INSTALLATION OF SOLAR RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS
COURSE 460: 3 DAYS: Max 8 Candidates
This course is aimed at plumbers and electricians who wish to install, commission, fault-find and /or maintain the renewable energy systems currently being promoted by the UK Government. Candidates will gain hands-on experience of connecting solar generation systems in commercial and domestic dwellings through the use of this practical course employing a wide variety of commercial generation equipment actually used on the course. Candidates also gain useful knowledge about the other generation systems (thermal, wind, biomass, geothermal systems etc).
The course is open to anyone with a general understanding of electrical principles and plumbing by-laws. However, to sign off a solar installation, prospective candidates should be in possession of the 17th edition of the IET Wiring Regulations - see the City & Guilds 2382 qualification, course 310. Candidates who do not possess this knowledge will be shown how to install the electrical parts of the systems to best practice (BS7671). Candidates gain sufficient knowledge to be able to advise others on how a renewable energy installation should be carried out, be able to specify the component parts and ratings needed for a given installation and advise on the practicalities of the various energy sources for a given installation.
The emphasis is very much on 'learning by doing' and the development of useful, practical skills - with particular stress being placed upon safety. Comprehensive course notes are provided.
On successful completion of the course, candidates will be able to install and commission the following renewable energy systems:
- Solar heating Systems
- Photovoltaic systems (PV)
Candidates will understand the following systems:
- Ground Source Heat Pumps
- Wind power systems
Candidates will be able to:
- Fault-find on renewable energy systems
- Maintain system components to maximise system efficiency
- Understand relevant codes of practice
- Discover how PV arrays are connected and fused
- Specify: Cables, Fuses, Connectors, Switches, Isolation, Diode arrays, AC Inverter capacity and Earthing
Successful completion of the course leads to the award of the Technical Training Solutions competence Certificate 460: Installation of Solar Renewable Energy Systems.
What do candidates on the renewable energy course actually do?
Candidates on the solar renewable energy training course learn about the practicalities of the various renewable technologies; the estimated cost and payback times for the various technologies, the advantages and disadvantages of each type bearing in mind the geographical location, etc. The following are example pages from the comprehensive course notes provided for each candidate.
Candidates on the solar renewable energy course are given the opportunity to install and commission the renewable systems that have gained the most credence recently: solar panels and PV arrays. The course focuses on these technologies in the main. We use various devices so that the candidates can learn about the technologies in an interesting way, for example we use peltier heat pumps to demonstrate the relationships between power and efficiency etc.
We then look at how PV panels work and show how voltage and current is produced, connecting up strings of panels in order to learn about the potentials for power generation and the important issues of safety and efficiency involved in their use.
We use a range of typical commercial grade PV panels which candidates are likely to encounter to explore the practical issues associated with PV panel installation; making the electrical connections, electrical safety, mounting methods, fragility of the panel, positional efficiency etc.
We have a specially-constructed roof so that candidates can experience the practicalities of installing the technologies (bearing in mind the various building regulation requirements) and can use this opportunity to consider how best to install each of the technologies.
Candidates connect the panels to controllers and load systems, considering the necessities for earthing, referencing to the neutral etc. In this way we are able to simulate a complete installation: from roof-mounted device to control circuits; to load connections in consumer units; to actual electrical circuits. The following is a pump controller used in solar hot water systems which candidates can connect up and configure to control flow around the system to achieve maximum efficiency.
A 5 stage pump is used to overcome the problems of charging a solar hot water system with fluid without introducing air locks.
Candidates use a variety of additional components in order to complete the demonstration installations, so that the candidates learn about how the electrical connections to PV panels and wind turbines should be made, how battery managers are used, where ac inverters are used and finally how all these are connected into the electrical supply system of the premises in question. We also load our systems up so that we can prove that energy is being captured, transmitted or stored, as appropriate.
In addition to the PV and solar hot water systems in common usage in the UK, the course also looks at the practicalities of the other renewable energy sources - although with less emphasis - bearing in mind the installation costs of these systems and the potential payback periods etc.
To successfully complete the course, candidates will need to have demonstrated a range of competences throughout the practical exercises described in the above, but in addition they need to complete a design project which complies with the DTI advice on renewable energy installations as well as answering a knowledge-based assessment of the critical points covered by the course. Extracts from the assessment paperwork are shown here: