Quality Training is the Key to Success in the Solar Industry

When it comes to solar installation, can you just learn as you go? Can you “fake it ‘til you make it”?

Perhaps. But after the first couple of jobs where the batteries fail prematurely, the roof leaks where you mounted the solar panels or, heaven forbid, the entire solar array catches fire due to improper connectors or incorrectly sized cable, jobs that you will be financially liable for, you might decide to give it a miss.

What if you’d just bitten the bullet and got the right information from the right people?

Properly designed and installed systems that use quality products which come with product- as well as performance-warranties have the potential to last for 30 years or more, saving you from increase after increase from the national power provider, driving down the cost/kWh over the lifetime of the system life, and replacing dirty fossil fuel and dangerous nuclear power with clean safe PV power.

And professional solar training is core to achieving these critical goals.

The majority of installers may prefer to learn on-the-job, but if you’re not apprenticing under the watchful eye of a master solar installer, the potential exists for mistakes that are, at best, costly, and at worst, fatal. The experts agree: you need formal training before plunging into PV system design and installation.

PV system design and installation is a complex trade borrowing elements from carpentry, plumbing, electrical, roofing, and IT. Even experienced electrical contractors can benefit from solar training as they need to learn how to waterproof roof penetrations, optimize the PV system design for maximum yield and ROI, design battery banks that will deliver their designed number of cycles, as well as comply with building and electrical code considerations that electricians never encounter outside of solar installation.

Costly mistakes that sometimes require the complete removal, redesign and reinstallation of a PV system include improperly size conductors and conduit, leaking roof penetrations, ill-advised interconnection methods, structurally compromised PV attachments, undersized solar arrays, and battery banks improperly stored and cycled.

Quality solar training reduces the likelihood of mistakes. Image credit: GREENSolar Academy

All of these are errors made by uneducated solar installers result in expensive service calls, system downtime, premature component failure, and a loss of customer confidence. And they could all have been avoided with the proper training.

GREEN Solar Academy is a quality training organization whose instructors and course designers have worked in the industry, have gone through this learning curve (yup, that’s right, you really are learning from their mistakes in some instances), and the first-hand knowledge they bring to the training program is the new solar business’s shortcut to developing these design and installation skills.

Quality solar training reduces the likelihood of mistakes. And if we look at the upward trajectory of installers who have undergone training such as our 5-day SuperSolarSchool, and gone on to complete their PV GreenCard trade test, we can conclude that most recover their investment in quality solar training within the first few projects.

Finally, there is nothing like the confidence that comes across when you know what you are talking about – and customers pick up on that confidence. They may not understand the technology as well as you do, but they can always tell when a service provider is confident in their trade. Qualified trained installers exude confidence helping give your company a competitive edge.

Prioritise quality solar training for your system designers, installers, and sales representatives and make sure your company retains its place in the sun.

GREEN Solar Academy has been training solar installers in South Africa for 10 Years and its SuperSolarSchool has virtually become the generic name for the recommended PV GreenCard training. Visit their website for a full list of training courses on offer at our various academies: https://solar-training.org/solar-installation-courses/region-ZA/  or contact us on +27 (0) 10 312 6724 or info@solar-training.org

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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