Solar Energy International was
founded in 1991
and the nonprofit organization’s primary focus
is on solar energy and other renewable energy training and education.
The company has more certified solar
energy educators and trainers than
any other organization. SEI’s training and education force consists of
twenty four solar installers certified by the North American Board of
Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and twenty trainers with the
ISPQ certification from the Institute for Sustainable Power
has an ISPQ approved training program that has training courses both in
the classroom or online to get students ready for a number of different
NABECP certification exams, including tests for technical sales, PV
installation, wind energy, and solar thermal heating installation. In
addition to their training and educational programs, SEI also produces
a line of highly successful and very informative books.
energy books are one of the best educational tools/manuals
on the market
and are used worldwide by people who wish to learn more about the
different uses of solar energy. These books can also help you prepare
to attempt to take a certification course on your own, or if you wish
to learn how to install your own solar panels or do any other
SEI Workshops and Training
If you are considering a
training course to become a certified
professional in the solar or renewable energy field, then SEI most
likely has class near you. SEI offers courses in over 15 different U.S.
states including Hawaii, and some of these courses are available in
both English and Spanish.
They also provide
certification and training
courses, as well as educational programs in Canada, Cuba, Nicaragua,
Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Ecuador. The majority of their courses cost
around $1000 depending on which course you take and the location where
you are taking the course.
The organization offers
several different levels of courses in
preparation for taking different certifications and examinations. The
most basic level is PV 101 which is an introduction to grid tied solar
photovoltaic solar systems and their installation. You can then move on
to learn about off grid or battery based systems in PV 203 or take a
number of other courses.
This consists of several
different courses based around solar thermal
energy beginning with ST 101 which is based around solar hot water
heating and installation. More advanced classes deal with other topics
such as solar thermal air heating.
These classes are based
around how to create sustainable,
environmentally sustainable development in more rural or poorer areas.
Some courses are based around the country they are taught in, such as
taking part in a series of workshops and an international energy
conference in Cuba.
This unit consists of
classes designed to train individuals to work in
the field of wind energy. The courses can prepare you for NABCEP
certification as a wind power installer. There is again a basic level
which is a prerequisite for the other higher level courses.
This area consists of only
one course which is designed to prepare you
to become certified in the design and installation of micro hydro power
and other small scale hydro systems. These systems are commonly used in
irrigation ditches all over the western part of the United States
The organization also
offers classes to educators and professionals in
a variety of fields so that they can learn more about the possibilities
of using solar energy and various other forms of renewable,
environmentally friendly energy.
The reason that most
people take these
courses is that the majority of licensing and certification boards -
different professions such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters,
educators, and others - require an individual to take continuing
education courses to keep up to date on the newest technologies and
developments. These courses qualify for NABECP continuing education and
many other certifications as well, and they are one of the most popular
courses offered by Solar Energy International.
SEI Solar Professionals
If you are considering a
in solar energy or any other form of
renewable energy, then you should check out SEI’s Solar Professionals
Certifications. They offer six specific programs designed to create
fully certified, competent professionals.
Each program consists of
between three and five different courses, usually with a few core
courses and one or two electives as well.
Each of the programs comes
with a substantial price reduction over the price of taking each class
separately. You can learn everything you need to know about
either battery powered or grid tied solar systems - or you can
specialize in solar business and technical sales.
Other options include
a solar education based around developing worlds that requires a course
in a foreign country such as Nicaragua or Costa Rica or you can receive
an education that focuses on not only photovoltaic solar energy but
also your choice of solar thermal, wind, or micro hydro energy. They
even offer a certificate to become a solar trainer’s trainer, so you
can teach your own certification courses.
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