Green Collar Job Training - Free

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Course Title
100 Home
101 Introduction
102 FAQ Page
103 Course Catalog
104 Green World
105 Demand & Supply
106 Conservation Careers
107 Solar Careers
108 Wind Turbine Careers
109 Entrepreneurs
110 Employee or Employer?
200 Demand Management
201 Summary
202 Residential Energy Profile
203 Ten Conservation Rules
204 HVAC System
205 Kitchen Appliances
206 Water Heater
207 Lighting
208 Laundry Appliances
209 Calculating Savings
300 Renewable Technology
301 Solar Energy
302 Solar Collectors
303 Solar Water Heating
304 Stirling Engines
305 Basic AC-DC Electronics
306 Silicon Solar Panels
307 Thin Film Solar Panels
308 Wind Turbines
309 Inverters
310 Grid Tied and Off Grid
311 Solar Site Survey
312 Solar Site Diagram
313 Sun Path Chart
314 Site Survey Worksheet
315 Wind Turbine Site Survey
316 Wind Turbine Worksheet
400 Solar Thermal Design
401 Solar Heat Overview
402 System Configuration
403 Site Survey
404 SRCC Compliance
405 System Specification
406 Bill of Materials
407 System Installation
408 Solar Heat Incentives
409 Document Package
410 Future Products
500 Solar PV Design
501 Solar PV Overview
502 System Configuration
503 Site Survey
504 Grid Tied & Off Grid
505 System Specification
506 Bill of Materials
507 System Installation
508 Solar PV Incentives
509 Document Package
510 Future Products
600 Wind Turbine Design
601 Wind Turbine Overview
602 System Configuration
603 Site Survey
604 Grid Tied and Off Grid
605 System Specification
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Green Collar Careers - System Installation

Once materials are on site solar heating systems installation take the following actions, not necessarily in this order:

  1. Mounting of the solar collectors (and Solar PV panel if equipped)
  2. Aligning the solar collectors to the elevation and azimuth (usually Solar Noon of the Spring/Fall Equinox)
  3. Removing existing water heater (90% of the time, 10% may maintain their existing heaters)
  4. Disposal of the existing water heater (most installers should take care of this)
  5. Installing and connecting the storage tank to the house water system
  6. Installing and connecting the water heater to the house water system
  7. Connecting the AC to the water heater, and replacing the circuit breaker at the power panel - Optional
  8. Routing the plumbing for the Closed Loop system between the solar collector and the storage tank
  9. Installing the pump, valves, gauges, and expansion tank
  10. Pressure testing the Closed Loop system (usually with air and waiting about an hour for pressure drop)
  11. Mounting, connecting, and testing controller
  12. Fill system with antifreeze
  13. Insulating Closed Loop plumbing
  14. System test and commissioning
  15. Final inspection

Typically two installers are required for a system with an 80 gallon tank, 3-4 installers may be required for a 120 gallon tank.  Labor hours from one installation crew and system installation site will vary between about 16 - 40 hours.  With an experienced two person crew most systems can be installed in the same day although the crew will have installed 3-5 systems before reaching that efficiency level.  Installation crew supervision is a must - at all times they have access to the inside of the home, lunchtime included.  Plus you can lend a hand at times where an extra person will shorten the installation time.

As tempting as it may be to eventually hire your own employees for installation, you'll almost always be better off using contracted installers.  That doesn't prevent you from training your own crew and pay them via 1099.  See the IRS Independent Contractor Definitions to understand the federal government position on this.  As an independent contractor they will have higher hourly rates with no other costs, less liability to you, and they will have the freedom to work other jobs.

For the homeowner, installers will have access to their home and will need to be very trustworthy individuals with good morals and ethics.  They need to be responsible, preferably with a clean shaven professionally dressed appearance.  That doesn't mean business informal;  that means work boots, clean clothing, and the less exposure of tattoos the better.  Some people just don't trust others based on a sloppy appearance to enter their homes.

System installation is a major inconvenience to the home owner.  You should insist they be home during the installation, even if it means a weekend installation.  That will discourage any subsequent disputes after the job is done.  The homeowner will be without water during the installation.  If the job cannot be finished in one day be sure to make plans for reconnecting the home water system before leaving for the day.  This is another great reason for a dual purpose tank - an experienced installation crew can swap out the hot water heater with a Solaraid HE and have the home water restored in as little as two hours.

The ideal crew consists of:

  • One Jr level plumber with basic electrical wiring skills
  • One entry level plumber
  • General laborer with limited carpentry skills and a strong back