Workforce Development Institute (WDI)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PV (Solar Energy) and Energy Efficiency Courses

If you want to save energy inside or outside, start a new career or certify in your existing one, take one of these hands-on classes to help you prepare for these growing industries.

Photovoltaic Systems Certificate Photovoltaic Systems Certificate

The Workforce Development Institute at Hudson Valley Community College offers a Photovoltaic Systems Certificate for those students who successfully complete the following courses:

This Certificate provides students a way to demonstrate to employers their success in courses based on NABCEP standards and their knowledge of photovoltaic systems, from basic electrical theory to solar panel design and installation!

The photovoltaics (solar electric) industry is booming!
In New York State, solar energy jobs grew 300% from 2011 to 2014, according to Governor Cuomo. Nationally, in 2013, the solar industry grew 34% with the residential and utility segments growing by 51% and 38%, respectively. Since 2006, the cost to install solar has dropped by more than 73%, reported by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Prerequisite: Strong math skills recommended.

PV - Basics, Electricity For Photovoltaic Systems PV–Installation Basics
20 Hours, 2 CEUs, Non-Credit
Classroom

Prepare for employment in the growing sustainable energy industry!

As an introduction to Solar Energy, students will learn to safely and effectively perform installation tasks as a trained, entry-level worker does in the field. Course topics will include:

  • Basic electrical safety
  • Basic measuring
  • Construction safety
  • Electrical grounding and bonding
  • Hand-held power tools
  • PV racking systems
  • PV module handling and installation
  • Rooftop safety
  • Weather proofing

Students are required to bring to class:

  • Safety glasses with side panels
  • Work boots
  • Work gloves

Prerequisites: Minimum 10th grade-level reading and math skills. Students are required to provide proof of completion of OSHA 10-hour Construction Safety Training course.

Location: TEC-SMART

Tuition: $360

PV - Associate Photovoltaics (Solar Power) PV - Associate Photovoltaics (Solar Power)
40 hours, 4 CEUs, Non-Credit
Blended: Classroom / Online

Hudson Valley Community College’s Workforce Development Institute offers a 40-hour non-credit PV-Associate Photovoltaics (Solar Power) course, which covers the fundamentals of photovoltaic (PV) systems design and installation.

The objective of the course is to prepare students for taking the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Associate Exam.

The course curriculum complies with NABCEP’s “Learning Objectives” for the Associate exam.

Some of the critical topics covered include:

  • Introduction to PV Systems
  • General and PV System Safety
  • Solar Radiation
  • System Components and Configurations
  • Cells, Modules and Arrays
  • Inverters
  • Batteries
  • Charge Controllers
  • Site Surveys and Preplanning
  • System Sizing
  • Mechanical Integration
  • Electrical Integration
  • Utility Interconnection
  • Permitting and Inspections
  • Commissioning and Maintenance
  • Economic Analysis, Firefighters' Concerns

There is also an optional workshop choice, which consists of four in-person hands-on labs. Students who opt into the workshop component, must attend all four Saturday sessions.

In addition to monitoring the discussion board, an instructor is available to provide feedback on assignments and to discuss technical questions.

This course can be used to complete the WDI Photovoltaic Systems Certificate.

Prerequisites: Minimum 10th grade-level reading and math skills; previous electrical training/experience helpful.

Textbook: Photovoltaic Systems by James Dunlop, will be available for purchase at the Viking’s Cove Bookstore.

Location:

  • Classroom: 400 Jordan Rd., Rensselaer Technology Park, Troy
  • Workshops: Hudson Valley Community College Main Campus, TEC-SMART

Tuition: $775

NABCEP PV Associate Exam (Optional): $150 for Hudson Valley Community College PV Students

PV - Associate Photovoltaics (Solar Power) PV - Associate Photovoltaics (Solar Power)
40 hours, 4 CEUs, Non-Credit
Online

Hudson Valley Community College's Workforce Development Institute offers an ONLINE version of its 40-hour non-credit PV-Associate Photovoltaics (Solar Power) course, which covers the fundamentals of photovoltaic (PV) systems design and installation.

PV-Associate Photovoltaics - ONLINE utilizes LAB VIDEOS prepared by Workforce Development Institute instructors specifically for this course. Narrated slide show presentations, randomized chapter quizzes, and discussion forums provide additional course content. An instructor is available for feedback on assignments and to discuss technical questions.

The objective of the course is to prepare students for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Associate Exam.

The course curriculum complies with NABCEP's "Learning Objectives" for the Associate exam.

Some of the critical topics covered include:

  • Introduction to PV Systems
  • General and PV System Safety
  • Solar Radiation
  • System Components and Configurations
  • Cells, Modules and Arrays
  • Inverters
  • Batteries
  • Charge Controllers
  • Site Surveys and Preplanning
  • System Sizing
  • Mechanical Integration
  • Electrical Integration
  • Utility Interconnection
  • Permitting and Inspections
  • Commissioning and Maintenance
  • Economic Analysis, Firefighters' Concerns

There is also an optional workshop choice, which consists of four in-person hands-on labs. Students who opt into the workshop component, must attend all four Saturday sessions.

In addition to monitoring the discussion board, an instructor is available to provide feedback on assignments and to discuss technical questions.

This course can be used to complete the WDI Photovoltaic Systems Certificate.

Prerequisites: Minimum 10th grade-level reading and math skills; previous electrical training/experience helpful.

Textbook: Photovoltaic Systems by James Dunlop, will be available for purchase at the Viking’s Cove Bookstore.

Tuition: $775

NABCEP PV Associate Exam (Optional): $150 for Hudson Valley Community College PV Students

PV - Advanced Photovoltaic (Solar) Electric Systems PV–Advanced Solar Power Systems with Installer Workshop
40 hours, 4 CEUs, Non-Credit
Classroom

PV-Advanced is designed for individuals who are preparing for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Installer certification process. The course follows the NABCEP Study Guide for Photovoltaic System Installers, and includes both theory and hands-on experience.

The course curriculum covers the following major job/task areas:

  • Working Safely with Photovoltaic Systems
  • Conducting a Site Assessment
  • Selecting a System Design
  • Adapting the Mechanical Design
  • Adapting the Electrical Design
  • Installing Subsystems and Components at the Site
  • Performing a System Checkout and Inspection
  • Maintaining and Troubleshooting a System

The Installer Workshop provides hands-on experience in the basic processes, equipment, system checks and tools required for installing a roof-mounted solar panel array, and includes the following:

  • PV Systems Checks: Identify PV components and use measurement devices to determine system performance.
  • Sizing PV Arrays: Determine the size of the solar array required for the project.
  • PV Energy Calculation: Determine the energy generated and how it relates to the NYSERDA application process to secure rebate funds.
  • Roof Mount Systems: How to mount, wire and ground solar panels for a roof project.

This course can be used to complete the WDI Photovoltaic Systems Certificate.

Prerequisites: Completion of PV-Associate Photovoltaics (Solar Power)

Textbooks: Photovoltaic Systems by James Dunlop, and National Electric Code, 2014 will be available for purchase at the Viking’s Cove Bookstore.

Location:

  • Classroom: 400 Jordan Rd., Rensselaer Technology Park, Troy
  • Workshops: Hudson Valley Community College Main Campus, TEC-SMART

Tuition: $775

PV – Solar Technical Sales and Marketing PV–Technical Sales for Photovoltaic (Solar) Energy
40 hours, 4 CEUs, Non-Credit
Classroom

Learn the keys to providing better information and service to your current and prospective solar energy (photovoltaic) customers, as a sales professional in the rapidly expanding PV industry! Increase customer satisfaction through the skills and techniques of PV systems sales, from educating prospects about the value of solar power, to selection, installation and customer service.

This training program is designed to prepare the student for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Technical Sales Exam, while introducing the student to the following skills and the underlying technologies, which will help you become a better salesperson and an integral part of the actual day-to-day success of your own or your employer's company:

  • PV Technical Sales: Residential, Commercial, Not-for-Profit and Institutional
    • Site Analysis (remote and on-site)
    • Financial Costs, Incentives and Savings, (in dollars and in 'green' issues)
    • Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • Non-financial benefit analysis
    • Performance Analysis of Power, Energy and Costs
    • Creating the Written Proposal

Prerequisites: Minimum 10th grade reading and math skills; completion of a PV Associate course, or proof of previous PV solar experience/training.

Textbook: Photovoltaic Systems by James Dunlop; available for purchase at the Viking's Cove Bookstore.

Location: 400 Jordan Rd., Rensselaer Technology Park, Troy

Tuition: $750

NABCEP Associate Exam NABCEP PV - Associate Exam
2 hours, Non-Credit
Classroom or Online

The Workforce Development Institute (WDI) of Hudson Valley Community College is a registered provider of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners’ (NABCEP) PV Associate Exam for those who successfully complete an approved PV-Associate course.

Passing the exam and earning the NABCEP Associate Certificate is a way for candidates to demonstrate that they have achieved a basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of the application, design, installation and operation of grid-tied and stand-alone PV Systems.

By passing this industry-sponsored Associate Exam, individuals may find that their employment opportunities in the solar energy field are enhanced, especially as the market for solar power grows, since they will be starting the job with an understanding of the basic terms and operational aspects of a PV system.

The NABCEP PV Associate Exam should not be confused with the NABCEP PV Installers Exam. Passing the NABCEP PV Associate Exam does not qualify individuals as NABCEP-Certified PV Installers, who are required to pass a much more rigorous examination and to demonstrate the capability to supervise complete PV system installations. For more information, please visit NABCEP.org.

This course can be used to complete the WDI Photovoltaic Systems Certificate.

PLEASE NOTE: A government issued ID is required to be admitted into the exam.

Prerequisite: Proof of Completion of NABCEP-approved PV-Associate course.

Location for Written Exam: Hudson Valley Community College Main Campus

Exam Fee: Written Exam - $180; Online Exam - $150

BPI Testing Information:
Following completion of this review session, participants will be better prepared to take the BPI Field Exam. The cost of the Field Exam is not included in the review session fee. The Field Exam satisfies the second component of the BPI certification requirements. The first component is the Written/Online Exam. The cost of the Written/Online exam is not included in the review session fee. Candidates must pass both exams in order to become BPI Certified.

Note: All Field Exams and Written/Online Exams will be video and audio recorded.

Visit www.bpi.org for more information or call BPI at (877) 274-1274.

Review for Building Performance Institute (BPI) Field Exam
Classroom

This training/review session will help prepare the student for the Building Performance Institute's Field Exam. Participants will receive one-on-one, hands-on training. The training will cover the proper use of equipment utilized in the completion of home energy efficiency assessments. This is a preparatory review session, not a BPI certification exam.

The Field Exam Review is a great way for trainees to gain additional hands-on practice with the testing equipment and develop a stronger understanding of the process of analyzing a home.

To prepare for the Field Exam Review, the candidate should review documents and materials pertinent to the Field Exam and contact the instructor with any questions or clarifications they may have. The candidate is expected to provide the following items for the review session:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (Clean Bag)
  • A copy of the "Field Guide in Walk-Through Order" document for the certification being pursued (from student training manual or BPI website).
  • Notepad and pen/pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • Calculator

Training Topics:
Proper set up and use of home diagnostic equipment in order to prepare for the BPI Field Exam

Schedule: Two field practicum/review hours per designation

Training Location: Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Programs Training Lab, located on the corner of Morrison Avenue and Vandenburgh Avenue in Troy, NY

Tuition: $350
Note: These review sessions do not qualify for tuition reimbursement from NYSERDA.

BPI Testing Information:
This Field Exam satisfies the second component of the BPI certification requirements. The first component is the Written/Online Exam. Candidates must pass both exams in order to become BPI Certified.

Visit www.bpi.org for more information or call BPI at(877) 274-1274.

Candidates interested in applying for the field portion of their certification may contact the Workforce Development Institute at (518) 629-7338, or email wdi@hvcc.edu.

Building Performance Institute Certification/Recertification Field Exam
Classroom

Hudson Valley Community College, as a BPI Test Center, will conduct BPI field certification testing on an individual basis. Candidates should contact the college's Workforce Development Institute at the number(s) below to register and make arrangements for their Field Exam. Field testing is available for Building Analyst, Envelope Professional, Heating Professional and AC Heat Pump (Cooling).

Prerequisites:
This testing is for individuals who need to take their initial Field Exam for BPI certification.
OR
This testing is for individuals who have been previously certified by BPI and need to renew their certification requirements.

Time Allowed (Per Exam): In accorandance with BPI standards (normally two hours)
(To be video and audio recorded)

Location: Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Programs Training Lab, located on the corner of Morrison Avenue and Vandenburgh Avenue in Troy, NY

Tuition: $575

NYSERDA Certification Reimbursement: A portion of the BPI certification/recertification cost may qualify for reimbursement by NYSERDA to candidates who successfully achieve BPI certification by passing both the written and field exams. Candidates are required to submit a BPI Certification Reimbursement Form directly to NYSERDA. Forms can be obtained from the training facility.

*WDI offers Field Reviews at an additional cost.
Note: Field Reviews must be conducted at least 24 hours prior to any certification exam.

BPI Testing Information:
This Written/Online exam satisfies the first component of the BPI certification requirements. Candidates must also pass a field performance exam before receiving certification.

Visit www.bpi.org for more information or call BPI at (877) 274-1274.

Candidates should bring to the test room, writing material, calculators and the BPI National Standards.

Candidates should review any training material (for example, the Krigger/Dorsi Residential Energy book) before sitting for the test.

Building Performance Institute Certification/Recertification Written Exam
Classroom

Hudson Valley Community College, as a BPI Test Center, will conduct Written/Online BPI Exams for Building Analyst, Envelope Professional, Heating Professional and AC Heat Pump (Cooling), for those candidates who are recertifying or require the Online Exam.

Prerequisites:
This testing is for individuals who need to take their initial written/online exam for BPI certification.
OR
This testing is for individuals who have been previously certified by BPI and need to renew their certification requirements.

Time Allowed (Per Exam): 50 Questions: 1.5 Hour Limit; 100 Questions: 2.0 Hour Limit
(To be video and audio recorded)

Location: TBA

Tuition: $350

NYSERDA Certification Reimbursement: A portion of the BPI certification cost may qualify for reimbursement by NYSERDA to candidates who successfully achieve BPI certification by passing both the written and field exams. Candidates are required to submit a BPI Certification Reimbursement Form directly to NYSERDA. Forms can be obtained from the training facility.