PVOL350: Tools and Techniques for Operations and Maintenance (40 hour course)
This is an advanced online training targeted towards solar professionals who want to take their technical skills to the next level. This course is geared towards training PV technicians to safely and effectively perform operations and maintenance (O&M) tasks including inspections, commissioning, performance verification, and troubleshooting. Likewise, those managing fleet operations and system data will find this course challenging and valuable.
As more and more PV systems come online, the O&M field is rapidly expanding. Learn the theory and practical applications from instructors with real-world experience, using curriculum developed by an industry-leading team of experts. Students will become familiar with a wide range of advanced analytical tools, meters, and techniques – such as insulation resistance testers, IV curve tracers, and infrared cameras – and learn the advanced skills required to ensure PV systems operate safely and reliably.
This course is applicable to all sizes of grid-direct PV systems including residential, commercial, and large-scale; it does not cover battery maintenance or medium voltage-specific O&M.
Students who successfully complete the course will be able to perform the following:
- Discuss preventative and reactive maintenance plans and activities.
- Summarize safety procedures and PPE requirements for O&M technicians.
- Describe the field procedures required to evaluate the performance of PV systems.
- List appropriate requirements for meters, tools, and other equipment used in O&M activities.
- Define the theory, procedures, and processes behind insulation resistance testing, IV curve tracing, infrared cameras and thermal imaging, and other tools of the trade.
- Analyze test results to determine performance, compare baseline data, and pinpoint system issues.
- Describe inspection requirements for preventative maintenance inspections.
- Illustrate methods for locating and troubleshooting common PV array and system faults using appropriate methodologies and testing tools.
This course is entirely online and does not include a hands-on lab component. You can log into this course at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the full duration of the specified course. You will generally need between 10-20 hrs/week to complete the lesson materials and graded activities. The earlier lessons generally take less time than the later lessons. Students can access the course anytime, from any computer with an internet connection (access computer requirements link below). There are no specific times that you need to log on; the course is self paced but you must finish all graded materials by the end date of the course. The live instructors are there to give feedback, grade your work and you can contact them with questions on the forum discussion boards, or by email.
This course includes interactive activities, powerpoints, readings and quizzes, and exercises and homework to test student comprehension. There is also a forum where students can post questions to the instructors and network between each other. Online courses last six (6) weeks and will end on the Sunday night of the last week. All graded course activities (e.g., quizzes, forum discussion assignments, any other assignments with a score) need to be completed within these 6 weeks, with a 70% or better cumulative grade, to pass and receive a Record of Completion. After the course end-date, you will have two additional weeks for instructorless review-only time. During this time you will not be able to complete any graded activities. However, this is an ideal time to finish saving and reviewing any course materials of particular interest.
Successful completion of this course results in 40 State of California Journeyman Continuing Education or Electrician Trainee hours. It additionally results in any of the following NABCEP Training Hours:
- PV Installer Certification Requirements: This course counts for 40 advanced training hours.
- PV Installer Recertification Requirements: This course counts for the following:
- 6 NEC (Code-based) hours
- 6 Job Task Analysis hours
- 6 Non-Technical hours
- PV Technical Sales Recertification: This course counts for 6 Non-Technical/Other hours
- PV Associate Recertification: 12 training hours
- Solar Heating Installer Recertification: This course counts for 6 Non-Technical/Other continuing education hours
Before participating in the PVOL350 course, students are required to complete PVOL101
, an equivalent course from another organization, or demonstrate field experience and pass a placement quiz AND PVOL202
, or 2 years industry experience. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel you are qualified to skip the prerequisite for PVOL350; they will notify WECA of your equivalency if granted.
Required Course Materials:
You may want to have your copy of the Solar Electric Handbook on hand from your PVOL101 course.
All course hours must be completed within Solar Energy International’s designated course timeline for this instance in order to receive credit.
Total Class hours available:
Standard Tuition Fee:
Please review the System Requirements by clicking here.
Minimum Points and Hours:
To earn credit hours for this course, students are required to attend a minimum number of course hours and earn a minimum number of points. Zero (0) credit hours will be awarded if the minimum attendance and/or minimum points are not met. See the points and hours matrix
for specific requirements for this course.
Refund and Cancellation Policy:
to see Solar Energy International's refund and cancellation policy.
** You must be paying by credit card to sign-up online.
Return to Course Catalog
Find Other Courses