Saturday, December 10, 2011

Solar Training Mandatory to Produce Efficient Solar Thermal Installations

In 2008, the United States' solar thermal industry underwent a period of noteworthy growth. With the Great Recession in full force in 2009, the economic situation worsened and lowered consumer spending as well as decreased the demand in the solar thermal industry. In 2010, the solar thermal industry slowly recovered and experienced an optimistic growth in which solar thermal installations began to increase in popularity. Consumers started realizing that solar thermal installations are a very efficient technology that greatly improve the return on investment and increases their property's value.

A new innovation in the solar thermal industry that received a lot of the consumers' attention is the growing trend towards combination solar hot water and home heating systems. These systems are custom-made to fit each home's needs and require well-trained system designers and installers.

Heating and hot water are the largest consumers of energy. The combination solar hot water and home heating systems help decrease a home's energy use and contribute to a decrease in energy bills, but the combination systems are difficult to design and install since homes vary in size and have different needs. Installers often face challenging situations integrating equipment into a cost-efficient solar thermal combination system for homes.

?Unfamiliarity with these components or system design increases the time required to build a project and contributes to the overall costs hurting the customer's return on investment and potentially jeopardizing the project completely,? said Nigel Rudell, vice president of operations at Apricus Inc., and Eric Skiba, technical engineer at Apricus Inc. Therefore, the solar thermal industry requires a well-trained workforce to take on the challenges of design and installation.

The solar thermal industry has proven steady growth, and it is important that workers receive on-site solar training in order to make the solar industry meet its anticipated growth rate in future years. Workers need to make sure combination solar hot water and home heating systems work efficiently, and only the right solar installation training will allow for this to happen. Being trained at a solar training school creates a workforce that is ready to take on the challenges of solar installation and design. The solar thermal industry requires workers to attend solar installation courses in order to be considered as having the knowledge, skills and abilities needed towards performing the job correctly.

?As demand for these systems increases, a lack of knowledgeable installers could hamper market growth, creating a niche market of installers. Training sessions will help grow a network of competent installers capable of designing and installing these systems, meeting anticipated industry growth,? continued Rudell and Skiba. ?To help achieve market acceptance, the entire industry must put an emphasis on providing adequate solutions and solar training so that distributors and their installers have access to materials and products that allow them to design a system with confidence.?

It is extremely important that the solar thermal industry workforce has the drive to receive solar installation certification because combination solar hot water and home heating systems is a hard job to take on. With adequate solar training, efficient systems will be installed at a faster pace and at a lower cost, allowing to achieve the goal of more solar thermal installations on homes.


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