Solar Photovoltaic Systems Workshop

North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) has launched their certification program for PV installers. Future exam locations will be determined based upon geographical distribution of candidates to minimize travel time to exam sites. Farmingdale State College will be one of the exam sites. Applications for the exam can be found at NABCEP's web site at

NABCEP is proud to announce that the NABCEP Photovoltaic Associate (PVA)Program was recently approved by the US Department of Veteran Affairs to receive benefits under the GI BILL®. Due to this momentous federal approval, veterans and military personnel transitioning to the civilian workforce can now apply for reimbursement of exam fees for the NABCEP PVA exam.

The goal of the workshop is to introduce the fundamental concepts in Photovoltaic technology. It provides training in the design, installation and maintenance of grid connected residential photovoltaic systems. The students will be well prepared and eligible for the NABCEP Associate Level PV Exam.  To meet the goal, this workshop is developed based on the Job Task Analysis of NABCEP. Topics covered include:

  • Overview of PV Systems
  • Sunshine basics
  • How PV works
  • Components of a PV system
  • Setup, configuration and sizing
  • Wiring and controls
  • Relevant sections of NEC
  • Zoning laws and building codes pertaining to PV systems
  • Interconnection requirements in New York State
  • Concerns of utilities with grid connected systems
  • Practical experiments and demonstrations of different aspects of PV
  • Site visit with detailed explanation of maintenance and troubleshooting
  • Actual hands on set-up of a small scale grid connected system

In addition, basic electrical concepts and safety issues related to PV installation and maintenance work will be covered. It is a 7-day, 49-hour training course that includes extensive hands-on experience and real world applications. The first day provides an introduction to basic electricity and PV concepts and it is optional for engineers and licensed electricians. Students are eligible to take the NABCEP Associate Level PV Exam after completing this course.  An additional fee is required for this exam.

The Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center at Farmingdale State College is seeking re-accreditation as a training and continuing education institution on solar energy by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).  The Solar Energy Center is now integrated into the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center and was the first such center to be accredited in the Northeast and the fourth in the entire USA. The Renewable Energy and Sustainability center promotes education, applied research, training and public awareness in sustainable energy and solar energy. Farmingdale State College is the site of the first utility scale photovoltaic demonstration project in the Northeast U.S. Three 20 kW units and one 20 kW unit were installed at various locations on campus in 1992 and 1993 respectively.

Glossary of Solar Energy Terms

Upcoming Workshops:

Previous Workshop:

  • March 13-17 + March 20-21, 2023
  • 9 AM - 4 PM

Course details:

  • Location: Farmingdale State College
  • Class limit: 20


  • The deadline for payment is one week prior to the selected workshop date.
  • Register before deadline: $795
  • Register after deadline: $895
  • NABCEP Associate Exam Fee: $125
  • Textbook included

Instructor: Michael Diehl

Mike Diehl Headshot

Michael Diehl's path into the Solar PV field began when he passed his first electrical licensing test in 1997.  He opened a small electrical business based on Long Island, specializing in residential and light commercial work.  Fast forward to 2003, Mike was called to repair a DIY attempt of a residential solar installation.  This experience led Mike to further his research in the Solar PV field and then took the Solar Installers Workshop at Farmingdale State College in 2004.  In 2009 Mike passed the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification exam and continues to take continuing education classes to this day.  As a retiring professional, having this opportunity to teach others an introduction to this field gives Mike a great deal of personal satisfaction.  His goal is to be able to share this knowledge with the next generation of solar energy professionals who could take this information, improve on it, and turn it into something even better.

Recommended for:

  • Electricians
  • Solar Contractors
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Home Builders
  • Contractors
  • Anyone who is interested in Solar PV systems

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Last Modified 2/16/24