SESA Class Offerings

 

Classes for Solar Professionals

SESA classes are intended to educate, connect, and provide useful resources to solar professionals including electricians, technicians, engineers, solar installers, and sales people. For members of the general public who have a general interest in learning more about solar PV, our SESA Seminar Series and PV 101 Workshops are the entry point for learning the basics of the solar industry.

Class discounts are available:

  • SESA members receive 10% off registration for all of our programs.
  • Alberta resident discounts: Incentives are available to residents of Alberta to learn new skills and develop their technical capacity across a variety of subjects in energy efficiency. Attendees of selected SESA courses will receive up to 20% off, with the incentive being applied directly at the time of course registration.
  • You may be eligible for an additional incentive from Energy Efficiency Alberta, email [email protected] to find out.

Most Edmonton classes take place at the NAIT main campus or at MacEwan University; most Calgary classes are at the SAIT main campus or the City of Calgary Sarcee Operations Work Centre.

We recommend bringing your own laptop, preferred note-taking materials, reusable water bottle, and snacks. We will provide print-out’s of the slide deck notes in bound booklets that you can keep for yourself. For the longer three-day classes, we provide breakfast and lunch (please note that for one-day classes, you are responsible for your own lunch).

 

Solar PV Electrical Code
Instructor: Eric Smiley, MASC, P. Eng.
$250 before discounts
Requirements: none

This one-day class is designed for electrical professionals, who want to ensure that their solar installations are up to current Canadian Electrical Code standards from the 2015 and 2018 updates.
This class includes a one-hour exam at its completion.

 

 

Commissioning Solar PV Systems
Instructor: Eric Smiley, MASC, P. Eng.
$500 before discounts
Requirements: none

This one-day practical course has 4 hours of class time and a 3-hour lab. Checklists, case studies and hands-on activities are used to illustrate the topics. The class helps toward acquiring the NABCEP Certification in Commissioning

Course topics include: grid-interactive solar PV system commissioning; evaluating compliance with the applicable codes and standards; standards for commissioning, such as IEC 62446-1; project-specific standards and specifications, including industry best practices; reporting and documentation; system operation and maintenance; tools and procedures for testing and troubleshooting; performance tests; and recording and interpreting test data.

 

 

Solar Photovoltaic Systems Design & Modelling
Instructor: Eric Smiley, MASC, P. Eng.
$600 before discounts
Requirements: Bring a laptop with the following software: SAM, Helioscope (full or trial account), and RETScreen (optional). Class participants should have prior knowledge of electrical terminology and electrical equipment; Ohm's Law, Kirchoff's Laws and the relationship between energy and power; solar PV module electrical I-V curve characteristics; and grid-interactive solar photovoltaic system sizing and equipment.

This is a 3-day weekend course; refreshments are provided. The class is designed for PV professionals who already have an understanding of electrical theory, and teaches how to design and evaluate the performance of PV based solar electric systems. The course is presented as a series of case studies with practical design examples used throughout.

Learning objectives:

  • A review of photovoltaic system types
  • The basic components of a PV system
  • The impact of location and shading
  • Designing PV systems in the context of matching performance requirements to photovoltaic equipment specifications
  • A workshop on software modelling tools
  • How to apply the Canadian Electrical Code and National Building Code to PV System design
  • Discussion of advances in PV technology, the economics of PV systems, and the PV industry in general

 

 

Solar Energy Storage System Design & Modelling
Instructor: Eric Smiley, MASC, P. Eng.
$600 before discounts
Requirements: Bring a laptop with the following software: SAM, Helioscope (full or trial account), and RETScreen (optional). Class participants should have prior knowledge of electrical terminology and electrical equipment; Ohm's Law, Kirchoff's Laws and the relationship between energy and power; solar PV module electrical I-V curve characteristics; and grid-interactive solar photovoltaic system sizing and equipment.

This is a 3-day weekend course; refreshments are provided. The class is designed for PV professionals who already have an understanding of electrical theory, and teaches how to design and evaluate the performance of PV based solar energy storage systems. The course is presented as a series of case studies with practical design examples used throughout.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify various battery-based solar PV system configurations
  • Evaluate site conditions and electrical loads for solar PV systems with energy storage
  • Choose battery-based solar PV system configurations to meet specific requirements
  • Interpret specifications for major components of battery-based solar PV systems
  • Specify major components of stand-alone and grid-interactive solar PV systems to meet site conditions and performance criteria using energy storage
  • Specify the Balance of System (BOS) components of battery-based PV Systems
  • Apply appropriate sections of the Canadian Electrical Code to battery-based solar PV system design
  • Interpret schematics of battery-based solar PV systems.
  • Evaluate site conditions using shading analysis tools and software (demo only)
  • Conduct performance modelling of battery-based grid-interactive solar PV systems using System Advisor Model (SAM) Software.
  • Conduct optimization of battery-based stand-alone solar PV systems using HOMER software

 

 

Economics of Solar Grid-Tied Photovoltaics

Instructor: Rob Baron, P. Eng.
$250 before discounts
Requirements: Bring a laptop with Microsoft Excel or equivalent spreadsheet program

This one-day workshop explores the economic advantages of grid-tied solar PV micro-generation systems, with Alberta-specific examples.

Learning objectives:

  • Explain how energy, transmission and distribution charges are influenced with the addition of a solar PV micro-generator
  • Project the economic value of a proposed solar PV project
  • Estimate the return from a solar PV investment and compare to other investments or grid purchased electricity
  • Determine payback periods for specific projects
  • Evaluate the value of incentive programs
  • Communicate cost and benefits to potential solar PV customers
  • Use online tools and spreadsheets to evaluate economic payback of a proposed project

 

 

Contracts for the Solar Industry
Instructor: Mark Dyrbye, RET
$250 before discounts
Requirements: none

This one-day workshop covers how to write a bulletproof contract for your PV installation clients, and provides a sample template to build your own contracts, plus planning documents. The class focuses on construction-type contracts by ensuring project details, risks and variables are fully understood, so the proper technical details and participant responsibilities can become the core of these successful contracts. Legal considerations are also introduced.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn how to control construction costs, minimize risk, and reduce communication problems with a clearly written technical contract
  • Learn how to write the contract
  • Learn how to evaluate and respond to Tender Documents

 

 

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