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Solar Training Academy MKE

Course Description

The MREA’s Solar Training Academy is a series of weekend classes that will walk students through the PV design and installation process. The format of the Solar Training Academy will be MREA’s class progression that will include Basic Photovoltaics, PV Site Assessor, Intermediate PV, PV Design Lab and PV Sales and Finance. Classes will be held one weekend each month beginning in January and concluding in early May. Topics of this training will cover PV equipment selection, utility intertied and battery based systems, batteries, mechanical and electrical integration, PV design, PV residential site assessment, National Electric Code, system commissioning, solar financials. Participation in the Solar Training Academy will also include opportunities to meet with professionals in the solar industry.

Classes will be held one weekend each month, Saturday and Sunday, from January to May.


Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Define photovoltaics
  • Explain how photovoltaic systems work
  • Diagram the four system types
  • Identify and describe different PV module types and their output ratings
  • Identify and describe different inverters and their recommended uses
  • Identify and describe the remaining Balance of System components and their basic functions.
  • Design and diagram a system to meet the needs of case study home.
  • Size and design a PV system to satisfy consumer demands, site specifics, and the NEC
  • Diagram a high-voltage AC grid intertie system and battery-based DC system
  • Use site assessment tools
  • Identify and recommend steps for energy efficiency
  • Identify and recommend array placement options
  • Quantify the solar resource
  • Provide a general cost estimate
  • Write a PV site assessment report
  • Correctly mount and ground PV modules
  • Properly wire and connect a high-voltage AC grid intertie system PV system
  • Identify factors used to calculate conduit and conductor types and sizes
  • Demonstrate basic mechanical and electrical installation techniques.
  • Define commissioning, operation and maintenance procedures for different types of systems
  • Demonstrate proper safety procedures when installing a PV system
  • Complete a testing protocol and activate a high-voltage AC grid interactive system


Upon successful completion of the Solar Training Academy, students will qualify for:

• Completion of 63 hours of classroom training for NABCEP PV Installation Professional 

    and NABCEP PV Technical Sales Professional

• Sit for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam

• Sit for the MREA PV Site Assessor Exam*

* To sit for the MREA PV Site Assessor Exam, students will need to complete two  

   practiced site assessments outside of class. 

Course Instructor

Nick Matthes, Midwest PV


January 11 – May 4, 2014

January 11 Orientation/ Basic PV Escuela Verde

January 12 Intermediate PV lecture Escuela Verde

February 8 Intermediate PV hands-on HFH

February 9 PV Site Assessor lecture Escuela Verde

March 8 PV Lab Hands on and lecture HFH

March 9 PV Lab Lecture Escuela Verde 

April 12 PV Lab Hands on and lecture HFH

April 13 PV Lab Lecture Escuela Verde

May 3 PV Sales and Finance lecture Escuela Verde

May 4 NABCEP Entry Level Exam and PV Site Assessor Exam Escuela Verde

Required Course Materials

  • Pencil and paper
  • Calculator
  • Lunch
  • Safety glasses


  • None

Being an MREA member means getting a $100 discount on courses and free admission to The Energy Fair. Not a member? Visit our membership page to become one.

January 11th, 2014 9:00 AM   through   May 4th, 2014 4:00 PM
1500 West Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
United States

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Phone: 715-592-6595
Non MREA Price $ 2,000.00
MREA Member Price $ 1,900.00

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