to frames, wires, and support structures.
Many new PV installers begin by performing basic tasks, such as installing support structures and placing PV panels or PV shingles on top of them. Once the panels are in place, more-experienced installers usually perform more-complex duties, such as connecting electrical components.
Depending on the job and state laws, PV installers may connect the solar panels to the electric grid, although electricians sometimes perform this duty. Once the panels are installed, workers check the electrical systems for proper wiring, polarity, and grounding, and they also perform maintenance as needed.
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Mcs Certification For Solar: Is It Worth It
MCS certification is an internationally recognised quality and safety scheme for small-scale renewable energy technologies. This includes solar PV and solar thermal panels.
There are countless benefits to hiring an MCS installer to fit solar panels also accredited by the scheme. Well be going through them all in this article.
What Certifications Are Available To Solar Pv Installers
The leading certifications specific to solar installers are through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners . The organization offers a variety of certifications that are designed for solar system installation and sales professionals.
Some states require NABCEP certification for solar installers. In other areas, NABCEP certification is optional but an excellent way to build a resume, earn trust from potential customers, and validate knowledge. This guide will provide an overview of the different programs available we recommend you explore your specific state and local requirements.
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How Much Can You Earn As A Solar Installer
Once youve received your solar installation certification or licensing, youll be eligible to earn up to $74,000 per year.
This is the high-end of the salary range, according to Glassdoor.
Your actual salary will vary greatly upon location states with higher demands for solar installation will pay better and experience and source of your certification.
The national average salary for a solar installer is about $54,000 per year, while the low end is closer to $33,000 per year.
Get Solar Certified: Credentialing Bodies
Certification can be beneficial not only for workers, but also for employers and consumers. Across the nation, about 75 percent of employers reported some difficulty finding qualified job candidates in the solar industry.
Certification offers potential employees a way to be recognized and stand out from the pack. Its a tool for employers looking to hire people, Lawrence said.
A certification lets employers know that the job candidate completed additional work for his or her field. In addition, certification can help workers by giving them more mobility to move between states and move to where the jobs are.
For many jobs in the solar industry, certification is voluntary. However, Lawrence of NABCEP recommends certification for nearly every position, including sales and marketing. Its a good starting point to understand the fundamentals of solar, he said.
The nonprofit NABCEP is the primary body for certification in the solar industry. Available certifications include the PV Installation Professional, PV Technical Sales and Solar Heating. NABCEP also offers accreditation for companies that meet standards developed by the Institute for Sustainable Power Quality .
For consumers, certification lets them know that solar professionals have achieved a certain standard of training.
In addition to NABCEP, other credentialing bodies specific to solar include:
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What Professional Qualifications Do You Need
Its possible to become a solar panel installer without any formal qualifications except a high school diploma. You can get an entry-level position in a junior role and learn the skills through on-the-job training.
But professional qualifications are available, and getting a formal qualification is an excellent way to enter the business a few rungs up the career ladder.
A popular and well-recognized qualification is the SEI Solar Training and Solar Professionals Certificate Program.
NABCEP offers an alternative certification which is another qualification that will set you ahead of the competition when seeking employment as a solar panel installer.
How Long Does It Take To Be A Solar Technician
A few months might go by, but an entire year might pass while the individual is on the job. Safety is a point that is emphasized frequently. In order to get more formal training, beginners can enroll in community colleges and trade schools, which typically take one to two years to complete. It is possible for them to study system design in addition to their goals.
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Tips For Becoming A Solar Installer
So you want to get a job as a solar installer, but dont know where to begin? Here are 4 tips to help jump-start your career.
1. Learn: Before you start your solar career, you must understand a few key concepts.
PV, short for photovoltaic, cells are made up of two semiconductor layers. As a PV cell is exposed to sunlight, photons are absorbed by the negative layer of the cell, causing electrons to be freed. These freed electrons naturally migrate to the positive layer creating a voltage differential. Each individual solar energy cell produces only 1 to 2 Watts, so to increase the power output, cells are combined in a weather-tight package called a solar module, commonly called a solar panel. Another important component is the inverter, the brains of a solar system, which converts the electricity from your solar panels which generate DC, or direct current into power that can be used by home appliances, which use AC or alternating current.
Net-metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backward to provide a credit for the electricity produced. Customers are only billed for their net energy use.
Pv Technical Sales Board Certification
This is an excellent option for solar professionals that want to work on the sales side of the industry or as an application engineer, site assessor, performance analyst, or financial analyst. The Technical Sales Certification requires the ability to qualify leads, conduct a solar site and performance analysis, and understand the incentives available for solar energy systems. However, unlike some of the other NABCEP certifications, it does not require expertise in solar installation.
The PVTS certification requires 10 hours of OSHA construction industry training, solar training, passing a written exam, and experience selling solar systems.
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Understanding Job Outlook For Solar Photovoltaic Installers
The demand for solar photovoltaic installation is on the rise. In 2018, there were 9,700 solar installers in the United States. Most of them were in sunny California!
However, that number is rapidly going to increase as demand rises. According to the BLS, as of March 2020, it has been projected that this number will increase by 63% in ten years. That is much faster than almost any other career path.
More job opportunities also mean that there will be more money to be made within the industry. As employers are looking to employ more skilled technicians, they will have more money to pay.
Choosing Natural Energy Career: Understanding Job Outlook For Solar Photovoltaic Installers
The solar industry is booming in America and there is money to be made. The career that is going to benefit most from this boom is solar panel installation.
There is more demand for solar power than ever before and it is still growing. With more demand for solar power, there is more demand for skilled technicians to install these systems.
Want a job in the natural energy sector? Why not become a PV installer? Heres what you need to know about the job outlook for solar photovoltaic installers.
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What Are The Key Solar Energy Concepts That Everyone Should Know
Solar PV systems are cells that are made of two semiconductor layers.
When photovoltaic cells are exposed to sunlight, and photons are absorbed by the negative layer of the cell, this will cause electrons to be freed
These freed electrons migrate naturally to the positive layer creating a voltage differential.
Each solar energy cell produces only 1- 2 Watts of energy.
So to increase the output power, cells are combined in a weather-tight package called a solar module, commonly called a solar panel.
The inverter is known as the brain of a solar system.
It converts the electricity from your solar panels to generate DC or Direct Current into power that can be used by domestic appliances, which use AC or Alternating Current.
Sunlight is considered an environmentally friendly resource of energy.
With the help of photovoltaic panels, sunlight is transformed into electrical energy.
Recent advanced technologies have sufficiently reduced the cost of solar panels to make them a viable source of power for businesses and homeowners alike.
A solar installer puts these systems in place.
A solar panel installer performs two essential tasks installing PV systems & maintaining solar systems that are already in place.
Why Do Installers Need An Electrical License
If youre an installer, an electrical license is a must all over the country if you want to engage in electrical work. This work can be defined as tasks that involve electrical machines and appliances. This includes working on electrical machines and appliances themselves, as well as electrical installation. These licenses are different in each state in terms of the types, fees and specific responsibilities but the sentiment is the same across the board. Essentially, you need to hold an electrical license, or be supervised by someone who does, in order to install and work with electricity. This includes solar, of course! These licenses are basically evidence that your installer is competent when it comes to working with electricity.
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What Qualifications Do I Need To Install Solar Panels
training provider If you are at a college to become a solar panel installer, you might consider completing courses like City & Guilds Level 2 or 3 Diplomas in Electrical Installation so you can become an expert in this field. This number will depend on your grade point average to obtain 2 or more GCSEs.
What Is Needed To Install Solar Panels
It is a simple process to install home solar panels. Your solar contractor should take care of the entire process for you. Below are the documents required for solar panels on homes:
1. An electrical permit. This is pulled by a Master Electrician and lets the local electrical authorities know what work is being completed and where. Homeowners can pull their own permit, however we do not recommend completing any electrical work unless you are a qualified electrician.
2. A micro-generation application from the Alberta Utility Commission . This allows you to export your solar energy back to your electrical retailer for a credit. You will see a Micro-Generation Credit line appear on your monthly power bill to see exactly how much energy you exported that billing period.
3. A development/building permit. This is not required in every jurisdiction,but is sometimes required.
4. Grant Application. Depending on what classification the solar installation is you may be eligible for rebates or incentives. Once again, we will complete this step or as much as possible for you. Most grants require a few different documents to receive funding. As of 2019, the Alberta Residential and Commercial Solar Program has been withdrawn and is no longer accepting applications.
Commercial solar power systems most often require a building and development permit, both of which will involve more engineering work.
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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need
The number of solar panels you need depends on your homes azimuth and roof tilt as well as how much electricity you use. You can only install as much solar power as your home or business needs.
1kW of installed solar power will produce approximately 1,000 to 1,200kWh of solar energy annually. This number may be larger or smaller based on your tilt and azimuth.
The average home in Alberta uses roughly 7,000kWh of electricity per year. This means the average home will need roughly 14 to 18 x 400W solar panels to cover their annual energy needs.
If you use 2x the electricity of the average Alberta home,you will need 2x as many solar panels to be net zero electrically.
How Do I Start A Career In Solar Installation
Get a four-year degree in a solar related field. Mechanical, industrial, electrical, and software engineers all play a part in the solar industry. With one of these degrees and a certification in your area of specialty, like photovoltaic cell research or solar power plant design, youll be a more competitive candidate.
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Why Are Certifications Important In The Solar Industry
Unfortunately, not all solar installers are reputable or understand solar installation basics and the National Electrical Code. NABCEP certification allows installers a way to distinguish their knowledge to customers to earn trust.
In addition, motivated individuals can advance their careers and differentiate themselves from other applicants by obtaining certification. For example, its ideal for lead solar installers to have earned NABCEP certification.
Occupational Employment And Wage Statistics
The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.
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Job Description Of A Solar Installer
A solar panel installer would assess a clients location and then install solar panels to fit the clients needs. This would include measuring the area and making adjustments so the panels fit. They would also need to install the equipment to meet code, this would include ensuring the wiring is done properly and necessary items are grounded. Since solar panels convert sunlight to electricity, they must also connect the panels to an electrical system.
When not on an installation job, solar installers may be performing maintenance and system checks at various locations, which are mostly outdoors. They could find themselves working alone or as part of a team for larger projects.
Pv Installer Specialist Board Certification
The Installer Specialist Board Certification requires knowledge of solar installation but isnt as focused on other aspects of the project, such as commissioning and maintenance knowledge as the PVIP. It is ideal for someone that wants to be an installer but not necessarily work on other aspects of solar power projects.
Obtaining a PVIS certification requires 10 hours of OSHA Outreach Training Program for the Construction Industry, 24 hours of solar training, passing a certification exam focused on installation, and fulfilling the installation experience requirement.
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Energy Information To Size The Solar
The first requirement of the entire solar power installation process is that the homeowner should have some information about their energy usage to give to the solar company that will be supplying them with a quote. This typically comes in the form of an electric bill summarizing the usage of last years electicity which is expressed in kilowatts. Also, if there are any energy additions expected in the future such as a pool, more A/C use or electric car, these should be considered in the ultimate estimation of electric usage.
The reason this energy information is needed is so the solar system proposal will be sized correctly, based on the energy usage. Typically, when a solar installer creates an installation quote, they design it so it will offset the homes full yearly usage. So, the amount of solar recommended will be based on how much power the home uses in a year: a full offset.