Solar Installer Technician
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Given a potential site for a solar photovoltaic system installation and given basic instructions, major components, schematics, and drawings, the PV Installer will: specify, adapt, implement, configure, install, inspect, and maintain any type of photovoltaic system, including grid-connected and stand-alone systems with or without battery storage, that meet the performance and reliability needs of customers in South Africa, by incorporating quality craftsmanship and complying with all applicable codes, standards, and safety requirements.
Definition and Nature of the Work of a Solar Installer Technician
Solar Installer Technician Job Description:
Assemble, install, or maintain solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on roofs or other structures in compliance with site assessment and schematics. May include measuring, cutting, assembling, and bolting structural framing and solar modules.
In other words, a solar technician will either install or maintain solar panels, either on a roof or some other structure, and will do it according to the predetermined plans, building codes, and safety restrictions.
Below are some examples of day to day tasks a solar technician would be expected to perform:
- Assess the job site, identify and resolve any potential hazards
- Create or interpret the solar panel installation plans, mapping out the steps of the installation and where all of the components will be installed.
- Install, inspect, maintain and repair solar panel systems, including the solar collectors, concentrators, batteries, pumps, fans, or support structure.
- Do any and all electrical work needed to connect solar system to electric grid. This includes proper grounding systems, controls and all testing necessary.
- Weatherproof the solar installation in accordance with local safety regulations and the specifications of the manufacturer.
In addition to these technical skills, a solar technician needs to have good customer service, attention to detail and a strong work ethic to be successful.
While working conditions can vary depending on the specific position, most solar technician jobs will require being outdoors for extended periods of time. Since solar panel installation and maintenance can only be done when the weather is good, expect long hours during these times in order to get as much work done as possible. Depending on the climate where you live, it is possible that solar panels may not be able to be installed year round. In situations like this, your working hours may be reduced during winter months. However most solar technicians are employed full time throughout the year.
The seasonality of the work affects residential installers more than other positions. For example, if you are a technician at a solar farm doing repairs and maintenance, you will have more steady work hours throughout the year.
Many solar technicians can also plan on spending a lot of time on rooftops, whether it be on the roof of a residence or a commercial building. Be sure that you are comfortable with working at the heights necessary to do this work, and that you can meet the physical demands working on a rooftop brings. Additionally, solar technicians will sometimes work in attics or crawlspaces as they hook up the solar panels to the electric grid.
Solar technicians can work as part of a team, but are also expected to be able to accomplish their job duties as an individual when needed.