A photovoltaic textbook for the electrical industry

The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of NECA and the IBEW announced last month the publication of what association officials describe as "a groundbreaking work ... the first comprehensive guide to the installation of commercial and residential solar energy systems.


The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) announced last month the publication of what National Electrical Contractors Assn. (NECA) officials describe as "a groundbreaking work ... the first comprehensive guide to the installation of commercial and residential solar energy systems. The new work is titled Photovoltaic Systems.

“Renewable resources such as solar power have become increasingly important, but no authoritative reference to the design, installation and evaluation of photovoltaic (PV) systems existed within the industry," said Todd Stafford, senior director of instrumentation, alternative energy and International Training Center operations for NJATC. "This work is not just the first but the only textbook currently available in the field.”

Authored by Jim Dunlop, a renewable energy expert and curriculum specialist for NJATC, with Stafford as technical editor, the textbook covers the principles of PV—the direct conversion of solar energy into electricity—and how to effectively incorporate it into stand-alone or utility-connected electrical systems.

Detailed illustrations clarify the concepts behind PV-system operation, while photographs of actual installations show how components are integrated to form complete PV systems. What’s more, an accompanying CD-ROM provides interactive worksheets, quizzes, calculators, video clips and animated graphics depicting PV principles and operation and links to additional resources. The work is published and available through American Technical Publications.

NJATC, which is a joint program of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and NECA, has been training journeymen in the design and installation of solar energy systems for more than a decade. “The new textbook is the culmination of years of experience, and now stands at the center of our training, together with other specially developed course materials” said Stafford, “Our journeymen come to the course with thousands of hours of experience in wiring and general construction. Our course marries those skill sets to the creation of stateof-the-art solar energy systems. It’s the only course of its kind in the industry, and it’sproducing the highly skilled workers creating today’s efficient and cost-effective PV systems.”

For more information, go to www.njatc.org .

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