Photovoltaic Design and Installation Class

[Photovoltaics, PV, Solar Electricity]

5-Day Class (three days of classroom and two days of hands-on installation)
Class Size: 20 students (Min 18)
Dates: October 28-30, November 5-6, 2011 (Fri-Sat-Sun-Sat-Sun; 8am to 5pm)
Tuition: $750 per person; NMSEA members - $725
Location: Santa Fe Girls' School, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Photovoltaic Class Brochure (4Mb)
Photovoltaic Class Brochure (B&W, 2.5Mb)
See also our PV Design class.

Sponsored by New Mexico Solar Energy Association


Are you interested in learning more about solar electricity? Would you like to learn about siting, sizing and safely installing a PV system?

Basic topics of this class include PV components (modules, arrays, inverters, batteries, charge controllers, wire), the configuration of stand-alone (off-grid) and grid-tie (utility-connected) systems, site analysis, load analysis, design and sizing. Other topics include ampacity and voltage drop, the National Electric Code (NEC), safety, commissioning, job prep, tools and energy efficiency.

This class is particularly good for certified electricians who are interested in the hands-on component as well as the classroom information. It is also good for homeowners who are considering installing their own systems as well as students and job seekers who are interested in fieldwork.

The design portion of the class contains lecture, interaction in the classroom and hands-on labs of series-parallel configurations and to wire a meter. Students will design a system, given physical parameters and a customer's lifestyle and desires, using classroom materials and the NEC book.

Students spend an additional weekend installing a 1-3kw solar electric system. The Oct/Nov class will install a 2kW system at Santa Fe Girls School.

Lunches and snacks are included in the class fee. Dress for classroom the first weekend. Dress for physical labor, with sturdy shoes (no sandals) on the second weekend.

Students must attend all 5 days of the class to receive a Certificate of Completion.

Electricians who complete the class may receive continuing education units through New Mexico's Construction Industries Division (CID). A grant through McCune Charitable Foundation provides tuition for four electrical inspectors for either photovoltaic class on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note this correction:Though NMSEA will seek approval by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), students who take this class will not be eligible to sit for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam.


Our instructors are Randy Sadewic and Marlene Brown.

Randy Sadewic is a graduate of San Juan College, co-owns Positive Energy, Inc., a company that designs and installs PV systems and is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Randy is a NMSEA SunChaser Instructor and Advisory Board Member. He was a Vice President during his term as Voting Board Member.

Marlene Brown has worked with PV for over 15 years, has been teaching for over 10 years and has installed 100s of systems in the U.S. and developing world. Marlene is an Advisory Board Member and was President for two of her terms on the Voting Board.

Tanya Stickford and Conor Black of Positive Energy will be directing the installation. Mary McArthur is the Workshop Coordinator. She is on the Advisory Board, is Editor of the Solar and Sustainable Directory and managed the Solar Fiesta for five years.


The classroom location for both the PV Design and PV Design and Installation classes will be at the Santa Fe Girls School (directions to come). The installation location for the PV Design and Installation class will be at the Santa Fe Girls School as well.


Payment must be received before the class. Checks, Visa, Mastercard and cash are accepted. When registering, please give your name, company, mailing address, phone, e-mail, and dietary or other special needs. For PV classes: If you are an electrician, please give us your Journeyman's License number.

With a credit card: Please call the NMSEA office:
    Albuquerque phone: 505-246-0400
    Toll free: 888-88-NMSOL (888-886-6765)

By mail: Send the information with a check for payment, to arrive before the class, to:
    New Mexico Solar Energy Association
    1009 Bradbury Dr SE, Ste. 35
    Albuquerque, NM 87106