Today’s world is rapidly changing, and it is very difficult to find the right career path which will help give you employment for years to come. Solar industry is rapidly growing these days. Solar related experts are needed in many industries and at a domestic level throughout the country.
Since the solar industry is rapidly growing these days, being a certified solar installer and technician will be one of the best career options that you’ll make. By doing this, you’ll be taking part in the upcoming future of the solar industry.
Solar installations have increased these days because the prices are constantly decreasing.
Key Concepts You Must Know
Photovoltaic or PV cells are made out of two layers of semiconductors. Whenever you place the solar panel under the sun, its negative layer absorbs the sunlight, and the electrons start freeing. These electrons move towards the positive end of the cell, thus creating a voltage difference in the cell. One solar cell is capable of generating 1 to 2 watts of energy in total.
In order to get higher output from the cells, they are combined in the form of a huge array that we call solar panel.
Inverter is the main thing in an solar setup. Solar panels generate AC current, which then flows through the inverter and gets converted into DC current which is used by most of the appliances in your house.
Sunlight is a free and infinite source of energy that is environmentally friendly as well. You can use photovoltaic solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity.
Recent advances in the solar industry have helped in reducing the prices of solar panels. That is why it has become an affordable source of energy for businesses and houses alike.
People hire certified PV installers to get solar systems installed on their business facility or house. Certified experts help in the installation and maintenance work of PV solar panel systems.
Installation of PV Systems
There are various things that need to be considered before starting the installation process of a PV solar panel array. A certified expert always assesses the area and the exact location of his client before starting the process.
Based on the characteristics of your site, a system layout will be created which will be installed in the desired place. They will be responsible for getting the required permits, cutting, bolting and putting together everything to create a secure system for the solar panels to fit into.
Once the whole solar panel array is mounted to the roof or ground mounts, you have to basically wore them to connect them with a solar inverter.
After the installation process, certain tests are performed to make sure that the solar panel array complies with all the safety regulations. The system is also commissioned to see if it meets the required performance estimates.
Initial estimates allow the technicians to see how different types of panel will benefit from sunlight in a specific area.
Technicians also calculate all the angles and sunlight exposure to see if a solar system is the right choice for a particular house. They are also capable of calculating your electricity needs and suggesting you the right size and capacity of the solar panel array.
Maintenance is Also Very Important
Solar power technicians stay busy in most of the seasons. Whenever they aren’t installing a new system, they are usually doing some maintenance work for some old solar setup to help keep its efficiency high.
For installations and maintenance works, solar technicians can either work alone, or as teams in larger projects.
A photovoltaic system installer plans, assembles, installs, implements, and maintains arrays of solar panels for his clients in the long run. Their clients can be industries, businesses and households from any corner of the country. They work on rooftops most of the time, while large installations are also done in open fields and remote places.
Technicians are responsible for many sturdy and powerful frames, installing the panels and then connecting the wires to a solar inverter. These systems can also be wired to the primary electrical grid for net metering. The customer can actually sell his extra electricity to his electricity provider, and get credit for that in his upcoming bills.
After a proper installation and inspection, the solar setup is now ready to convert UV radiations from the sun into electricity.
Experts always make sure that they follow the safety standards when working at heights. In addition to the installations, solar system installers are also required to maintain the solar system in the long run. They do maintenance and performance checkups on the systems they installed to make sure they keep working properly in the long run.
To be a solar installer, you must meet all the requirements put by the state that you’re working in.
Duties of Solar PV Installers
- Assessing the customer needs and making a viable plan to install the solar PV system.
- Making a sturdy support structure for proper installation and safety of the PV solar system.
- Making sure that the local building codes and standards are being followed in the installation of solar PV systems. Everything must be legal and state approved.
- Making a connection between your PV solar system and the main electricity grid.
- Weather seal all the equipment that will be used in the system.
- Teat and verify the performance of a PV setup before activating it.
- Doing routine maintenance of PV solar systems.
What Do The PV Installers Do?
PV solar panels can convert sunlight directly into electricity. Expert PV installers out these systems carefully in place. Lots of tools need are used in the process of installing a PV solar system, and that is why people need to hire the experts in this job.
The work is started by installing the support structure in place where the PV system will be installed. After that, the panels are placed on top of the structure and are connected (wired) to the solar inverter.
Homeowners usually also ask the installers to perform other minor electrical tasks related to solar panels.
After the installation process, experts are needed to properly maintain the solar setup. However, this type of maintenance is only needed every once in a while.
Education For This Profession
You can get good relevant education from one of your local community colleges, or at a trade school to learn about PV solar panels and the whole installation process.
You can opt for a trade school in your state to learn about PV panels installation. These schools are also known as vocational schools. These schools teach you about the state regulations, and provide you with the needed certification as well.
The length of the course may vary depending on the state you live in, or the school itself. The course length can vary from just a few days to a whole year. You can also take online training as well to get the certification and start your professional career.
Usually, people having some knowledge of the field already are the best candidates for online training.
Certifications Are Important As Well
Since the solar industry is relatively new, some states do not require you to have a certification in order to become a solar installer. However, you can get the certification to give your professional career a boost.
When you have a certification, there will be something credible for the person hiring you to access your professionalism. Certification is a proof that you have gotten the required amount of training in order to provide the best service possible.
With a certification, your skills become transferrable. You can easily move between states. Even in a new state, you can easily get a job by letting the customers know that you have the required experience.
If you aren’t interested alone, you can work in a reputable company that installs solar systems. This way, you won’t have any shortage of work.
Requirements For The Certification
Here are the basic requirements of becoming a solar PV installer. These are almost the same in every state.
- The minimum age for enrollment in a solar PV installer course is 18 years or older.
- You must at least have a high-school diploma in order to get admission in a course related to this field.
- The course lengths vary from a few days to over an year. You will learn lots of new things in this time period that are specific to your industry.
- You can also look for internee programs in your locality to get first hand experience both with or without the certification. This will give you a taste of the ground realities. You can also establish good connections within the local community which will definitely help you land more jobs.
- You’ll need to pass an exam to prove that you have gotten the right education and training to become a certified PV installer.
This is how you can become a certified PV installer.