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Photovoltaic Energy Professional (SUS-PHE-01)


Course Description

The Photovoltaic System Professional is a comprehensive course and guide to installation of residential and commercial photovoltaic (PV) systems. This course covers the principles of PV electricity and how to effectively incorporate it into stand-alone or utility-connected electrical systems. We give detailed illustrations to clarify the concepts behind PV system operation.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

• Define the core elements of photovoltaics and solar energy technology
• Define systems components, configurations, and battery types
• Identify elements of charge controllers and inverters
• Identify components of mechanical and electrical integration
• Identify permitting codes and regulations


Photovoltaic System Professional Module 1
Overview of Photovoltaic Systems
• Photovoltaics
• PV Applications
• PV Industry
• Solar Energy Technologies
• Solar Radiation
• The Sun
• Sun-Earth Relationships
• Array Orientation
• Solar Radiation Data Sets
• Estimating Array Performance

Photovoltaic System Professional Module 2
Planning, System Components, Configurations

• Site Surveys
• Preplanning
• Preliminary Assessment
• Preparing Proposals
• Installation Planning
• Electrical Energy Sources
• PV System Configurations
• Photovoltaic Cells
• Current-Voltage (I-V) Curves
• Device Response
• Modules and Arrays

Photovoltaic System Professional Module 3
Batteries and Charge Controllers
• Battery Principles
• Battery Types
• Battery Systems
• Charge Controller Features
• Charge Controller Types
• Charge Controller Setpoints
• Charge Controller Applications
Photovoltaic System Professional Module 4
Inverters, Systems Sizing, Mechanical Integration
• AC Power
• Power Conditioning Units
• Inverter Features and Specifications
• Sizing Methodologies
• Sizing Calculations
• Mechanical Considerations
• Array Mounting Systems
• Mechanical Integration
Photovoltaic System Professional Module 5
Electrical Integration & Utility Interconnection

• National Electrical Code
• Voltage and Current Requirements
• Conductors and Wiring Methods
• Overcurrent Protection
• Disconnects
• Grounding
• Battery Systems
• Distributed Generation
• Utility Interconnection Policies

Photovoltaic System Professional Module 6
Inspection & Maintenance

• Building Codes and Regulations
• Permitting
• Inspection
• Commissioning
• Maintenance
• Monitoring
• Troubleshooting
• Economic Analysis
• Incentives
• Cost Analysis


12 months




There are no specific prerequisites for this course. Students will need access to both a computer and the internet. Students should have basic keyboarding and computer skills, and be comfortable navigating the internet.

The intended audience for this program is individuals that are seeking to gain employment in the field of Photovoltaic Energy or wishing to enhance their skills.


Upon successful completion of our Photovoltaic System Professional course, students will be prepared to sit for the NCCB national certification exam to become a Certified Photovoltaic System Specialist (CPSS).




This class supported by an Educational Mentor. Our educational mentors have worked or are working in the subject they mentor. Educational Mentors reviews student work, student progress, and interacts with students as needed. They respond to any questions or concerns you might have, as well as encouraging and motivating you to succeed.


Internet Access
• Broadband or high-speed internet access is required. Broadband includes DSL, cable, and wireless connections.
• Dial-Up internet connections will result in a diminished online experience. Moodle pages may load slowly and viewing large audio and video files may not be possible.

• Windows hardware configurations and processors are acceptable
• Mac computers MUST have Microsoft Window Operating Systems over Bootcamp (Bootcamp is a free download from Apple's website)
• 1 GB RAM minimum recommended
• Operating Systems
-Windows XP, Vista or 7 and Mac OS X 10 or higher with Windows
• Web Browsers
-Google Chrome is highly recommended
-Internet Explorer is not recommended as it may not display certain menus and links
• Cookies MUST be enabled
• Pop-ups MUST be allowed (Pop-up Blocker disabled)
• Kindle Reader App
• Adobe PDF Reader
• Media Plug-ins (These may be required depending on your course media.)
• Adobe Flash Player
• Adobe Acrobat Reader, Apple Quicktime, Windows Media Player, &/or Real Player
• PowerPoint Viewer

The following textbooks will be provided to each student upon registration:

• Photovoltaic Systems by James P. Dunlop

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