Solar Design & Installation training help required

fm.109fm.109 Registered Users Posts: 33 ✭✭
My name is fahad mirza and I reside in Islamabad, Pakistan.

I am starting this thread to find out the possibility of acquiring a training from basic to advanced levels in solar designing and installation (home, commercial & power plant) for both battery based and grid tied systems.

I would very much appreciate assistance in helping me find the best institute that could help me achieve this task. Preferably if you have knowledge of training sessions help near my country then that would be an added plus point for me as i would be able to acquire hands on experience with the training. Otherwise I am also up for online in depth training.

I have heard of SEI and their training programs but would like to know more options.

Hope to hear from you guys soon!


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,715 admin
    Re: Solar Design & Installation training help required

    Are you looking more towards the technical side (i.e., as a design engineer) or more of the practical side (installing, maintaining, trouble shooting)?

    One would be a suggestion towards and electrical degree (I call it systems engineering--A mix of electronics, power, and mechanical/civil engineering--I had a "general engineering" degree and found it very fun and interesting).

    The other is towards the contractor side. Learning both the regulations (national electric code, power company requirements, and--in the US--local regulations) and the standard electrical contractor stuff.

    For the most part, I think many of the training courses seem to be fairly basic--especially if you do not have much experience. Then you have to pay them to teach you/learn the basics first (i.e., electricity 101, contracting 101, building codes 101, etc.).

    So, what is your current level of experience and education, and where do you think you want to go?

    And welcome to the forum.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • fm.109fm.109 Registered Users Posts: 33 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Design & Installation training help required

    Thank you for welcoming me here I appreciate it!

    I have a degree in business though so not really a technical person but I am thinking maybe of going towards more of a contractor thing I suppose however if there is such electrical degree for a person like me then I am open to all forms of options that could help me achieve the best result.

    I went through the SEI website and found the following courses they are offering and here they are as follows:


    I am planning on taking these courses in the following sequence as they help me both in terms of technical and practical side i suppose.

    As a background I am already working on a project in my city which will happen to have the first solar powered (backup) apartment building. I only have like 3 years of project management experience and that too with construction and architecture firms here.

    I would like to pursue towards alternate energy and its project management really and that is what I am looking to do.

    So if there is more you think I should cover then really right now I am open to all form of options since for me this is step one.

    Thanks again for your reply Bill.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,715 admin
    Re: Solar Design & Installation training help required

    We have a thread/working FAQ that has lots of information/sources/links on solar and conservation:

    Working Thread for Solar Beginner Post/FAQ

    And here are some various information sources for solar/electrical training and books in that thread:
    BB. wrote: »
    Regarding Solar Books:

    What's a Good Beginners Book?

    From the above thread:
    FL SUN wrote: »
    This is a link to a PV textbook I find very informative. It was a requirement for the FL contractor's exam I took last month. It even has a very good interactive CD with a bunch of informative extras. A quick search on-line shows this book goes for about $75.00 USD everywhere.

    Don't forget nothing compares to OJT when it comes to installation. It's always best to apply in the field what you've learned from a good textbook first. W/COMP MEDIA:NEW:9780826912879:75.00
    TnAndy wrote: »

    Here a good "textbook" on actually IS a textbook for some solar courses, and is set up that way with practice questions at the end of each chapter, but it's also a good self guide as to the basics of components and how they mesh together to make a system. Worth the money, IMHO.

    Solar Book Here
    Some information on NEC and how it applies to solar power:

    PV and the 2005 NEC -- Reference Document

    And, of course, the NEC Code Book (current edition or version that is used by your locality).

    PS: Our host also has a Book they recommend:

    Book - The New Solar Electric Home

    PPS: From another poster:
    KeithWHare wrote: »
    I recommend "Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual" from Solar Energy International. This does a pretty decent job of explaining everything except for battery banks.


    PPPS: From another website, I saw this Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook recommended.

    according to wikipedia once it is adopted into law by a particular govt agency it becomes public knowledge

    is one link

    there are many more specific to certain states/cities here

    This thread gives a pretty good list of reading about the entire subject of solar/renewable energy power and conservation.

    I would read through the thread first and get a better idea of what you are interested in before doing the solar courses.

    I would also suggest you get a couple of meters (that are appropriate/available for your country) to allow you to do some basic measurements around your home and get a good understanding of the basic relationships between electricity and energy usage (volts, amps, Watts, Watt*Hours, Volt*Amps, Power Factor, etc.). Perhaps something like these would be a good start:

    Once you go through the above, and watch/ask questions about seeing how we help people size/design a few power systems--You should be ready for the courses you looked at, or even more advanced versions and bypass the basic courses (and save some time and money).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • fm.109fm.109 Registered Users Posts: 33 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Design & Installation training help required

    Hello Bill,

    Thanks for helping me out here this information looks extremely useful to me and very much relevant to what I would like to be doing.

    I have been using multimeter and all for like a long while for the sake of testing and all so I do have a fairly good idea now on how to do basic measurements and all. I do however need to purchase a kill-a-watt meter though since we dont really find those here in the market.

    However, the books look very helpful and again I would like to say thanks for helping out here I shall try and purchase these soon
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