Sustainable Solar and Wind Technician Career Prep Professional

390 Hours / 12 Months / Self-Paced

Course Overview:

This course bundle will be retired on July 1st, 2018.

The Photovoltaic Technician Career Prep course covers the principles of photovoltaics and how to effectively incorporate PV systems into stand- alone or interconnected electrical systems. The content includes system advantages and disadvantages, site evaluation, component operation, system design and sizing, and installation requirements and recommended practices. Common scenarios and procedures are discussed throughout.

As the world’s shift away from reliance on fossil fuels the Wind Energy Industry leads the way. In just a few short decades wind energy has evolved dramatically. Technological advances now make wind energy a cost-effective solution for the world’s ever-growing energy needs. The United States leads in the overall wind power capacity. As the wind energy industry continues to expand in the United States and around the globe, it will provide many opportunities for workers in search of new careers. These careers extend beyond the wind farm and include the efforts of employees who work in manufacturing plants, offices, and construction, as well as operation and maintenance. 

This course provides learners with an overview of wind-energy history, basic concepts, costs, and uses. It is designed for the novice and emphasizes an overview of wind-energy conversion and applications of various wind-turbine systems. Some additional course features include: wind turbine blades, installing and troubleshooting wind turbines, motors, towers, and electrical coverage.

About ProTrain:

ProTrain is committed to offering world class interactive online courses that provide training and learning support for the student in a number of ways during their experience. The ProTrain course structure has been developed to provide activities to guide students throughout the entire process of learning. Learning activities include hands-on assignments that allow students to use what they are learning to allow better transferable skills within their work environments; and collaborative assignments, like wikis and discussion groups that allow them to share what they have learned with others in the same course.

While a student learns, they are not alone. Each student will receive guidance and support from his or her assigned Training Assessment Manager (TAM) and Student Services Specialist (SSS) representative. In addition, we will offer live monthly webinars and feedback sessions for various subject categories. Throughout the entire course, students are monitored by the SSS representative using progress reporting from the ProTrain Registration System (PRS).

ProTrain will provide Students who successfully complete their online certification programs and pass their industry level certification exams the access to the new ProTrain Education-2-Employment Career Tracker system. The Career Tracker will allow our students who pass exams to load their own resumes at no additional cost, and letting industry employers find their talent through the same database.

Curriculum Developer Biography:

Sigrid Ferguson Green, MSEd in Instructional Design for Online Learning, MS Human Resource Management, with over 15 years of experience in training and development/education. Her experience has been to lead teams of Instructional Designers, and managed curricula for companies such as: American Express and Assurant. Her experience includes but is not limited to the following: technical writing, web design, training, instructional design, graphic design, and curriculum development.

Course Outline:

Photovoltaic Technician Career Prep Curriculum:
Lesson 1: Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems

In this lesson you will learn about the concerns regarding the future and security of the world’s energy supply, renewable resources such as solar power are becoming increasingly important. Various solar energy technologies have been used through millennia of human history. However, practical photovoltaic (PV) — the direct conversion of solar energy into electricity — has a history of only about 50 years. This field of study and the resulting industry has been rapidly growing and improving and are expected to become a significant part of the world’s energy future.

Lesson 2: Solar Radiation

In this lesson you will become familiar with the importance of solar radiation to designing and installing solar energy equipment. The solar radiation resource varies over time, location, and climate conditions.

Lesson 3: Site Surveys and Preplanning

In this lesson you will learn a preliminary assessment establishes the objectives, resources, and requirements of a prospective PV system. A detailed survey of the site conditions evaluates all the site-specific issues related to a potential PV installation. During a site survey, an installer identifies potential array locations, measures distances and angles, evaluates existing structural and electrical infrastructure, documents relevant site information, and may conduct an energy audit.

Lesson 4: System Components and Configurations

In this lesson you will learn every PV system requires components to conduct, control, convert, distribute, and store the energy produced by the array. The specific components required depend on the type of system and functional requirements, but major components such as: inverters, batteries, charge controllers, as well as wiring, switchgear and overcurrent protection are typically included.

Lesson 5: Cells, Modules and Arrays

In this lesson you will learn PV systems use cells, modules, and arrays to capture sunlight and convert it into electrical energy. PV systems are modular in nature, meaning that basic building blocks of smaller components and subsystems are integrated to construct larger systems.

Lesson 6: Batteries

In this lesson you will learn energy demand does not always coincide with energy production, so many PV systems include electrical storage batteries.

Lesson 7: Charge Controllers

In this lesson you will learn almost every PV system that uses batteries requires a charge controller. Charge controllers manage and monitor battery charging while protecting the batteries from overcharge and overdischarge.

Lesson 8: Inverters

In this lesson you will learn about the solid-state inverters used in PV systems employ the latest in power electronics to produce AC power from a DC power source that is either a PV array or a battery bank.

Lesson 9: System Sizing

In this lesson you learned for electrical systems that use PV arrays, as their only source of electricity, system sizing is critical. The size of the array, battery bank, and other major components necessary to adequately meet the load requirements must be carefully calculated.

Lesson 10: Mechanical Integration

In this lesson you will learn the mechanical design and integration of PV systems require considering the characteristics of the components and the structure and how they are integrated into the electrical design. Many factors in the mechanical design process result from information collected during site surveys, including the available structural support and accessibility.

Lesson 11: Electrical Integration

In this lesson you will learn that PV systems are subject to all of the same general requirements as most electrical systems, such as overcurrent protection and grounding. However, PV systems are also subject to additional requirements.

Lesson 12: Utility Interconnection

In this lesson you will learn interconnection is the technical and procedural process of connecting and operating PV and other distributed generation systems in parallel with the electric utility system. However, since an interconnected PV system may affect the grid network and the safety of electrical workers, the system must adhere to certain requirements, and utilities have the right to approve equipment and installations.

Lesson 13: Permitting and Inspection

In this lesson you will learn the requirements for PV system installations are governed by building codes adopted by local jurisdictions. PV installation approvals are granted by local jurisdictions through the permitting, plans review, and field inspection processes.

Lesson 14: Commissioning, Maintenance, and Troubleshooting

In this lesson the maintenance requirements vary according to the system configuration, installation type, and location. Qualified PV service technicians should have a complete understanding of the system design, equipment, and performance specifications in order to effectively conduct maintenance and troubleshooting activities.

Lesson 15: Economic Analysis

In this lesson you will learn the value of a PV system is often associated with environmental issues and energy conservation. However, PV systems can provide financial benefits as well. A PV system may be able to pay back its initial investment and possibly earn appreciable amounts of money, especially with help from incentive programs.

Wind Energy Technician Career Prep Curriculum:
Lesson 1: History

In this lesson you will learn the history of wind power and how it has been used in the past up until today. The primary uses of wind power and significant innovators of wind technology are also included in this lesson.

Lesson 2: Basic Concepts

In this lesson you are presented with the most elementary information, beginning with the physical parts that make up a wind tower. This introduction to a wind tower’s components includes a look at the wind tower itself: blades, generators, and bearings.

Lesson 3: Wind Energy Converters

In this lesson you will learn the basics of wind energy converters, concentrating on the role of the rotor. Take note that the rotor is not solely responsible for the conversion of wind to power but it plays the largest role in wind energy conversion. The rotor includes both the turbine’s hub and its blades.

Lesson 4: Rotor Aerodynamics

In this lesson you will learn the aerodynamics of the rotor. This field of dynamics deals with the movement of air and how it interacts with an object in motion, such as a wind turbine rotor.

Lesson 5: Wind Resource

In this lesson you will learn the various factors that affect using the wind as a resource. You will explore the most important characteristics of wind resource followed by an overview of the atmospheric boundary layer.

Lesson 6: Power Output and Energy Yield

In this lesson you will learn how to estimate the performance of a wind turbine. More specifically, how to estimate the gross amount of energy that wind turbines can make use of.

Lesson 7: Commercial Applications

In this lesson you will learn three common commercial applications of wind energy: residential heating, water pumping, and desalination of salt water.

Lesson 8: Offshore Wind Energy

In this lesson you will explore the characteristics of prospective sites and the types of structures that are in use today.

Lesson 9: Wind Turbine Costs and Economic Analysis

In this lesson you will learn the costs of wind turbines as well as the issues related to those costs. You will explore the economics related to wind turbines connected to the grid as well as a look at economic approaches to wind technology.

Lesson 10: Impact on the Environment

In this lesson you will examine the effects of wind technology on birds and bats, the visual impact and noise created by turbines, the role of electromagnetic interference, and the primary safety issues to be considered.

All necessary materials are included.

System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended.

Hardware Requirements:
  • Minimum Pentium 400 Mhz CPU or G3 Macintosh. 1 GHz or greater CPU recommended.
  • 256MB RAM minimum. 1 GB RAM recommended.
  • 800x600 video resolution minimum. 1025x768 recommended.
  • Speakers/Headphones to listen to Dialogue steaming audio sessions.
  • A microphone to speak in Dialogue streaming audio sessions.
Operating System Requirements:
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • OpenSUSE Linux 9.2 or higher.
Web Browser Requirements:
  • Google Chrome is recommended.
  • Firefox 13.x or greater.
  • Internet Explorer 6.x or greater.
  • Safari 3.2.2 or greater.
Software Requirements:
  • Adobe Flash Player 6 or greater.
  • Oracle Java 7 or greater.
  • Adobe Reader 7 or greater.
Web Browser Settings:
  • Accept Cookies
  • Disable Pop-up Blocker.

**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**