Urgent help with Solar fabrication course

Discussion in 'General Fabrication' started by Ed Charette, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Ed Charette

    Ed Charette Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Hi there,
    This time I 'm here seeking help for my nephew. He is interested in pursuing a career in the solar fabrication technician course. His parents are not educated nor am I well versed about this course. From past two weeks, I've been scouring the internet for more ideas and such good courses. Meanwhile, I found a site (http://www.cestarcollege.com/courses/renewable-energy/solar-pv-installer/) which mentions a renewable energy course, Solar (PV) Installer (2weeks). Is it the same one my nephew is talking about? How good would it be? More importantly, how good are the chances of getting a job soon after the completion of this course? Anticipating your fast suggestions and cooperation at the earliest as always :) Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Maxwell

    Maxwell Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Hi - I was in Solar power for 25 years. Designed and installed systems from 10 Watts to 450 kiloWatts.
    I can tell you what I looked for in a solar technician.
    Questions:
    It sounds like your nephew is around 20 years old - is that correct?
    Does he live in Canada?
    Does he want to work only in Canada?
     
  3. Ed Charette

    Ed Charette Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Yep, you are right. He is 20. He lives in Canada and would prefer to work in Canada.
     
  4. Maxwell

    Maxwell Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I was in Photovoltaics. Those are the solar panels that produce electricity directly from the sun. I am not an expert in solar water heating or thermal walls. So - I have information only on that aspect only.

    The course description at the college you suggest says he will come out ready for the NABCEP Entry Level Exams. NABCEP is the best standard today for providing the industry with recruits that won't waste the company's time. If he passes this test, he will be employable. As for the particular college you provided, it looks like they are just starting this program. I see no entries in their blogs or testimonials. Suggest you visit the campus and talk to the instructor to make sure they are qualified in the subject.

    If you want to administer a self test before going to the exam, get a modern Photovoltaic panel. Look at the label on the back. This is the standard a group of us forced on the industry back in the 80's and 90's. My simple test for an applicant was to have him/her explain the information on that label; i.e.
    - What do the four values Isc, Imax, Voc,Vmax mean?
    - Draw an IV curve and label the four points above.
    - What is the standard for measuring a solar panel's output?
    (Intensity of light = 1000 W/m2, Temperature of the cell = 25 deg C, Color of the light = 1.5 ATM)

    - Find the fine print statement that says ~". . . measurements made at 1000 W/m2, 25 deg C, 1.5 ATM. . ."
    - What does ATM (or sometimes AM) mean?
    (Its the color of the sunlight at about 10 AM when the sun is shining through about 1.5 thicknesses of the atmosphere. If the sun is directly overhead, you would have 1.0 ATM. Sunlight filters out portions of the spectrum and the panels are sensitive to particular portions of this spectrum so you need a standard to gauge all panels against. The flash lamps companies use to rate their panels produce a close approximation to 1.5 ATM of sunlight.)

    - There are probably two different output powers shown for a particular panel: STC and PVUSA. What are the differences?

    - Other info needed:
    Understand Volts, Amps, Watts, Joules (Energy).
    Understand relationship between the above values: I= V/R, W=IxE, etc.

    When he can answer those questions, he is ready to start work.
    The only other hint I can give is to know something - anything - about the company you are interviewing with. Have something to say or a question to ask about the specific company; such as:
    " I saw your project at XXX building, is that the kind of thing I would be working on?"
    " Why does your company use XX brand panels over others?"
    - Any other basic introductory interview skill statements. That may be something you could help him with.
    This shows interest in their company: believe me, it stands out when an applicant seems to have done some background research.

    Sorry this turned out to be so long.
     
    LECS-Chad likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice