Hi all, My training center is in the process of developing a PV installer training with possible NABCEP

certification for attendees at completion. Have anyone in this group used Jim Dunlop's PV installer curriculum? Any leads on good PV installer curriculum? Any advice would be most appreciated.Thanks

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I'm a BPI BA and I teach both weatherization and solar at Austin Community College.  ACC developed a curriculum based upon the NABCEP learning objectives for the Entry Level Exam and we use Jim Dunlop's textbook.  


When you say NABCEP certification, are you referring to Certified Solar Installer certification?  Or, are you referring to the Entry Level Exam.


Either way, I'd be happy to talk to you over the phone, if you like.




Hi Joel, What a small world, I lived in Austin for twenty years. I presented in Austin last year at the National ACI Conference.We plan to train both entry level and installer courses. I am currently investigating training options and have started preliminary discussions with IREC for future accreditation in both weatherization and renewables.

I have ordered Jim's textbook and have briefly reviewed his installer training package that he has available. I will be calling him shortly to go over my questions. Is your entry level curriculum available? For sale or license? Do you have prerequisites in place for either certification? Any help you can offer is much appreciated. Thanks, Matt

Hi Matt,

I have used Dunlop's book for my PV training as a student. It seems adequate when it comes to fundementals, but I believe the fist edition was published some time ago and the 2010 edition does not reflect the 2011 NEC. As with all technology, PV is moving rapidly and that makes it difficult for any texbook to keep up.

I know that several Community Colleges in the Hudson Valley are offering PV installer training and there might be some possibilities there.

I would certainly welcome the oportunity to discuss your plans and help out in any way I can.

Best of Luck!


Thanks, Mark..I've previously toured the HVCC campus in Malta. They've built a great renewables training facility at that location but they seem to be off to a slow start on enrollments. I will be building my full scale training simulator based on their design with some tweaking to fit our training model. Are you presently NABCEP certified? Are you doing installs now? Would you recomend a NYSERDA approved PV contractor? Thanks


I am not NABCEP certified yet, but I plan on sitting for the exam at the next opportuunity in March.

My company - New York Light Energy - is doing commercial PV installations. A typical system for us is 50kW or larger. We do not do residential and rarely do systems less than 50kW unless it is part of a larger system (multiple meters). Since I joined the company in March, I have personally overseen 23 system installations (roughly 1MW of capacity) thus far, with another 15+/- systems in our pipeline for 2011. We are NYSERDA approved, and have recently completed an installation in the Syracuse area and are negotiiating for several more. I will likely be out your way in the next week - maybe we can get together.

I am psyched to hear that you are working on a training facility for PV. I loved the pressure house and think a similar setup for Renewable Energy systems is a fnatastic idea!

I have taken classes in Malta - great facility! But I believe it is being underutilized.

As I mentioned, anything I can do to help, please just let me know. I can also be reached at:


Thanks Matt!

Matt, we too are adding Solar to our current trainings. We had hope to have our first class by the fall but we have had to over come a few things not including Irene ( hurricane). If there any way that we could work together it would be great.

Hi Mike, We're ramping up quickly to train solar. We're using Jim Dunlop's curriculm with his textbook "Photovoltaic Systems". He's the John Krigger of PV. Go to Jim Dunlop Solar to see his textbook and his curriculum.The textbook is cheaper if you buy at Barnes and Nobel online. I am designing a outdoor training lab 20' x 26' with both a sloped shingled roof and flat EDPM commercial style roof so trainees can install on both. I'll also be designing some interior props so we can train the basics inside this winter. We're also revamping our" Basic Electric" course as a prerequisite for the installer training. So far so good. Matt


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