Any Photovoltaic Guru’s In Here?
I’ve been contacted by a small photovoltaic design & consulting company about becoming a Project Manager for their residential and commercial systems design, permitting, installation, testing, and turnover to the customer.
Apparently, my 30+ years of engineering and construction experience (as well as my PE and GC licenses) are just what they need. The only problem I see is my minimal knowledge of PV systems.
Can anyone direct me to some system-level references? I’m thinking that something at the “Photovoltaics For Dummies” level would be a good place to start. – lol
Gary at http://www.builditsolar.com is un Guru, he occasionaly posts here as GaryGary I think.
If there's a college library nearby you can find a lot in the IEEE Spectrum back issues. (Hopefully they have an index.)
I'm thinking that something at the "Photovoltaics For Dummies" level would be a good place to start.
You could try the "Advanced Search" function, using "Photovoltaics".
There have been numerous discussions on the subject over the last year but I don't remember any which revealed a lot of knowledge or experience on anyone's part.
The most recent information I recall reading on BT is that one or more of the rare metals used in making photovoltaics is/are becoming very scarce. That would seem to be something worth asking your potential employers.
I'm sure we'd all like some inside info on where photovoltaics are headed, whether they'll more or less economically viable in the coming years.
Edited 5/14/2008 10:25 am by Hudson Valley Carpenter
"...all like some inside info on where photovoltaics are headed."
I can't speak from an "insiders" perspective, but I'm certain that all of these "alternative" energy sources will play a bigger role in the future. Their acceptance will definitely depend on economic viability which should improve as the technology matures and as fossil fuels become more expensive.
We still have a long way to go IMO before we really accept the concept of distributed v.s. centralized power generation. One of the biggest hassles I see will involve homeowners actually doing any maintenance on their system(s). They'll either get themselves hurt (or killed) trying to DIY, or get their BIL (the one with a tool box) to fix the thing and he'll screw it up even more.
Have a look at:
We used it during a university course I took a while back. Thus it has exercises and references which actually can come in handy if you intend to really get in to the subject.
check on the net under photovoltaic
Go to German websites with English content.
They are lightyears ahead and have many working products on the market.
Lately I have seen roofing materials containing pv cells. You could not distinguish it from a regular roofing material; even different colors, no panel look pasted on top of roofingmaterial.
With the constant rise in energycosts I believe this is the future way of powering our homes.
We know already how to convert light into energy. The problem so far was the storage. With the emerging battery tech this is getting nearer to the proverbial powerhouse in your backyard and no more utility bills.
Too bad these companies are fighting it tooth and nail. See the electric car situation.
Worked with an architect who is a member of the Solar Society of Canada. They have a government grant for 50k. - The Toronto Opera gets a grant for 5million (cultural importance).
Get the picture?
Not me, but Steve at http://www.green-trust.org/wordpress/category/pv/ knows his stuff, lives the talk. Very large site, poke around.
Edited 5/14/2008 12:28 pm ET by VaTom
I don't suppose you are a member of IBEW also? They have a pretty comprehensive training course on the subject I am told. It is not at this time a regular part of the curiculum but they do weekend intensives and its going to become part of their standard training in the near future.
Some Junior Colleges offer clases-maybe if the one nearby you does you can buy the textbook?
Restoring our second Victorian home this time in Alamdea CA. Check out the blog http://www.chezneumansky.blogspot.com/
Crazy Homeowner-Victorian Restorer
Hey Dave/ Ive been solar electric for 25 years.There wasnt whole lot of info when i started and not many equipment options.Back then inverters were about 50 % effcient..now theyre about 95% ! I fumbled my way thru it and read everything I could including the mag Home Power from issue # 1. But finally about 10 years ago i attended a Solar Energy International workshop for Photvoltaic Design and Installation . Interesting enuf I was only one in the class that was actually living in a solar electric house. It was a great seminar and I learned alot of things that reading just couldnt teach .The seminars usually coincide with a hands on project during the workshop. SEI has more advanced courses in solar and all forms of alternative energy for owners.builders and aid agencies. Cant reccomend it enough. Seems like you and those wanting to hire you would find even a short course a fine investment.Youll make great contacts .recieve some very enabling education and have fun. Hope this helps.