We are living in a world where many people do not know what career path they should take and what they will be for the rest of their career life.
Are you looking to become a certified solar installer in the future? If your answer was yes. Then you are thinking in the right direction. The solar industry has been growing fast in the past years. It is one of the fast-growing industries worldwide.
Many people have come to realize the importance of renewable energy, which means people are buying solar panels.
This might be the perfect time to become a solar panel installer. The demand for solar installers has increased dramatically in the past few years. So, becoming one now might be the right thing to do.
Key Concepts to Understand Before You Become A Solar Installer
Before you become an installer you need to know a few things like what is PV? PV stands for photovoltaic.
They are cells that consist of two semiconductors. When these cells are exposed to sunlight, photons are attracted by the negative layer of cells, releasing electrons.
The electrons travel to the positive layer, and by so doing, they create voltage.
Every solar energy that is released can produce 1-2 Watts of energy. For us to get the best out of the sunlight, the power cells are usually gathered in one place to foam a module.
The combined package is called a solar panel system. An inverter is like the brain of the solar panel.
It is for converting the electricity from the solar panel to Direct Current (DC), which is used in most homes by appliances like Gas cookers, blenders, washing machines, and many more in the form of Alternating Current (AC).
Sunlight has lately become one of the most useful sources of energy.
With the help of photovoltaic solar panels, many businesses, and homes turn to use solar panels because it is one of the cheapest forms of getting energy today.
And for all those solar panels to function correctly, we need the solar panel installers. A solar panel installer’s primary role is installing solar panel systems and maintaining the installed solar power systems.
How to Install a PV Solar System
The first thing that a solar installer needs to do is assess the client’s location and get to know exactly where the home is.
Once they know the location, they will need a permit, an assembling frame structure, measure, cut, and even assess your home’s type of module.
They will need the site’s characteristics and layout features, which is essential for designing the layout.
You need to know which equipment, materials, and structures you will use. The safety and compliance rules need to be there, and the installer needs to know where they need to install the solar panel and at what angle.
They need to know what amount of electricity a given home needs for their daily consumption. It is essential because it will determine how many solar panels you need to install.
The installer needs to know how much sunlight is received in a specific location, as it will be vital for the panels.
During the installation process, solar panel installers are carrying out maintenance service to the already existing solar arrays which are existing.
As solar installers, they must assemble, plan, implement, install, and maintain the solar panels. They can do the installation for commercial buildings, homes, schools, or even offices.
They mostly operate on rooftops to determine the best angle to install these panels for the best results.
They sometimes must do mega projects like when it comes to industrial installation, but most of the time, they install for homeowners around the country.
They are responsible for the wiring, erecting the frames that hold the panels; they need to wire the solar panels correctly so that it can convert sunlight energy into electrical energy used in the house.
Everything needs to be complete in particular caution and minimal errors.
The installer is responsible for the grounding, and they need to be careful when they are on top of the builds so that injuries are minimal.
Sometimes, when it comes to complex projects, the installers will need to do overtime to ensure that the installation process is correct.
The need to make sure that when they are leaving a homeowner’s residence, everything is working correctly, and there are no errors.
They need to pay attention to the slightest of wiring to the major wirings. The solar panel installer needs to have experience and knowledge of what exactly they are doing. That is so because we should never have any cases that a homeowner experienced any problems with his solar panel because of the installer’s negligence.
During the installation process, they need to have protective gear, which will help them avoid minor injuries. The installer should be knowledgeable about the latest technology of solar panels in the market today and should advise clients accordingly.
Duties Of The Solar Photovoltaic Installers
- They must activate, verify, and test the PV system before installation
- Perform a maintain ace check frequently
- Needs to estimate the configurations depending on the consumer needs and site conditions
- Responsible for the connection of the electrical grid
- Needs to perform weather sealing for the solar equipment
- They should ensure they follow the set rules and standard regulations before carrying out any installation
- They are responsible for the assembling, cutting, finding the right PV panel and all the minor entails
- Connecting the solar panel to the electrical grid
What the Solar Installers Do
The installers are the ones responsible for making sure that sunlight converts into electricity. They ensure that the PV system is in the right place for better performance.
They handle all the necessary tools needed during the installation process.
Some of the tools they need to have include saws, screwdrivers, wrenches, drills, supporting support structures, and a good knowledge of what they are doing.
They are the ones responsible for finding the perfect location to place the solar panel.
If you are an experienced installer, you should be able to do the electrical process, but the electrical part is for the electricians.
They need to do thorough inspections in the house once they are done with the whole process to ensure they did not get anything wrong.
Everything from the panel’s positioning to the house’s lighting needs to be perfect to avoid minor injuries like shocks, electrical surge, or anything related to the solar panel falling off the roof.
Everything needs to be simply perfect. Once all is complete, a routine checkup is essential to ensure everything goes as planned, and there are no faults.
What Do PV Installers Do?
- Responsible for installing solar panels
- Provides a specific PV solar panel that is right for your home
- They need to have a certification which is a boost
- They need to have experience
- Needs to have electrical knowledge
- Attend regular training to sharpen their knowledge
- Need to have construction experience
Many solar panel installers always prefer to know about the solar installation at their local community colleges, but others prefer vocational schools.
These colleges and schools always instill the right knowledge that the installers will need during their career path.
Getting a certificate form a collage is always a plus as you will be ahead of other installers who do not possess the certificate. Learning also gives you more ideas about the latest technology and how to install some of the latest solar panels as not all solar panels are the same.
The course durations usually vary from time to time. But the good thing about going to school is that you will be a professional forever once done.
Importance of Certification When It Comes To Solar Installer
When you possess a certification from a known school or college, most people will easily trust you when it comes to their installation.
Even though certification is never that important, having one will not harm you.
After all, you will be ahead when it comes to the latest innovations.
A certified installer gets more jobs than the ones who do not possess one.
Today, many solar companies encourage their installer to go to school and get one because the future is never certain. You will always stand out from the crowd if you possess one of those certificates.
Passing a certification class means that you have the knowledge required to install minor projects and the major project.
Different states have different requirements for one to join a college, so you need to know what your state requires before you enroll.
Requirements for Certification
- You must be 18 years and above to become an installer
- You must pass your exam certification to become a qualified solar installer
- You must have a high school diploma or an A level certificate
- Must know how to assemble, maintain, install, and have experience at least for one year
- Must attend a community college or school if you are to stand out for the rest
- You must have passed your North American Board of Certification Energy Practitioners exam
Certification Programs Recognized
The North American Board of Certification Energy Practitioners is widely recognized, and most installers who are working professionals already have the certificate.
It is widely known, and many homeowners prefer an installer who possesses one of them.
Many solar installation companies also prefer that you have one if you are to become their installer.
The ideal thing about passing this exam is that you will have a vast knowledge of installing some of the latest solar panels, and your experience will go a long way. You also need to be certified by members of the solar industry.
Another thing that you must possess is the 10 hours of construction safety knowledge. It is called the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (OSHA).
All trained and professional installers need to take the certification to prove that you can be trusted to install the significant projects.
You also need to have a certificate from the Electronics Technicians Association program, which has become familiar with most installers. They provide three certificates of renewable energy integration.
Having this certificate will be a plus for you. Lastly, you need to have a certificate from the Certified Solar Roofing Professional.
It is a solar energy company that provides knowledge to installers who want to go professional. To get the certification, you must have done not less than five PV installations in the past.
For you to become a professional certified installer, you will need to have experience in the industry.
That means that you must have done some installation under the supervision of someone qualified.
In the end, you will get a license or certification, showing that you went under an apprentice.
Usually, you will work under an experienced installer’s supervision for more than 2 -3 years to acquire the necessary skills.
Once you finish your apprentice program, you should be eligible to get a certificate and go professional.
The best training you can get is from schools near you.
Nowadays, many companies offer training to people who want to become installers, but you will need to dedicate time. Every state has its own set of regulations guiding what type of training you will need.
Training always gives you a first-hand idea of what the real installers do in the field.
Going out for training with a qualified installer will instill some knowledge that you never got before. The training generally includes that overall installation process and some of the precautions you will need to take. You will need training for at least two years before you go professional. It is always a good opportunity for you to get to see what happens in the real world.
With the latest changes in technology, people today prefer taking online courses. There are lots of videos online that will teach you how to become an installer.
If you are a beginner and want to become an installer, watching videos will help a lot. The videos have courses for the primary classes for the most advanced classes.
You will get a lot of ideas when learning online compared to learning in class. Some online courses also provide certificates for their candidates.
Qualities of a PV Installer
- Customer care skills are essential when it comes to becoming a solar panel installer. It means that you need to learn how to treat your clients right. You should be able to offer the service from start to finish and make sure the client is satisfied. It would help if you were very professional.
- Attention to detail. A right solar panel installer must be very kin when it comes to installation. it would help if you never went wrong in anything as that would lead to disaster in future
- Mechanical skills. For you to become an installer, you need to have the relevant skills required. That means you must have construction experience, electrical experience, and, most of all, the knowledge.
- Psychical stamina. Your stamina will come in handy a lot when it comes to becoming an installer. It would be best if you were not afraid of heights as you would be on rooftops most of the time.
- Physically fit
- Recertification. It only means that you need to go and take a refresher course to sharpen your ideas in the field.
Once you finish your certification and have done some training, you should face the world. To become a professional solar installer is never easy, but once you complete the certification and training, all should be well for you.
Many solar panel companies prefer to hire people who have the knowledge and certification required.
The solar panel industry is growing at a tremendous rate, and if you are planning to become an installer, you should follow some of the guides given here.