NABCEP Certification News
The final goal of learning all of this information is probably for you to know how to install a photovoltaic system either at your own home or professionally for others. For those who wish to make solar panel installation a business, you should consider getting certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). According to its own literature, since its conception in 2003, NABCEP has certified hundreds of solar panel installers around the country. (if you’re reading closely, you’ll realize just how much opportunity to make money exists in an industry with only a handful of licensed practitioners in each state! Indeed, at least in California, solar panel installers were recently predicted to be one of the five highest demand jobs over the coming decade.)
In order to ensure the quality of certified installers, sitting for the NABCEP exam is not so simple as signing up for the exam and taking it. They require either experience, education, or a combination of the two. For a complete listing of requirements, visit NABCEP’s PV Installer Certification Handbook (PDF). For those who think that the above requirements are above and beyond their interests, NABCEP also offers an entry level certificate of knowledge for PV(PDF), and offers certification in solar thermal systems and small wind systems.
If you are going to aim for certification, here are the resources that NABCEP recommends to prepare for the exam:
1. 2005 Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 29 Part 1926 – Safety and Health Regulations for
Construction. U.S. Department of Labor/OSHA, OSHA Publications, P.O. Box 37535,
Washington, D.C. 20013-7535 http://www.osha.gov/pls/publications/pubindex.list
2. 2008 National Electrical Code®, NFPA 70, national Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch
Park, Quincy, MA 02269 (2005 National Electrical Code Handbook ® is an acceptable substitute)
3. Photovoltaic Systems, National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, Published by
American Technical Publishers, Inc. Homewood, IL 60430-4600, 2007. www.go2atp.com
4. A Guide to Photovoltaic System Design and Installation, California Energy Commission Consultant Report 500-01-020, June 2001 http://www.energy.ca.gov/reports/2001-09-04_500-01-020.PDF
5. Working Safely with Photovoltaic Systems. Sandia National Laboratories, Photovoltaic Systems Assistance Center, Albuquerque, NM 87185-0753.
6. Stand-Alone Photovoltaic Systems: A Handbook of Recommended Design Practices, Sandia National Laboratories and the Southwest Technology Development Institute (SAND87-7023), Albuquerque, NM 87185-0753.Updated January, 1995.
http://www.sandia.gov/pv/docs/PDF/Stand%20Alone.pdf (Print version no longer distributed –
available by download only)
7. Battery Service Manual, 12th Edition. Battery Council International, 401 North Michigan Avenue,
Chicago, IL, 60611 http://www.batterycouncil.org/publications.html
8. Photovoltaic Systems Engineering, Roger A. Messenger and Gerard G. Ventre, (2ND Edition) CRC Press, 2004, ISBN: 8493-1793-2 http://www.crcpress.com/
9. One and Two Family Dwelling Electrical Systems, (5th Edition) J. Philip Simmons, International Association of Electrical Inspectors, Richardson, TX, 2002.
10. Hybrid Power Systems: Issues and Answers. Sandia National Laboratories, Photovoltaic Systems Assistance Center, Albuquerque, NM 87185-0753
The cost to sit for the exam is $250, which includes a $50 application fee, and $200 exam fee once your application is processed. Your certification will last for three years, at which time, your can sit for a recertification exam for an additional $200 and fulfilling continuing education or practical installation experience requirements.
For more information about the certification process, visit NABCEP’s Website.