Any institution interested in training PV system designers or installers should have a suite of training materials that instructors can use to design, develop, and implement their courses. These materials provide the substantive content for training. Instructors should be intimately familiar with the documents that are directly related to their areas of responsibility. Such a training suite might include the following documents:

  • Photovoltaic Systems, 3rd Edition, by James P. Dunlop, 2012—ISBN 978-0-8269-1308-1, National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee and American Technical Publishers. This text, which is based on the Photovoltaic Installer task analysis developed by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), has been accepted by almost all of the electrical industry. Other education and training institutions also use it as a reference for PV system design and installation training.
  • Solar Electric Handbook: Photovoltaic Fundamentals and Applications 2013, ISBN  978-1-256-70166-8, Solar Energy International. This textbook with accompanying ebook, which was written and published by Solar Energy International (SEI), takes a practical approach to teaching about solar design and installation. This text focuses mainly on grid-tied systems which comprise over 90% of the US market, and includes a unit about solar business and finance. Includes full color photos, case studies, interviews with leading industry experts, chapter review and pull-out vocabulary. This new book is quickly being adopted as a primary training resource in community colleges and universities across the country. SEI also licenses the use of full curriculum to accompany the text.
  • Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual, 2007—ISBN 978-0-86571-520-2, Solar Energy International (SEI).  Available in both English and Spanish, this textbook has sold over 75,000 copies and is used extensively by training institutions around the world to train PV practitioners in the U.S. and throughout the world. This text emphasizes battery-based systems.
  • The Photovoltaic Systems Training Resource Guide—by Jim Dunlop. This sixteen-set compendium of Microsoft PowerPoint® slides covers all aspects of solar PV systems technology and deployment. The explanatory notes that accompany the slides are very useful. The resource guide was developed to help faculty and instructors create and teach courses in PV systems. It is a companion resource to the textbook Photovoltaic Systems by James P. Dunlop (listed above). Together, the textbook and resource guide can be used for both introductory and advanced courses and for audiences ranging from entry-level, young-adult learners to incumbent professionals in related trades and disciplines.
  • Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 29 Part 1926: Safety and Health Regulations for Construction—Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Safety is the single most important issue associated with PV system installation and maintenance. PV installers should become very familiar with Chapter 29, Part 1926 of the OSHA regulations for construction. It is recommended that instructors introduce a fairly comprehensive overview of this reference and associated safety issues early in PV installer training courses. Reference to specific safety issues should be reinforced throughout the courses.
  • >2011 National Electrical Code®, NFPA 70 or 2011 National Electrical Code Handbook—National Fire Protection Association. This reference is the key document that governs installation practices for most electrical systems, including PV. All PV installers should be familiar with the latest version of the National Electrical Code, with special emphasis on Article 690 Solar Photovoltaic Systems.
  • NABCEP Photovoltaic (PV) Installer Resource Guide, prepared by William Brooks and James Dunlop—North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). This guide is essential for course participants preparing for the PV entry-level exam or the PV installer certification exam. Instructors should use the examples and sample problems in this reference as practice exercises in problem solving, decision-making, and applying knowledge gained in training courses. This reference is updated by NABCEP periodically, check the website provided for the latest version.

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