Category: solar training


September 28, 2011

by Jeff Spies – Solar Energy International Business Services Manager, President of SolarSpies Consulting and Secretary for NABCEP

7 reasons why quality solar training is key to solar business success

1) Successful PV companies take training seriously

The top solar installation companies have placed a priority on quality training to insure their employees are current on the latest code considerations, product innovations, design intricacies and installation procedures.

2) Technical knowledge required to succeed

PV is a technical field requiring strong knowledge of the electrical and mechanical aspects of PV design and installation.   View Full Article »


The failure rate among new solar installation companies seems to be rivaling that of restaurant startups, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Quality solar training can change this trend, and one of the major lessons I have learned in my 20 years in sales, marketing, and technical training is the pot quality training can have on business success in the technical arena.

First, some history. Prior to entering the solar industry, I had a successful career working in the field of industrial automation. My background included a degree in mechanical engineering, View Full Article »

Solar Power International is hosting a 2 day workshop on solar business and finance as part of it’s conference workshop program.  ”Understanding Solar Business and Financefeatures 2 of the industries most experienced and compelling speakers.

Jeff Spies – President of SolarSpies and Secretary for NABCEP will join forces with Lee Feliciano – President of SolarCapital LLC to conduct a 2 day training workshop outlines the best practices that help successful solar businesses succeed and identifies the potholes that swallow many solar business alive.

This powerful program will help contractors, finance, and business professionals understand the fast paced solar PV market and learn the key steps to succeeding in an increasingly competitive field. Gain insights on the practices and programs used by successful solar contractors to outlast the competition and stay profitable. Attendees will gain View Full Article »

SolarSpies and Solar Energy International are pleased to offer 3 one day workshops at Intersolar 2011.  Each one day workshop costs $245 and you can register by clicking the links below:

July 12 – SolarSpies: Solar PV – An Insiders Guide to Success (Sales, Marketing)
July 13 – Solar Energy International: Technical Introduction to Solar Electric Systems (Entry Level)
July 14 - Solar Energy International: PV System Installation (Intermediate Level)

Workshops will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco next to Moscone Center.  For a full listing of free and paid workshops click this link.

Solar Energy International has opened registration for it new PV206 Solar Business and Technical Sales online course.

PV 206 Solar Business and Technical Sales is for those currently working in the solar industry or hoping to work in solar sales. Through insightful presentations and instruction from working experts in the field, SEI’s PV206 Solar Business and Technical Sales course covers marketing and sales techniques you will need to be successful.
Concepts discussed in detail include: customer qualification, solar site analysis, creating conceptual design proposals, system costing, incentives and rebates, cost-benefit analyses, financing options, and the non-financial benefits of photovoltaic systems.

Click this link to register or for more information

Solar Energy International presents “Understanding the Solar Business – an insider’s guide to success”

Download pdf presentation at this link:
Understanding the Solar Business an insider’s guide to success.

Learn the secrets of success in the competative solar industry from an industry insider. This presentation will help you … View Full Article »


Thanks to all that participated in my workshop at Solfest 2010 in Ukiah.

To download a pdf version of the Starting a Solar Business presentation Click this link

Solar training options have exploded in the past 2 years. Learn the key elements to selecting or developing a quality solar training programs.

Download pdf presentation at this link:
Maintaining quality in a rapidly growing solar training market

Certificate or Certification?

This has been a point of confusion in the solar industry. Learn the difference between a certificate and certification. Understand the factors that define legitamacy in certification, and review the benefits that certfication brings to system owners, practitioners, employers, and the industry.

Download pdf presentation at this link:
Certification – why it matters

Flat vs. Tilted Arrays

flat array                      tilted array

One of the most unfortunate mistakes made in PV system design is the flat mounted array.  You should ALWAYS mount modules in a tilted configuration. Lets explore the benefits of the tilted array…

1) More power production results from better sun angle - Modules tilted up toward the southern horizon in the northern hemisphere (or towards the north in the southern hemisphere) will produce considerably more power than modules that are flat.

2) Sheeting of rain water promotes module cleaning - Tilting your array promotes sheeting of rain to clean the modules.  Flat modules are a wonderful catch basin and turn into a a shallow puddle every time it rains.  An even bigger problem can result  View Full Article »