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"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.  Best,"

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 technics 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.

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.

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.
Blessings and peace to you both.

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/workshops in search of knowledge and enlightenment. Your workshop was awesome! The combination of "tech speak" combined with man/woman 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

Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Workshops for 2016

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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 location near you - to realize your goal.  We have quite a selection of courses set for 2016 - located across the state (and even in Pennsylvania and Indiana)!

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).

  • Jan 4th - 8th - Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Certification Workshop -  Zanesville, OH (SOLD OUT)
  • Feb 27th - 28th, March 5th-6th, March 12th-13th - PV Certification Workshop (Weekend Edition) - in Columbus, OH
  • March 21st - 25th - Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Certification Workshop - in Pittsburgh, PA
  • April 18th - 22nd - Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Certification Workshop - in Cincinnati, OH
  • May 9th-13th - Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Certification Workshop - in Greencastle, IN
  • June 13th - 17th - Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Certification Workshop - in Athens, OH
  • July 18th - 22nd - Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Certification Workshop - in Cincinnati, OH
  • Sept 19th - 23rd - Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Certification Workshop - in Cleveland, OH
  • Oct 6th - 10th - Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Certification Workshop - in Dayton, OH
  • Oct 24th - 28th - Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Certification Workshop - in Wooster, OH
  • Nov 14th - 18th - Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Certification Workshop - in Athens, OH


ETA Examination fees (normally $150) and course materials (installation toolkit and student workbook - also valued at around $150) are included as part of the course fee.

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 reinstalling it, troubleshooting and ensuring its proper operation.  During the course you will learn to size your system according to your electrical needs, select the type of system that works best for your situation, select all the components for your system, size the wiring and overcurrent protection, price the system, size and select the battery bank (if needed) - basically, when you leave you will be able to design from start to finish a residential solar PV system and install it as well.  This is an introductory course.  We assume you have little or no background in electrical work.  And while there is some math involved, it is basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

This is a comprehensive course on the design and installation of solar electric systems within residential and light commercial structures. It appears to comply with the AIA definition of Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW) – related training.  While the organization does 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.

Course Content Includes:

Basic Principles and Concepts of Power

  • Potential and kinetic energy
  • Molecular structure and covalent bonds
  • Laws of thermodynamics
  • Types of energy
  • Methods of energy transfer (conduction, convection, radiation)
  • Factors that affect the absorption of radiant energy
  • Power equations
  • Basic electricityRelationship of Watts, Volts and Amps
  • Ohm's Law
  • Electrical circuits
  • How batteries work
  • Direct and alternating currents
  • Electrical safety

Basic Principles and Concepts of Photovoltaics
  • How photovoltaic cells work
  • Solar cell efficiency
  • Factors affecting cell performance
  • Types of photovoltaic cells
  • Advantages and disadvantages of photovoltaic technology
  • Solar panel specifications
  • Standard Test Conditions (STC)

Photovoltaic System Components

  • Inverters (square wave, modified square wave, sine-wave)
  • Balance of system (BOS) componentsJunction box
  • Combiners
  • Battery system
  • Controllers
  • Maximum Power Point tracking
  • Inverter
  • Disconnects

Standard system configurations

  • Stand-alone system
  • Grid-tied systems
  • Grid Interactive
  • Grid Fallback
  • Hybrid systems

Site assessment

  • Locating true south (lines of declination)
  • Shading issues
  • Panel orientation (altitude and azimuth)
  • Array mounting options and issuesRooftopAvailable area
  • Structural integrity
  • Stand off requirements
  • Loading issues
  • Inter row shading
  • Ground mounted
  • Top poleSide pole
  • Tracking systems
  • Building Integrated systems
  • Determining available sunlightSolar insolation maps
  • Use of a Solar Pathfinder
  • Solar window

Designing a PV system
  • Load requirements
  • Calculating electrical useAssessing electric bills
  • Load variations
  • Cycling loads
  • Phantom loads
  • Induction motors
  • Selecting a panel
  • Panel specifications
  • Determining system inefficienciesInverter efficiencies
  • BOS inefficiencies
  • Wiring selection and voltage drop issues
  • Temperature adjustments
  • Estimating the size of the arrayCalculating number of panels given specifications and load requirements
  • Determine maximum voltage of system and adjust for temperature variations
  • Calculate number of panels and number of strings
  • Determine compatibility to BOS components
  • Grounding, bonding and over-current issues
  • Pricing the system as designed (current costs, incentives)
  • Connecting to the grid
  • Troubleshooting problems

Battery Systems

  • Types of batteries
  • Determining nominal voltage
  • Calculating Amp hour storage requirements
  • Depth of discharge
  • Temperature adjustments
  • Battery bank sizing calculations
  • How batteries are chargedBulk charge
  • Absorption charge
  • Floating charge
  • Battery storage and maintenance issuesVenting
  • Equalization
  • Measuring state of charge
  • Battery safety issues

System Installation

  • Racking Systems
  • Loading Issues
  • Climbing Safety
  • Ground Mounted System
  • Conduit Installation and Fill Issues


  • Required Documentation/Application Package
  • Interconnect Agreements
  • Net Metering Agreements
  • Required Permits
  • Commissioning Forms
  • Installation Checklists
  • Operation and Maintenance Documentation

Testing and Commissioning the System

  • Final Installation Checklist
  • Visual Inspection
  • Verification of Code Compliance
  • Electrical System Verification Testing
  • System Functioning Testing
  • Verify Array Power and Energy Production against STC

System Maintenance and Troubleshooting

  • Monitoring Performance
  • Typical Systems Problems and how to Correct Them
  • System Maintenance


This course has been conducted in affiliation with:

Registration is limited to 10 students.  This course is offered in partnership (as a fund raiser) with several not-for-profits.  The fee for this one-week course is $970 and includes:  Instruction, hands-on labs, textbook and lab material, installation tool kit, 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.

About the Instructor:

Jay Warmke is the author of a number of textbooks on renewable energy, including Green Technology: Principles and Practices (Marcraft), Solar Photovoltaic

Installer Certification Guide (Marcraft), Wind Turbine Installer Certification Guide (Marcraft), When the Biomass Hits the Wind Turbine (BRS Media),

Understanding Photovoltaics: A Study Guide for Solar Electric Certification Programs (BRS Media), and many more. Jay also served as National Chairman:

SkillsUSA Sustainable Solutions Contest, Vice President: Green Energy Ohio, Chairman and Committee Member: Electronic Technician's Association Renewable Energy

Committee, as well as an ETA Board Member. He also teaches renewable energy at Zane State University, and the Train-the-Trainer program for Marcraft. Jay was also

named the 2013 ETA Educator of the Year.


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.

Our 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.

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 NABCEP PV certification program.  More information available at