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  Intermediate Photovoltaic Systems - ESS 32 

Instructor: Steve Geiger
Phone: 916-660-8288 x4212
Email: sgeiger@sierracollege.edu

Prerequisite: Completion of ESS 30
Hours: 108 (54 lecture, 54 laboratory)
Course Description: Expands on the fundamentals of photovoltaics with a focus on system design and installation of grid-connected residential and small commercial systems. Topics include detailed system sizing, array layout, mounting on various roof constructions, mechanical and electrical integration as well as related electrical codes and workplace safety standards. This course, taken with ESS 30, prepares students to sit for the NABCEP PV Entry Level Certificate of Knowledge exam.

Sierra College Solar Energy Technology Program (Learn more about this Award Winning Program)

Sierra College Career & Technical Education (CTE) (Visit to learn more about CTE Programs, Employment/Jobs, and more)

Article: Students brighten Sierra College’s day with solar array PDF

For This Class:

Catalog Description and Meeting Dates PDF
Course Syllabus PDF
Course Calendar PDF


Assignments List

Math and Measure Homework
Electrical Problems Pt 2
Electrical Problems Pt 4
Practice Test 4

Student Term Project:

PV System Financial Cost Analysis

Class LAB Project:

Off-Grid System Design & Install

Study Guides:

PV Study Sheet

How to Take Multiple Choice Tests

NABCEP Website
Down NABCEP Website Study Guide - Resources Sec.
NABCEP Study Guide - From Brooks

Watt Hour Problems - Breakdown


PV Modules PDF
Inverters PDF
Mounts & Rails PDF

Electricity Basics: PDF

Basic Electrical Theory
Watts Definitions
Using Watts Law
The Power Pyramid
How to Calculate Electric Costs
Design Loads

Appliance Watt Chart
Kill-A-Watt Manual

Safety: PDF

Safety - Lethal Shock
Safe Meter Usage
OSHA Electrical Safety
OSHA Fall Safety
OSHA Green Job Hazards
OSHA PPE Assessment
OSHA PPE Guide for Small Business
Hard Hat Classes

Career Lesson:

Taking NotesPDF
10 Steps - Note Taking PDF
Resume Resources PDF
Solar Job Resources PDF
Sample Installer Resume
Cover Letter Info
Cover Letter Template
E-Portfolio PDF
Portfolio Sites
Sample Interview Questions PDF
Sample Interview Questions to Ask PDF
Doing an Informational Interview
True Colors - What is your Personality Profile? PDF
True Colors Personality Test (Link)
DISC Profile Info (Link)
Local Industry Articles
Green Job Websites

Other Helpful Info:

Solar Industry Related Links PDF
PV Magazines, Trade Show Search PDF
PV Industry News Sources (World & Local)
Cal Fire Solar PV Installation Guideline (Link to PDF)
Basic Tools for Installers PDF
Sample Three Line Drawing - Enphase PDF
Sun Orientation PDF
Orientation & Pitch Excerpt from - A GUIDE TO PV SYSTEM DESIGN AND INSTALLATION by the CEC PDF
Celsius to Fahrenheit Conversion Chart PDF
Spacing Between Rows PDF
NEC 2008 - 690 PDF
NEC 2008 Tables 310.16 - 17 PDF
NEC 2008 Chp 9 - Tables 8-9 PDF

Other Helpful Website Links:

Brooks Solar
Jim Dunlop Solar
Grid Alternatives

  Class Lecture Notes: PDF
(For Days that we had formal class lectures)

Class 1
Electricity Basics
Residential Wiring
Site Assessment
System Sizing
Solar Energy Fundamentals
PV Module Fundamentals
PV Markets and Applications
PV Electrical Design
Electrical Design 2 and Financial Analysis
Mechanical Design
Performance, Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Final Review


Entry Level Learning Objectives - Website
Entry Level Learning Objectives (Link to PDF)

Battery/Off-Grid Articles: PDF

Top 10 Battery Blunders - Home Power Magazine
Battery Box Basics - Home Power Magazine
PV Done Right - Grid Tie, Battery Backup, and System Monitoring - Home Power Magazine
Flooded Lead Acid Battery Maintenance - Home Power Magazine
Sizing a Grid-Tied PV System with Battery Backup


Design Spreadsheet (Link)
Great PV Drawing Resource: Brooks Engineering (Link)
Solar Quotation Software
How To Do PV Design
Sample Jurisdiction Submission Requirements - City of Roseville PDF

Article 1 - String Sizing Tools and Choosing an Inverter PDF
Article 2 - String Sizing - Ask the Experts PDF

Other Articles:

PV Grounding - John Wiles - Home Power - CC103 (Link)
CA Solar Access Laws PDF



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