August 20, 2013

Local Code Officials Have New User Friendly Version for Solar PV Online Training

Recent modifications to the PV Online Training platform make it easier to use. The PV Online Training is now on the Moodle platform, an open source learning management system.

The PV Online Training, developed as part of IREC’s role as the National Administrator of the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN), instructs users in reliable field inspection practices and endorses efficient permit processes for residential PV installations. Recent modifications to the training platform make it easier to use.

“We listened to the comments and suggestions from the users of PV Online Training,” said Joe Sarubbi, program manager for SITN. “We believe this latest version is more user friendly.”

IREC is the national administrator of the SITN, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, a national collaborative effort to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by the end of the decade.

The PV Online Training is now on the Moodle platform, an open source learning management system, popular with educators as a tool for creating online, dynamic web-based content for students. To access the PV Online Training, users will login and create an account at Returning users can get credit for lessons previously completed.

The PV Online Training course covers major topics of concern for field inspection and expedited permitting through seven online training modules. Six learning modules use traditional linear online training approaches presenting content with text, 2D media and video with narration. The seventh module uses a 3D immersive game-based framework. Topics include:

  • Roof Mounted Arrays and Wire Management
  • Electrical for Roof and Ground Mounted Arrays
  • Specifics of Ground Mounted Arrays
  • Appropriate Signage
  • Equipment Ratings
  • Expedited Permitting

Upon completion of the course, with passing scores on the lesson assessment quizzes, students can apply for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI).

“The more I go through it, the better I like it,” said Dr. Jerry Ventre, engineering and education consultant. “I actually think it will be as valuable to installers as to code officials.  Great information and nicely put together.”

Though the PV online curriculum was originally developed for code officials and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), the training is available to anyone. Currently, the PV Online Training site accommodates both Chrome and Firefox browsers.

“Offering online PV training means a greater number of code officials and AHJs can get consistent, effective training in residential solar inspections.” said Sarubbi. “And having the training on Moodle, a well-known open source site for educators, makes it even more available and easy to use.”

Access PV Online Training 


About The Institute for Sustainable Performance of Buildings (SuPerB)
The Institute for Sustainable Performance of Buildings (SuPerB) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization with a special focus on developing and freely distributing open-source, computer-based educational resources to serve the buildings industry. SuPerB also conducts research and develops educational resources to improve the performance, resource efficiency, and sustainability of buildings.

About IAEI
The International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI), as the keystone of the electrical industry, is a membership-driven, non-profit association promoting electrical safety throughout the industry by providing premier education, certification of inspectors, advocacy, partnerships and expert leadership in Electrical Codes and Standards development.