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PVOL350: Solar Training - PV Systems - Tools and Techniques for Operations and Maintenance - Online

As more and more PV systems come online, the operations and maintenance (O&M) field is rapidly expanding. This course trains PV technicians to safely and effectively perform O&M tasks, including inspections, commissioning, performance verification, and troubleshooting. Students will become familiar with a wide range of advanced analytical tools, meters, and techniques – such as insulation resistance testers, I-V curve tracers, and infrared cameras. Learn the theory and practical applications from instructors with real-world experience, using curriculum developed by an industry-leading team of experts. This course is applicable to all sizes of grid-direct PV systems including residential, commercial, and large-scale; it does not cover battery maintenance or medium voltage-specific O&M. Fleet operations and system data managers will also find this course challenging and valuable.

what you will learn

  • Introduction to O&M and preventative and reactive maintenance plans and activities
  • Risks, costs, and benefits of a well-structured O&M plan
  • Safety procedures and PPE requirements for O&M technicians
  • Importance of OSHA and NFPA 70E training
  • How to create electrically safe work environments and appropriate lock-out/tag-out (LOTO) procedures
  • Field procedures and tests required during installation, start up, and for system performance evaluation
  • Calculations to determine expected voltage and current, and how to estimate power output based on system configuration and environmental conditions
  • Procedures when expected production or output does not match measured values
  • Appropriate requirements for meters, tools, and other equipment used in O&M activities; safe practices for using digital multimeters
  • Theory, procedures, and processes behind insulation resistance testing (‘Meggering’ or IRT), I-V curve tracing, infrared cameras and thermal imaging, and other tools of the trade
  • How to analyze test results to determine performance, compare baseline data, and pinpoint system issues
  • Common safety protocols and commissioning standards
  • Steps to commission PV systems
  • Typical inspection requirements for preventative maintenance inspections
  • Common data acquisition systems (DAS) equipment and hardware
  • How to use DAS to benefit O&M team
  • Methods for locating and troubleshooting common PV array and system faults using appropriate methodologies and testing tools
  • Common problems found on AC side and DC side of the system
  • How to identify and locate ground-faults and arc-faults
  • Steps for testing and troubleshooting mis-wired PV systems
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helpful information

Check out the SEI Podcast Series regarding this training topic: Tools and Techniques for Solar PV Operations and Maintenance.

Click here for Computer & Software Requirements for online courses.

PREREQUISITE COURSES: Before participating in the PVOL350 course, students are required to complete PV101/PVOL101, an equivalent course from another organization, or demonstrate field experience and pass a placement quiz. Please contact sei@solarenergy.org if you feel you are qualified to skip the prerequisites for PVOL350.

To view our in-person PV351L Tools and Techniques for Operation and Maintenance Lab Week, please click here.

For information on SEI’s Solar Professionals Certificate Program please click here.  For information on SEI’s workshop and training program policies please click here.

nabcep certification information

SEI Contact Training Hours: 6 weeks online = 40 hours

This course provides approved credit hours towards the following NABCEP Certifications and Recertifications:

  • PV Installation Professional
  • PV Design Specialist
  • PV Installation Specialist
  • PV Commissioning and Maintenance Specialist
  • PV Technical Sales Professional (Recertification Only)
  • PV Associate (Renewal only)
  • PV System Inspector (Recertification only)
  • SH Associate (Renewal only)
  • Solar Heating System Inspector (Recertification only)
  • Solar Heating Installer (Recertification only)

Please visit NABCEP’S online course catalog for credit hours breakdown.

more on nabcep certification > sei's solar professionals certificate program info >

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course snapshot

  • Online
    • November 09 2020 - December 20 2020
  • 6 Wks/40 Hrs
  • 7-10 hours/week

course materials

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