Jim Dunlop Solar

Training > Installing Photovoltaic Systems hosted by Gexpro



  • The registration fee for this course is $895.
  • This course is offered October 2-5, 2012 by Jim Dunlop Solar and hosted by Gexpro at 7297 South Conway Road, Orlando FL, 32812. See map for location.
  • All materials needed are included.
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Installing Photovoltaic Systems hosted by Gexpro


Course Description

This training program covers the fundamentals of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The purpose of this course is to orient electrical contractors with the specification, design and code-compliant installation of PV systems, and intended to develop knowledgeable professionals in the electrical industry to promote the safety, quality and consumer acceptance of PV installations.

Course Objectives

The specific objectives of this training program are to develop the participant's ability to:

  • Conduct site assessments, determine the available solar resource and estimate the performance of PV systems
  • Specify components and prepare PV system designs based on customer and site requirements
  • Specify appropriate support structure and implement mechanical designs for PV arrays that meet the performance, architectural and structural requirements for given applications
  • Implement electrical designs for PV systems that meet the safety, code compliance and functional requirements for given applications
  • Conduct acceptance tests and inspections and commissioning for PV system installations
  • Evaluate, troubleshoot, and maintain PV systems

Course Format

This training program involves a combination of self-study and assignments prior to the course, followed by four days of classroom instruction and hands-on demonstrations during on-site training. The curriculum and exercises involve the step-by-step process of specifying, designing, installing and commissioning grid-connected PV systems, with a focus on developing the participant's working knowledge of PV systems and equipment.

Course Materials and Registration

The Photovoltaic Systems textbook and an electronic version of the Photovoltaic Systems Study Guide will be provided to each participant subsequent to registration. Participants should bring their copy of the 2011 National Electrical Code and a calculator for exercises. Participants are encouraged to complete the following advance reading assignments, exercises and self-study prior to the course. These assignment are detailed here.

The registration fee for this 4-day course is $895 and limited to 20 participants. A minimum of 12 participants are needed to make this course, which will be confirmed with all registrants two (2) weeks before the course dates. Lunches and refreshments are included with registration, and participants are responsible for making their own travel and lodging arrangements. Please do not make travel reservations prior to confirmation. You can find hotels located near the training facility on this map.

Questions related to registration should be directed to training@jimdunlopsolar.com.

Course Agenda and Schedule

This training program will be held at Gexpro’s Orlando branch. The course will begin at 8 am and conclude at 5 pm each day. Lunches and refreshments will be provided. Following are the primary topics covered in this course and correspond with chapters in the Photovoltaic Systems textbook:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems
    Solar Technologies - History and Development - Markets and Applications - Industry Sectors

  • Chapter 2: Solar Radiation
    Terminology & Definitions - Geometric & Atmospheric Effects - Solar Power & Energy - Measurements & Data

  • Chapter 3: Site Surveys and Preplanning
    Customer Development - Site Assessment - Locating PV Arrays - Shading Analysis - Project Planning and Preparation

  • Chapter 4: System Components and Configurations
    Major Components - Balance-of-System - System Classifications and Designs

  • Chapter 5: Cells, Modules and Arrays
    Principles of Operation - I-V Characteristics - Response to Irradiance and Temperature - Series/Parallel Connections - Specifications and Ratings

  • Chapter 6: Batteries
    Types and Characteristics - Functions and Features - Specifications and Ratings

  • Chapter 7: Charge Controllers
    Types and Characteristics - Functions and Features - Specifications and Ratings - Sizing

  • Chapter 8: Inverters
    Definitions and Terminology - Types and Applications - Functions and Features - Selection and Sizing - Monitoring and Communications

  • Chapter 9: System Sizing
    Sizing Principles - Interactive vs. Stand-Alone Systems - Calculations and Software Tools

  • Chapter 10: Mechanical Integration
    Design Considerations - Array Mounting Configurations - Structural Loads - Installation

  • Chapter 11: Electrical Integration
    Terminology and Definitions - Circuit Design Requirements - Specifying Electrical Components - Code-Compliant Installation Practices

  • Chapter 12: Utility Interconnection
    Codes and Standards - Utility Considerations - Supply and Load Side Connections - Interconnection Agreements

  • Chapter 13: Permitting and Inspection
    Permit Submittal Guidelines - Plan Review - System Labels - Inspection Checklists

  • Chapter 14: Commissioning, Maintenance and Troubleshooting
    System Commissioning - Maintenance Plans - Diagnostics

  • Chapter 15: Economic Analysis
    Incentives - Value Assessment - Life Cycle Costs Analysis - Financial Tools

  • Chapter 16: PV System Safety
    Hazards and Avoidance - Personal Protective Equipment - Fall Protection - Electrical Safety

Relationship to Certification Programs

This course and associated self-study program are intended to help prepare participants to pursue and attain the PV entry-level certificate and ultimately the advanced PV installer certification credentials offered by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), UL University and others. This training does not result in any certification from Gexpro or otherwise. Participants will receive a course completion certificate, documenting the course content and hours of training.

Instructor Bio

James Dunlop, PE is the principal instructor. Mr. Dunlop worked at the Florida Solar Energy Center for 21 years supporting all aspects of its programs in photovoltaic systems and engineering, having evaluated and tested numerous PV systems and components, and delivered hundreds of training programs to contractors, installers, designers and code officials. From 2006-2008, he worked for the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC), authoring the textbook Photovoltaic Systems and other curriculum and instructor resources in support of some 300 local electrical apprenticeship schools across North America. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Florida and is a licensed professional engineer in Florida.