The “Find Your Power” Curriculum

We’ve designed the “Find Your Power” curriculum to educate anyone interested in pursuing a career in solar. Our programs are made possible by educational partners, like the Philadelphia Energy Authority, so that students get a free education with hands-on experience. Our students enter with no previous exposure to the solar industry and graduate as qualified solar installers. A number of Find Your Power graduates now work for Solar States, and we’ve helped place many more in jobs elsewhere. In the past, students have taken jobs as a junior solar installer or in a solar permitting department immediately after graduation. We will help you with job placement.

COVID-19 Update all classes are being hosted online at this time. Learn more about our education programs.

38-Class Curriculum

  1. Course Introduction, Why Go Solar? Solar History
  2. The Role Energy Plays in Everyday Life
  3. Field Trip to the Crane Arts Solar Array, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Safety Basics.
  4. Review Residential Solar Components, Lab / Hands-on

  5. Electricity Basics, How the Electrical Grid Works
  6. Ohm’s Law and Electricity Basics, Different Types of Energy Generation, Storage – Batteries, The Competitive Energy Landscape

  7. Solar Energy Fundamentals, PV System Sizing
  8. Field Trip to the Navy Yard Grid Star Home, Lab / Hands-on
  9. The different types of energy generation and the competitive landscape
  10. Solar Energy System Production and Perfomance

  11. Chapter 4 review
  12. PV Module Fundamentals, National Electric Code (NEC), Lab / Hands-on
  13. National Electric Code (NEC), PV System Sizing
  14. Environmental Conditions Affecting Solar
  15. Field Trip to Residential PV Installation, Discussion of Solarize Philly Campaign
  16. Solar System Component Specifics, The Solar Installation Process, Lab / Hands-on
  17. Review – The Solar Installation Process
  18. PV System Sizing Principles, Specifics of Electrical Wiring
  19. Field Trip to ECA, Sustainability, Energy Conservation, Recycling, Transit-Oriented development (TOD), Sustainable Development, LEED
  20. PV System Electrical Design, Market Analysis, Lab / Hands-on
  21. PV System Mechanical Design

  22. Performance Analysis, Quality Assurance, Maintenance & Trouble Shooting
  23. Lab / Hands-on, Sean White guest speaker
  24. Lab / Hands-on, Guest speaker
  25. Lab / Hands-on, Guest speaker
  26. Lab / Hands-on, Guest speaker
  27. Lab / Hands-on, Guest speaker
  28. Lab / Hands-on, Guest speaker
  29. Lab / Hands-on, Guest speaker
  30. Lab / Hands-on, Guest speaker
  31. Lab / Hands-on, Guest speaker
  32. Lab / Hands-on, Guest speaker
  33. Field Trip to Solar States Operations Office
  34. Field Trip to Capital 2 Passive House Project
  35. Career Opportunities in the Solar Industry
  36. Review for Final Exam
  37. Final Exam
  38. Final Exam Results and Answer Review. Student Feedback and Evaluations, Closing Celebration.

Materials List

  • Solar Photovoltaic Basics by Sean White (text)
  • Computer with Excel and MS Word
  • Kilo-Watt meter
  • Solemetric Suneye
  • Multimeter
  • Laser thermometer
  • Inverter, micro inverter and DC optimizers
  • Solar electrical enclosures
  • Solar PV modules (panels)
  • Racking material – rail and rail free
  • Flashing – waterproofing
  • Ballasted racking system
  • Raw materials for constructing a mock roof
  • Power tools and hand tools
  • Ladders
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) and personal fall arrest systems (PFAS)
  • Mock training roof & electrical walls
  • White board / dry erase markers
  • Projector