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You can register for courses or purchase products offered on our website through PayPal (or call us at 740-674-4300 if you prefer).  This allows you to either use almost all major credit cards (even if you have no PayPal account).  If you are unfamiliar with how this service works - here is a quick tutorial.

Testimonials for PV Training...

  • Thank you Jay. You were a GREAT instructor! I hope to someday have the opportunity to work with you again in the future.
    Scott Hackney, Bright Spot Wind and Solar

  • I definitely walked away empowered technically, but the additional benefit of having a deeper context around the why of solar power, and its significance in our energy evolution. Your passion and commitment to the cause comes through in your delivery of the class, and your willingness to engage each of us, despite a variety of technical levels, really lowered the barrier to effective learning.
    Vince Weseli, Cincinnati, OH

  • That was a very useful and informative class. Your teaching style was excellent. I haven't sat in a class for this long in 35 years. You kept the class interesting and interactive.
    Sugu Suguness, Cincinnati, OH

  • Thank you so much for putting all that knowledge on me. Regardless of test outcome i feel more certain about solarizing...and the message after yours was my AEP bill. I'll take that as a sign to get moving on my plans.
    Nancy Jesser, Columbus, OH

  • Thanks for offering the solar cert I just finished up a 8kW on grid, off grid system for a guy.
    Russell Gabriel, Athens, OH

  • We are very happy that we had chosen your Photovoltaic course in Newark. We learned so much from your course regarding photovoltaic cells , electricity generation, the techniques of installation of panels etc in a very congenial, friendly and laid back atmosphere. Your great input in this field encouraged us to work on a small project at home on small solar cells.
    Satyanarayana Kadim and Rajeshkumar kadim, Athens, OH

  • Jay’s knowledge on solar and related topics, delivered effectively through anecdotal experience and his pragmatic approach, is inspirational. There are very few questions he is unable to answer or provide a reference for. His enthusiasm for our success never waned even when asked the same questions repeatedly. I look forward to attending more of Jay’s classes and know that I’ll come away with more than I paid for.
    Chris Kenney, Cincinnati, OH

  • Jay’s solar power course was a refreshing introduction into the world of photovoltaics. I couldn’t have asked for a better instructor. He provides real-word experience that is thorough and relevant. Jay is well spoken and a gifted communicator. His class provides a solid framework from which to build knowledge and experience.
    Dale Ramsey, Pickerington, OH

  • From the beginning, Jay measured each student’s background and technical understanding. Our class experience ranged from doctors and engineers to tradesmen and finally students. His material is well-organized and delivered in a way everyone can understand. He provides a mixture of lecture and hands-on instruction, building on each topic in a logical manner.
    Dale Ramsey, Pickerington, OH

  • I’ve been a technical instructor for almost 20 years and Jay is at the top of the list of the best instructors I’ve witnessed. He engages the class from the beginning and answers the question: "Where we are…how we got there…and where we are heading?” Most importantly, Jay provides the tools and direction for each of us to make it happen.
    Dale Ramsey, Pickerington, OH

  • Having taken numerous classes, I consider myself an expert on taking numerous classes. Jay Warmke’s warm and thorough approach to the instruction of photo-voltaic installation exceeded my expectations in every way. His patience and perseverance left the entire class feeling as if no question was a stupid question and he complimented the classroom setting with his extremely funny sense of humor. I whole heartedly recommend taking any of his or his wonderful wife Annie’s classes you may be interested in, with no reservations.
    Nick Adams, Columbus, OH

  • It really helped me to re-assess our plan - better determine our household system. Great instructor! Easy to understand, stops and explains whenever needed. Jay is extremely effective and makes learning easy. All I knew beforehand was that I wanted solar, now I know what I want, but more importantly, what I can afford.
    OEFFA Session, Columbus, OH

  • Thank you so much for giving the workshop. My husband and I learned a great deal. We hope to visit Blue Rock again in the future. We came quite a few years ago when you gave a workshop on the solar oven. It was very interesting, you and your wife are doing society a favor by letting us experience and learn how to be practical in this life.
    Ken and Lorene Diehl, Columbus, OH

  • Jay - we have power! Thanks so much for your course - never would have tackled it without your teaching and encouragement. It was a challenge for me in several ways (including wet spring) but am now so happy to be through it! A 2-decade dream come true!
    Louis Iverson, Radnor, OH

  • The day spent at the Akron Zoo workshop was outstanding! Like most adults 50 years old, I have endured too many soul draining seminars and workshops in search of knowledge and enlightenment. Your workshop was awesome! The combination of "tech speak" combined with man on the street explanation was a perfect fit for me. Thank you for an informative, entertaining and valuable workshop.
    Dan Arthur

  • Thank you for the update and thank you for a great class. The class exceeded all my expectations. Learned a lot.
    Jim MacMillan, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

  • I had a wonderful time at your seminar. I was able to meet like minded people who are enthusiastic about the same issues and doing the same types of sustainable projects. The amount of the information that was given was tremendous. You kept the us entertained and engaged the entire day.
    Matthew Corbett, Cleveland, OH

  • The one-day PV workshop was extremely helpful, although I had almost "zero" knowledge before the workshop. Now, I know what to look out for and what questions to ask. That is an important step forward for me. It also gives me a better way of assessing whether I might want to take the full course next year. Thanks, Jay!
    Andrea Gorzitze

  • Stewart Brand wrote "We are as gods and me might as well get good at it" in the first Whole Earth Catalog. Well Jay is good at it. He has interpreted the technical, governmental and human nature involved in designing solar voltaic systems to be understandable. The first day really sucked me in with Jay's views of the energy business and reinforced my thoughts on the topic. His teaching method was spot on with this complicated subject. Jay broke each section down so it could be understood. He would often digress into some humorous stories that often had me laughing. Solar technology is changing rapidly and Jay gave us many ways to keep up with it. The price of the class will be paid back many times over the next few years.
    Jon Branstrator, Clarksville, OH

  • Just wanted to say you're the best teacher I have ever had and that just the experience I had in your class and the things I learned from you will carry on in my life. Thanks allot and I am so happy I got to meet you. Thanks again and I will keep in contact.
    Robert Anderson, Wooster, OH

  • Thank-you very much for the wonderful workshop last week. It was well worth the time and money. You are a wonderful teacher and did a great job packing in a ton of content.
    Howard Plevyak Jr., Cincinnati, OH

  • I appreciated you keeping us on track and working in the hands-on activities to solidify the book and classroom instruction. That was a perfectly designed learning lab for me!
    Howard Plevyak Jr., Cincinnati, OH

  • This training was one of the best theory and hands on training I have ever received an as a result I have built my second 10KW solar generator based on the instructions I received.
    James Mosley Jr, Ft. Campbell, KY

  • I also have to give a huge hearty YES to the PV Certification Training workshop Jay teaches--I came away with so much know how and information--and it is the same when I am at Blue Rock for a workshop, a cup of tea, or a tour!
    Sheryl Billman, Grafton, OH

  • The course certainly does what was advertised. I now know how to design almost any PV system.
    Christian Collett, Wilmington, OH

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Photovoltaics Workshop (Brooksville, PA) - Prepares for ETA Level 1 PV Certification
From Monday, September 25 2017 -  8:00am
To Friday, September 29 2017 - 5:00pm

Prepares Students to Sit for the ETA Level 1 PV Certification Exam

Want to learn how to install solar?  Maybe you even want to become certified to work in the solar field.  Now you can spend just five days of training (4 1/2 classroom instruction and 1/2 day taking the certification test) in a relaxed setting - to realize your goal.

  • September 25th - 29th, 2017:  at Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living, Brookville, PA (80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, PA, 90 east of Youngstown, OH)

Early Registration Fee:  $970 (includes ETA examination fee, course materials and solar installation tool kit)*  

(*by registering, you agree to the terms outlined in the Terms and Conditions)

The Location: Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living, Brookville, PA (

A recent study shows that Solar jobs are growing at a rate 10 times the national average - and that PV installers average starting salaries are in the $20-24 per hour range (about $40,000 - $48,000 per year).  According to the 2017 US Energy and Employment Report, more people now work in the US solar industry than in oil, natural gas, and coal extraction - combined.

The course will consist of lectures (about 60%) as well as hands-on labs (also about 40%).  You will work with a working PV system, dismantling and re-installing it, troubleshooting and ensuring its proper operation.  You will also learn how to design and build your own solar generator - to get you through those irritating power outages.


This is an introductory but technical course on the design and installation of solar electric systems within residential and light commercial structures. Blue Rock Station has been approved as a Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System provider.   This course has been approved for 35 hours of LA CES health, safety, and welfare Professional Development Hours. It appears to comply with the AIA definition of Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW) – related training.  While the Engineering organizations do not pre-approve courses, this structured course also appears to meet the qualification requirements for 35 hours Continuing Professional Development Education hours as defined by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors.  Blue Rock Station maintains records and issues certificates and course content materials that comply with most continuing education requirements for professional designations in the architecture and/or engineering fields.

Professional Continuing Education FAQs


This course has been approved by the Union Education Trust as eligible for tuition payment  If you are a State of Ohio bargaining unit employee, the Trust supports programs that help bargaining unit employees advance their careers, improve their quality of work life and work towards achieving employment security. Trust programs provide financial assistance (up to $1000 annually) to defray the cost of employees participating in education and training programs.  All current OCSEA state bargaining unit employees, OCSEA bargaining unit employees in the State of Ohio Treasurer's office, and CWA bargaining unit employees in the State of Ohio Secretary of State office, who are on the State of Ohio active payroll or who have recall/rehire rights are eligible to participate and receive financial assistance for Union Education Trust programs. Eligible participants must meet specific program criteria and requirements.  More information at or call 1-866-436-7900.

ETA Examination fees (normally $150) and course materials (also around $150) are included as part of the course fee. VETERANS:  The Examination Fee is eligible for VA reimbursement. The course may also be eligible for VA or Americorps reimbursement (check with your contact at these agencies if you think you may qualify).


Students are invited to participate in a PV build on Saturday, Sept 30th (immediately following the course).  This build is free and is offered as a way for you to practice your newfound skills.  We will be installing a 15-panel, 3.75 kW ground mounted array using micro inverters.  Free accommodations and meals are provided for those planning to stay on an extra day to help on this project.


While we can't guarantee that you will pass the ETA exam, we can do what we can do.  First, ETA will allow you to re-take the exam one time for free during the year after your first attempt, should you prove unsuccessful during your first examination.  On top of that, we at Blue Rock Station will allow you to sit through the course a second time (space available) for FREE to prepare for that second attempt.  Such a deal...


Many students attend this course because they intend to install a PV system at their home.  They hope that this course will give them the tools they need to design and then install their residential system and save thousands of dollars (and it will).  As part of the course curriculum, we will design a residential PV project from start-to-finish.  This means that the students will interview the owner, determine load requirements, design the array, determine all the components (picking real-world options from the Internet), price the system, size the conductors, estimate voltage drop due to resistance, determine the battery bank requirements (if it is a stand-alone system), design the grounding and bonding system, and put together a cost estimate for the materials.

As a special offer to those registering for the class, on a first-come-first-served basis, we can use your project at this course project.  This means that if you register early (and ask), we will take the specifications for your home and project and use this for our case study.  You will then leave the class with a completely designed PV system (saving you perhaps thousands of dollars and feeling confident that you have a well-designed plan in hand).  So call today to see if the class you want to attend still has the project open - and reserve it for yourself.



Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living Inc. is dedicated to educating all ages about the importance of conservation, ecological thinking, and healthful living.  Quiet Creek is a 30-acre organic farm located just north of Brookville in Jefferson and Clarion Counties, Pennsylvania.  Quiet Creek raises vegetables, fruits, herbs, mushrooms and flowers.  The farm uses only organic techniques when fertilizing the plants, controlling weeds, and managing insects, bacteria, and fungi.  Since 1996, Quiet Creek has offered unique and enhanced learning opportunities to over 100,000 public, private and home-schooled students.

Quiet Creek features a barn classroom (where we will hold the class), a straw bale cabin, a yurt (pictured right), outdoor pavilion, nature trails, a wind turbine, solar arrays and of course, the gardens.  Affordable sleeping facilities (such as the yurt) are available to students, as well as organic meals.  Contact Quiet Creek at 814-849-9662 to make arrangements.  Space is, of course, limited.


The learning doesn't stop just because the workshop is over.  We will add you to our growing database of students, and be in contact periodically with you regarding installations going on around the state that are looking for volunteers.  Gain valuable "real world" experience.  Also, many employers contact us from time-to-time for recommendations of students who they may wish to employ.

Registration is limited to 10 students.  This course is offered in partnership with several not-for-profits.  The fee for this one-week course is $970 and includes:  Instruction, hands-on labs, textbook and lab material, ETA examination, and (in most cases) lunch.  This course is also eligible for VA and Americorps funding.  Scholarships may also be available based on need.  Contact us at 740-674-4300 for further details regarding the management of fees.

This course prepares you to sit for the ETA Photovoltaic Installer (PVI) Level 1. It is the first level of ETA's certifications designed to assess renewable energy professionals. It is also a great first step for those seeking to enter the PV industry, and perhaps later prepare to sit for the ETA Photovoltaic Certification Level II or the NABCEP PV certification program. More information available at


Course Content Includes:

Basic Principles and Concepts of Power

  1. Potential and kinetic energy
  2. Molecular structure and covalent bonds
  3. Laws of thermodynamics
  4. Types of energy
  5. Methods of energy transfer (conduction, convection, radiation)
  6. Factors that affect the absorption of radiant energy
  7. Power equations
  8. Basic electricity
    1. Relationship of Watts, Volts and Amps
    2. Ohm's Law
    3. Electrical circuits
  9. How batteries work
  10. Direct and alternating currents
  11. Electrical safety

Basic Principles and Concepts of Photovoltaics
  1. How photovoltaic cells work
  2. Solar cell efficiency
  3. Factors affecting cell performance
  4. Types of photovoltaic cells
  5. Advantages and disadvantages of photovoltaic technology
  6. Solar panel specifications
  7. Standard Test Conditions (STC)

Photovoltaic System Components

  1. Selecting Solar Panels
  2. Inverters (square wave, modified square wave, sine-wave)
  3. Balance of system (BOS) components
    1. Junction box
    2. Combiners
    3. Battery system
    4. Controllers
    5. Maximum Power Point tracking
    6. Disconnects

Standard system configurations

  1. Stand-alone system
  2. Grid-tied systems
  3. Grid Interactive
  4. Grid Fallback
  5. Micro Inverter systems
  6. Power Optimizer systems
  7. Hybrid systems

Site assessment

  1. Locating true south (lines of declination)
  2. Shading issues
  3. Panel orientation (altitude and azimuth)
  4. Array mounting options and issues
    1. Rooftop
      1. Available area
      2. Structural integrity
      3. Stand off requirements
      4. Loading issues
      5. Inter row shading
    2. Ground mounted
    3. Top pole
      1. Side pole
      2. Tracking systems
    4. Building Integrated systems
  5. Determining available sunlight
    1. Solar insolation maps, online systems
    2. Use of a Solar Pathfinder
    3. Solar window

Designing a PV system

  1. Load requirements
  2. Calculating electrical use
    1. Assessing electric bills
    2. Load variations
    3. Cycling loads
    4. Phantom loads
    5. Induction motors
  3. Selecting a panel
    1. Panel specifications
  4. Determining system inefficiencies
    1. Inverter efficiencies
    2. BOS inefficiencies
  5. Wiring selection and voltage drop issues
  6. Temperature adjustments
  7. Estimating the size of the array
    1. Calculating number of panels given specifications and load requirements
    2. Determine maximum voltage of system and adjust for temperature variations
    3. Calculate number of panels and number of strings
  8. Determine compatibility to BOS components
  9. Grounding, bonding and over-current issues
  10. Pricing the system as designed (current costs, incentives)
  11. Connecting to the grid
  12. Troubleshooting problems

Battery Systems

  1. Types of batteries
  2. Determining nominal voltage
  3. Calculating Amp hour storage requirements
  4. Depth of discharge
  5. Temperature adjustments
  6. Battery bank sizing calculations
  7. How batteries are charged
    1. Bulk charge
    2. Absorption charge
    3. Floating charge
  8. Battery storage and maintenance issues
    1. Venting
    2. Equalization
    3. Measuring state of charge
  9. Battery safety issues

System Installation

  1. Racking Systems
  2. Loading Issues
  3. Climbing Safety
  4. Ground Mounted System issues
  5. Conduit Installation and Fill Issues


  1. Required Documentation/Application Package
    1. Interconnect Agreements
    2. Net Metering Agreements
    3. Required Permits
    4. Commissioning Forms
    5. Installation Checklists
    6. Operation and Maintenance Documentation

Testing and Commissioning the System

  1. Final Installation Checklist
  2. Visual Inspection
  3. Verification of Code Compliance
  4. Electrical System Verification Testing
  5. System Functioning Testing
  6. Verify Array Power and Energy Production against STC
  7. Derating Factor Components

System Maintenance and Troubleshooting

  1. Monitoring Performance
  2. Typical Systems Problems and how to Correct Them
  3. System Maintenance


This course has been conducted in affiliation with:

Registration is limited to 10 students.  This course is offered in partnership with several not-for-profits.  The fee for this one-week course is $970 and includes:  Instruction, hands-on labs, textbook and lab material, ETA examination, and (in most cases) lunch.  This course is also eligible for VA and Americorps funding.  Scholarships may also be available based on need.  Contact us at 740-674-4300 for further details regarding the management of fees.

  • Sept 25th - 29th, 2017:  at Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living, Brookville, PA (80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, PA, 90 east of Youngstown, OH)

Early Registration Fee:  $970 (includes ETA examination fee, course materials and solar installation tool kit)*  

(*by registering, you agree to the terms outlined in the Terms and Conditions)

Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living, Brookville, PA (

*Give us a call regarding multi-registration discounts

This course prepares you to sit for the ETA Photovoltaic Installer (PVI) Level 1. It is the first level of ETA's certifications designed to assess renewable energy professionals. It is also a great first step for those seeking to enter the PV industry, and perhaps later prepare to sit for the ETA Photovoltaic Certification Level II or the NABCEP PV certification program. More information available at

About the Instructor:

Jay Warmke is the author of a number of textbooks on renewable energy, including ASSEMBLING A SOLAR GENERATOR, WHEN THE BIOMASS HITS THE WIND TURBINE, UNDERSTANDING PHOTO VOLTAIC: A STUDY GUIDE FOR SOLAR ELECTRIC CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS, and more. He has received several awards including Educator of the Year (ETA),  Volunteer of the Year, and Pioneer of the Year from Green Energy Ohio.

Jay also serves as Vice President: Green Energy Ohio, Chair Person: ETA's Renewable Energy Committee and board member: Electronic Technician's Association (ETA) . He also teaches renewable energy at Zane State College, and various workshops on sustainable construction and renewable energy at Blue Rock Station, which he co-owns with his wife Annie Warmke.  Blue Rock Station is the premier sustainable living center in Ohio and draws visitors from around the world.

About the Electronics Technicians Association, International (ETA® International):

Founded in 1978 by electronics technicians, ETA International is a not-for-profit 501(c) 6, worldwide association whose mission is to represent and support the technical professional. ETA aligns with international standards, vocational and education curriculums, and businesses’ resource initiatives through certification programs, conferences, speaking engagements, and book and journal publications.

ETA Membership:

ETA International members are professionals in all technical fields, including fiber optics, smarthome, renewable energy, customer service, biomedical, computer and computer networking, telecommunications, wireless communications, consumer electronics, video distribution, aviation, industrial electronics, radar, and satellite. Members range in occupation from college professors to beginner installers and technicians to company chairpersons. Learn more about ETA membership.

Certification Programs

Recognizing the need to verify that fellow electronics technicians had sufficient training in industry standards, including troubleshooting techniques, knowledge of test equipment, and installation procedures, ETA began providing third-party assessment through its own certification programs in 1978. Aligning with the ISO 17024 standards, and collaborating with education providers and industry professionals, ETA certifications test the knowledge and hands-on skills needed in today’s electronics industry. The organization currently has Stand-Alone Certifications and Journeyman Certifications for more than 80 certification programs in all electronics-related fields.

ETA tests and certifies thousands of technicians and industry specialists each year. The organization has its own Board of Directors, more than 600 subject matter experts serving on various certification advisory committees, a professional certification administration staff, training facilities, and more than 1,000 exam/certification administrators. ETA actively supports training and education through the development of study guides, technical monographs and seminars, as well as working with a large number of ETA-approved schools and courses.


Location : Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living, 93 Quiet Creek Lane, Brookville, PA
Contact : Annie Warmke, 740-674-4300 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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