Photovoltaic System Design and Modelling

Friday, November 24, 2017 - 6:30pm to Sunday, November 26, 2017 - 5:30pm
Class Fee: 


Eric Smiley P.Eng., Reid Wylde Engineering Ltd.


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Every who signs up may Qualify for the Alberta Job Grant! Consider combining several of our classes in your application.

This class is designed for electricians, technicians, engineers, solar installers, sales people and those with a basic understanding of electrical theory and electrical terminology, who wish to understand how to design and evaluate the performance of solar electric systems.

The Friday evening, three-hour class is a review of photovoltaic system types, the basic components of a photovoltaic system and the impact of location and shading.

The Saturday session addresses design of photovoltaic systems in the context of matching performance requirements to photovoltaic equipment specifications including modules, power optimizers, mounting systems, inverters, charge controllers and batteries.

Sunday morning is a software class utilizing Photovoltaic System modelling tools. Applying the Canadian Electrical Code and National Building Code to PV System design are covered on Sunday afternoon with a focus on grid-tie PV systems and battery-based systems.

The course is presented as a series of Case Studies with practical design examples used throughout. Advances in PV technology, the economics of PV systems, and the PV industry in general will also be discussed in context.

Upon completion participants will be able to:


  • Interpret specifications for major components of Photovoltaic (PV) systems;
  • Specify major components of grid-tie, battery-based, and grid-tie battery backup PV systems; 
  • Specify the Balance of System (BOS) components of PV Systems.
  • Apply the appropriate sections of the CEC to PV system design;
  • Identify mounting methods and structural constraints, as well as commissioning safety procedures for roof top PV arrays.

Software and Modelling Section: 

  • Prepare pre-feasibility and feasibility reports using RETScreen® Software.
  • Conduct performance modelling using System Advisor Model (SAM) Software.
  • Identify the abilities and limitations of other software tools (e.g. HOMER). 
  • Improve your design speeds with HelioScope.

Participants are required to have a laptop, with the course software (RETSCreen and SAM) loaded in order to participate in the software and modelling portion of the class. Participants are encouraged to bring copies of the current Canadian or Alberta Electrical Code. 

Course hours and Locations:

  • Friday Nov 24     - 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm - NAIT E-202
  • Saturday Nov 25 - 8:30 am to 5:30 pm - NAIT E-201
  • Sunday Nov 26   - 8:30 am to 5:30 pm - NAIT E-201

Upon completion students will receive a Certificate of Completion from the Solar Energy Society of Alberta. 

By registering for this class, you are agreeing to SESA's Cancellation Policy. Please read the Cancellation Policy before purchasing. 


Available Funding for Course Costs

We would like to encourage participants in our PV System Design and Modelling Class to apply for the Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG), which will cover up to two-thirds of the cost of the class for certain participants. 

Click Here for More Information and To Apply

Please direct your questions about the Job Grant program to a Workforce Consultant of Alberta Labour. They can be reached by email, at [email protected], or phone: 780-638-9424 within Edmonton, or toll-free 1-855-638-9424.