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Friday, July 8, 2016

Solar Design is "easy"

Someone just wrote in Facebook that solar design is easy and it can be learnt in a week by anyone.

The following assumes that you did higher grade mathematics and science in matric and that you got at least 60%.

Solar home design can be learnt quickly, but note that things like "grounding" can take a while to understand. When I learnt solar design in 2008, I put 1000 hours of R&D into building my first system and understanding everything about it. Included in this was 100 hours of "grounding" understanding and I even wrote to the guy who wrote the American Standard, NEC Article 690, and said that I thought that the standard was wrong, and he said that it was being changed!

For MW scale projects, there are more considerations which will take longer than a week to learn, for example switch gear, large scale inverters, etc. And if you are going to do large scale wind farm design, then their courses are about one year long. This doesn't prevent you from doing your own EIA (as I did) and installing a wind turbine in your garden.

See HeatSpring for more information:


I met Dr Sean White in Cape Town a couple of years ago. A really nice guy. Heatspring recommended. In 2009, I did my one week Grid Tie Photovoltaic Course in the USA at Solar Energy International (SEI) and then I wrote the entry level NABCEP exam.

BTW, Frank, I am available for mentoring, coaching and guiding, especially re "big picture stuff", but not for full time employment.

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