Online Solar PV & Thermal Installation Course Curriculum | Penn Foster Career School
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Program Details

Solar PV and Thermal Installation Skills Course Outline

Penn Foster's comprehensive five course, 14 lesson Solar PV and Thermal Installation Skills Certificate Program includes solar energy courses that are specifically geared to train those already working in the skilled trades on how to install and troubleshoot both solar thermal and photovoltaic energy systems.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to know best practices for installing, troubleshooting, and repairing solar photovoltaic and thermal systems on residential and small commercial buildings.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...
  • Explain the fundamentals of solar energy systems for generating heat and electricity
  • Describe how different, complex electrical wiring systems are integrated with solar photovoltaic systems
  • Identify the components of a solar photovoltaic system and explain their function
  • Examine the installation, commissioning, and troubleshooting procedures used in a solar photovoltaic system
  • Identify the components of a solar thermal heating system and explain their function
  • Describe how to install, commission, and troubleshoot a solar thermal heating system

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Learn how to be a successful Penn Foster student by learning about your student portal. Explore how the universal solar system works in relationship with the solar energy systems. Examine how the location of the sun in the sky effects the amount of energy produced by a solar energy system and how the suns energy produced by a solar energy produces electricity and heat for hot water.


  • Identify skills needed to be a confident and independent online learner
  • Describe the solar industry and how the sun affects solar energy
  • Define the electrical fundamentals, language, tools, and safety procedures used in the solar industry

Explore the function of solar photovoltaic (PV) components and the purpose and function of each.


  • Describe a PV system, including solar panels and modules, and how they produce energy
  • Identify PV inverters, standalone PV systems, and the BOS
  • Explain how to design a PV system, including determining what size system is needed

Discover how to install the PV system using effective system layout and safe and secure mounting methods. Determine how to verify that all mechanical connections are secure, test voltages for correct electrical connections, and energize a PV system. Examine how to safely and effectively troubleshoot a PV system.


  • Describe the layout, location, and planning for a PV system
  • Identify how to install a PV array and BOS
  • Explain the process for testing and troubleshooting a solar system

Identify the components of a solar thermal heating system, describe how the components function, and explain how to use them in a system.


  • Identify the components of solar thermal heating systems and describe how they work
  • Determine the optimal sized system to meet hot water heating needs in a house and small business

Determine how to install solar thermal heating systems in accordance with building codes, commissioning procedures, and troubleshooting techniques.


  • Describe how to install solar thermal heating systems
  • Outline how to commission solar thermal heating systems
  • Explain troubleshooting solar thermal heating systems

Additional Details

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.
Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements. This is particularly important for residents of Wisconsin.

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

Short Lessons
Easy-to-Access Lessons
Each lesson is broken into short chapters that allow you to fit learning into whatever time you have available. Don’t have time to finish a lesson? Not a problem - pick up where you left off next time!
Digital Flashcards
Digital Flashcards
A fun and interactive way to test your knowledge before your exams. Find out what information you've mastered, and what material needs additional review.
Discussion Boards
Discussion Boards
With Penn Foster Career School, you are never alone! Our learning platform includes discussion boards so you can connect with instructors and other students in the Solar Photovoltaic and Thermal Installation Skills program.

Sample Solar PV and Thermal Installation Skills Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Solar Photovoltaic and Thermal Installation Skills course would look like.
Sample Solar PV and Thermal Installation Skills Lesson
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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