UL Photovoltaic System Installer Certification Prep
The UL Certified PV Systems Installer program assesses the competence of personnel to safely install PV systems in compliance with national and local code requirements. To receive the PV System Installer Certification, an individual must meet minimum eligibility requirements and successfully pass an online, proctored examination.
This UL Certified PV System Installer Prep Course gives you the knowledge required to earn UL PV System Installer Certification.
The UL PV Certification practice exam is included with the prep course. it’s a great way to prepare and get comfortable so you can pass the UL exam on your first try.
Preview the course material
Check out a free preview of the course by clicking the button below. This is a live assignment from the course and will give you a good sense for what the course will be like.
This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.
In this opening module you will get to know your instructor, explore various solar resources, do some foundational reading, learn about important terms and concepts that you’ll need to memorize or at least familiarize yourself with, and do an in-depth review of the sections of the National Electrical Code (NEC) that relate to solar PV design and installation.
This module, you will go through Article 690 of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Familiarity with this part of the NEC is critical for solar designers and installers.
There are many NEC Articles besides Article 690 that are important to know about. This includes: Article 705 Interconnected Power Production Sources Article 706 Energy Storage Systems Article 710 Stand-Alone Systems Article 712 DC Microgrids Article 625 EV Power Transfer Station And more!
Always good to be safe, so safely size your wires and to understand some of the building and fire codes. For the NABCEP exam, do not worry so much about Bill’s Building Codes and Fire Codes, however it is important information and for those of you looking for NABCEP Continuing Education (CE) this is a requirement.
Here we have a full practice exam that will prepare you for the NABCEP Certification exams. Be sure to check that you also have access to other NABCEP Certification exams which is organized as a separate course. Also covered in the module are trigonometry concepts you’ll need for some solar calculations. The NABCEP certification exams have been known to have 1 or 2 questions that you can use trig to solve.
Review each question from the practice exam to understand how to arrive at the correct answer.
This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you’ll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!
2014 IREC Trainer of the Year, HeatSpring / White House Energy Inc. / Sean White Solar / Norcal Solar
Sean White was the 2014 Interstate Renewable Energy Council Trainer of the Year. He is an ISPQ Certified Solar PV Master Trainer and has authored several books on solar. He contributed to the development of the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Job Task Analysis and has been a member of the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Technical Committee. Sean is a. Learn more
Principal, Brooks Engineering
Bill Brooks PE, of Brooks Engineering LLC, has over 30 years of experience designing, installing, and evaluating grid-connected PV systems. than 12,000 installers and inspectors have attended his courses throughout the U.S. and abroad. His field troubleshooting skills have been valuable in determining where problems occur to FOCUS training on those issues of. Learn more
Courses with student ratings: 2
by Ted Monhollon 01/20/2023
Sean White and Bill Brooks explain things well and are very reponsive to to questions during the course. Very recommended course to take.
by Chris Hasenzahl, Master Electrician, Deborah Bradley Construction Management Services 12/08/2022
Sean is very knowledgeable in his field and helpful with any questions asked and responds promptly !
by Chris Young, Solar Installer, Peninsula Solar 11/04/2022
This is the best course for solar that you can get. I started last year as a laborer, worked my way as a technician and now I am a field manager due to this course. I use the information every day on our job sites, I feel confident with what I know and the results show in our arrays.
by Carey Walter, CEO, Earthbound Electric LLC 09/21/2022
This course is full of useful information, sure to increase your working knowledge of PV systems and their installation. Sean’s approach helps to retain dense material with humor and in depth explanations. I’m thankful that this is the path I took towards my NABCEP PVIP certification.
by Jonathan Golebiewski 08/17/2022
This course really helped guide me in my studies and provided a lot of new information. I am very eager to take the exam now.
Certified Photovoltaic Systems Specialist (CPVS)
CPVS Students of the Certified Photovoltaic Systems Speciialist (CPVS) instlalled a solar system
Lloyd Tran, director of the Cleantech Institute at the CPVS training session
CPVS Group visited a solar farm in Richmond, CA
CPVS Students and the large solar photovoltaic system
Our instructor and CPVS students discussed the performance of a large scale PV system.
CPVS students are learing the double axis tracking mechanism of a large PV system.
CPVS students are listening on the demonstration of a high performance inverter system.
Lloyd Tran and the solar system used to chargethe Toyota Prius
Solar PV system is used to charge the electric vehicle, Toyota Prius.
Clean Tech Institute showcase photovoltaic and electric car system of integration.
Certified Photovoltaic Systems Specialist (CPVS)
The CPVS training program is a comprehensive training experience over 16 weeks to equip you to become a specialist in photovoltaic industry.
The program includes classroom learning, tutorials and hands-on training taught by experienced instructors and seasoned solar energy professionals who are committed to starting a rewarding career in the high-growth solar energy industry.
The program provides comprehensive knowledge and practical applications of photovoltaic (solar electric) system operations, including installation, design, financing and business aspects of managing a PV project.
To sharpen the skills as a system designer, students are encouraged to enroll in the Auto-CAD Design Class offered at the Clean Tech Institute.
If you are looking to increase your marketability in the solar industry or want to make a career change into this exciting growth industry, the knowledge you will gain in the CPVS program will be the strong foundation for your future growth.
- PV Markets and Applications
- Electricity Basics
- Solar Energy Fundamentals
- PV Module Fundamentals
- System Components
- PV System Sizing
- PV System Electrical Design
- PV System Mechanical Design
- Electrical Mecahnical Integration
- Permit and Inspection
- Performance Analysis and Troubleshooting
- PV Panel Installtion (Hands-on)
- Solar System Design (Hands-on)
- Auto-CAD Design for PV Applications
- Solar Hot Water Systems
- Maintenance Trouble Shooting
- Financing a PV Project
- Power Purchase Agreement
- PV Project Management
- Group Project Presentation
Why get licensed?
The legal right to install
It is illegal to install solar PV systems without an electrician’s license in most states. However, some, such as Alaska, only require general contractor licenses. If you already do solar installations, you will know this (of course), but if you are looking to get into the industry, check what is required in your state in our list below.
Further certifications may not be required for legal reasons, but there are certainly benefits to getting them. Benefits include a higher level of skill and knowledge than your competitors, which can set you apart from the rest and ensure that homeowners choose you as the more reputable installer.
Increased incentives for customers
In some states, homeowners will not be eligible for certain incentives or rebates if their installation company doesn’t have PV certifications. For instance, homeowners may not be eligible for certain rebates in Pennsylvania unless their installer is NABCEP, ISPQ Accredited, or NECA certified.
Since solar panels are such a large investment for many people, most homeowners will avoid choosing a company that can’t get them the best deal on their system, and as you may know, incentives, rebates, and tax credits are a great way to lower the overall cost of the system and installation.
Offering a proposal to a homeowner without a “rebates and incentives” section is a sure way to ensure that your quote gets thrown out, especially if someone has already received a proposal from a certified company that can offer a better price through such discounts.
Make the sales process easier by creating trust
Certification above and beyond the minimum can be very helpful for solar sales. These certifications help reduce stress and worry for homeowners, leading to an easier sales process. Even better, NABCEP certified installers get listed on the Certified Installer Locator. You can also display the certification badge on your website to make it clear to all prospective customers that you are trained professionals.
The construction industry has a bit of a reputation for being full of fly-by-night, untrustworthy salespeople and contractors, which leaves many homeowners on high alert when shopping around for home improvement projects like solar installations. Wear your certifications and licenses with pride, and display them everywhere it’s relevant to give people peace of mind that your work is high-quality and meets all the performance and safety required by your state’s government.
How to get certified to install solar panels
Your first step is to check out the state-specific requirement list below and learn about what is absolutely required to become a professional solar installer in your state. Next, you’ll want to look at the “nice-to-have” solar certifications available both in your state and in the country to set yourself above your local competition.
Many local colleges and vocational schools offer electrician training, and some even have specialty courses on renewable technology and solar PV installation. If you’re brand new to the industry, get started with learning about the basics of how solar panels work and are wired before signing up and paying for a course and exam on the technology. This will increase your odds of passing the course and ensure that you don’t get stuck having to redo any classes or exams a second time, which has the potential to be a huge time-sink and waste of money.
No matter where you are, getting certified with NABCEP is a must for anyone looking to start a career in the solar industry, as this will not only get you high-quality training but will also open you up to the solar installer community and the companies operating in your area, and in the country as a whole, allowing you to make friends, network, and potentially find a job once you’re certified.
What level of qualification is required by your state?
You can determine what qualifications are required to set up shop in your state by checking the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s (IREC) National Solar Licensing Database. This useful tool allows you to check requirements by state. It outlines the licensing requirements, electric codes, and incentive requirements for all states in the US.
Looking for a quick list of everything you need to start as a solar installer? Here’s a full breakdown of the requirements for solar installation in every American state. We’ll keep this list updated regularly, but for more details, have a look at the National Solar Licensing Database for the most up-to-date information available.
Alabama – You’ll need either an Electrical Contractor or Journeyman Electrician’s license with a minimum of four years of education experience.
Alaska – Must be an Electrical Contractor or Electrician registered with the Department of Community Economic Development or the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This requires 8000 hours of experience.
Arizona – You need to be licensed in the specific type of solar device you plan to install. For solar PV, an electrician’s license is required. You can also possess a Residential and Commercial General Contracting and Remolding license, but your work must be subcontracted to someone with an electrician’s license.
Arkansas – Commercial or residential contractor’s license required. You’ll also need an electrician’s license and be either a master electrician yourself or work under the supervision of a master electrician.
California – One of the strictest states on this list, solar installers must have a California solar contractors’ license or A/B general building contractors’ license plus education requirements including passing written examinations (Law and Business and the trade examination) and four years of experience with at least one year of practical experience.
You can also obtain the C-10 classification for electrical work and the C-20 classification for Warm-Air if you plan to also install solar-powered HVAC systems. Additionally, every contractor in California must adopt both the 2007 California Building Code and the 2007 California Fire Code.
Colorado – No specific solar certifications at the state level are required here, but certain counties require solar-specific training. All solar PV work should be done by an electrical contractor employing either a journeyman or residential wireman to get the job done.
Connecticut – Solar companies need a Home Improvement Contractors (HIC) license as well as PV-1 or E-1 license and must be listed with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund if they want to be eligible for rebates. Solar installers must have an E-2 electrician’s license or a PV-2 license and be employed by a licensed electrical contractor.
That said, employees of licensed contractors can do the hoisting, placing, and attaching of PV modules without a license. Additionally, one employee at each solar company operating in the state must have a NABCEP certification.
Delaware – Solar installers in Delaware need an electrician’s license to do PV work, and a NABCEP certification is needed to qualify for rebates. Changes are also proposed to ensure that solar installers continuously achieve the highest level of training currently available every three years if they want to receive any grants in the Green Energy Program.
District of Columbia – Must hold an electrician’s license and pass an exam if they want to become master electricians or journeymen. Companies installing solar PV must also conform to the 2005 National Electrical Code.
Florida – Must possess a certified solar contractor license. This license allows solar contractors to install solar PV and solar thermal systems. People with electrical licenses can also install solar PV systems.
These licenses require four years of experience, of which three can be replaced with college credits while one must be supervisory. Contractors must pass the trade exam and then a Business and Financial Management exam to obtain this license.
Georgia – No requirements or licenses are required to operate as a solar installer in Georgia. Companies must only follow the NEC 2005 edition with amendments of the electrical code.
Hawaii – A solar energy systems contractor license is required to operate in Hawaii. This is automatically granted to any licensed general contractor in the state (C-13). You can also get a C-60 license which is specifically for solar PV installation.
Idaho – Idaho requires a NABCEP certification or equivalent, and solar companies must adopt the NEC 2008 edition of the electric code.
Illinois – Everyone who installs distributed generation facilities must be licensed by the Illinois Commerce Commission and comply with the National Electrical Code.
IEC 61646 – Thin-Film PV Modules
The IEC 61646 certification is for Thin-Film PV modules and is in many aspects identical to the international standard IEC 61215 for crystalline modules. An additional test takes the degradation behavior of amorphous silicon due to temperature and irradiance exposure into account.
Photovoltaic (PV) module safety qualification, which was later issued as the European standard EN 61730 (almost similar).
The EN / IEC 61730 consists of 2 parts: The first part covers all the requirements for construction and states the mandatory design characteristics of the modules. The second part consists of the requirements for testing. Part 2 of the EN IEC 61730 defines three different Application Classes for a module design, specifying the type of use, the related qualification tests and the resulting safety class modifications.
IEC 60364-4-41 – Protection against electric shock
Protection against electric shock for low-voltage electrical installations; It describes personnel safety measures for electrical systems. For photovoltaic systems it suggests total insulation, which requires a special insulation of the PV modules (according to Safety Class II) on the basis of the following requirements:
- High dielectric strength
- Mechanical stability
- Sufficient insulation thickness and distances
IEC 62108 – Concentrator PV modules
A special certification for CCP is necessary, because the high concentration of the solar irradiance through lenses or mirrors causes higher stress on the equipment. The IEC 62108 standard specifies the criteria for the design qualification and type approval of concentrator photovoltaic modules and assemblies suitable for long-term operation in general open-air climates.
The world’s first IEC 62108 certificate for this technology was issued in June 2009 to California-based SolFocus.
IEC 61701 – Salt mist resistance testing on PV modules
The IEC 61701 certifications tests the resistance of photovoltaic (PV) modules against salt mist corrosion.
Solar installers that are operating in a highly corrosive atmosphere such as near the sea, the resistance of PV panels against the corrosive effects should be checked. It is definitely a good idea to us the salt mist corrosion certification in case you are installing PV modules near coasts or maritime applications.
Solar Education Opportunities
PGE offers a wide-range of solar training opportunities for different audiences and education levels. If solar energy is new to you, please join us at one of our upcoming Solar Power Basics classes. a consistently well-attended course that will provide the tools and support needed to determine if solar is right for you.
Other class offerings are listed below. For more information on any of these, to register, or for specific dates and times, please use our solar classes search form.
In addition to what’s listed here, we are working hard to identify new solar classes and subjects that are of interest to our customers, so please check often for our most recent additions.
Live Classes / Workshops
California Solar Initiative Workshop An all-day, beyond-the-basics overview of the CSI application process, requirements and resources. Topics covered include how to fill out forms and the application, program developments, inspection requirements, metering and monitoring requirements, etc.
Solar Power Basics for Residential Customers A two-hour basics class providing the fundamentals of solar electric systems. The class is designed to give you the tools you need to evaluate your solar potential.
Basics of Photovoltaic Systems for Grid-Tied Applications A six-hour class providing the basic language, and technical and economic details necessary to understand and evaluate photovoltaic projects from a project manager’s and/or owner’s perspective.
Photovoltaic Site Analysis and System Sizing A six-hour advanced class focusing on photovoltaic site selection and production analysis, with hands-on use of measurement tools.
Solar Champion Training An all-day course intended to equip students with the general training necessary to communicate the Go Solar message in their respective communities.
Televised / Internet Classes
PGE is currently planning a series of webinars on a range of solar subjects including Permitting, California Solar Initiative Program Updates, the Solar Interconnection Process, and others. Please see our current schedule.
Phone Solar Customer Service Center 1-877-743-4112 Solar Hotline 415-973-3480 (solar application-related questions)
Mailing Address PGE Solar and Customer Generation. CSI PO Box 7433 San Francisco, CA 94120
Street Address (for overnight deliveries) PGE Solar and Customer Generation. CSI 245 Market St., MC N4G San Francisco, CA 94105-1797
“PGE” refers to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PGE Corporation. © 2008 Pacific Gas and Electric Company. All rights reserved.