Solar training for beginners online
GREEN eLearning Courses
GREEN’s eLearning courses can be accessed on demand – you can start at any time and finish at your own pace.
The GREEN eLearning Platform
Part of GREEN’s project work in Africa involves developing training courses on various aspects of solar energy for colleges and universities, and then training lecturers in solar energy to be able to teach the content to their own students. The training material was first developed by GREEN together with the DGS (German Solar Energy Society) in the frame of the ADRA Project Green Energy TVET project in Ethiopia and translated into French in the frame of the develoPPP West Africa project.
Use as part of a blended-learning approach
An online course makes solar education available to those in even the remotest of areas. With an online course, only the content developers need to be experts in the subject matter, with lecturers and trainers filling the role of facilitators. In order to reduce the dropout rate of students and to offer the most support, eLearning is most often offered in a blended-learning approach that includes classroom-lectures and on-site practical instruction. Courses are available in English, French and Amharic.
Bridging course for SuperSolarSchool
Principles of PV Systems is a great starting place for everyone who wants to understand solar energy and in South Africa, particularly, would make a suitable bridging course for people who want to complete their PV GreenCard training but have no electrical or solar knowledge.
Content created by African solar experts
Both courses have been developed with input from international product manufacturers as well as African solar experts to create content that is relevant to our climate and conditions, and feature an engaging blend of lectures, videos, podcasts, interactive exercises and self-assessments.
See what others think of our courses
A new career as a solar installer
I am a Maintenance Supervisor for a heavy industrial plant, I did the short, free Principles of PV Systems course just to see what PV is all about; I am doing it for myself and might start up my own solar installation company someday. I am currently busy with the PV Off-Grid Technician course, and have also registered for the super solar school in July’23. Herman P, Cato Ridge
No more guesswork!
For the past 18 to 20 years now, we’ve been using a solar system without any course or training or whatsoever. It was all trial and error … we burnt lots of inverters already, melted cables together, burst batteries, burnt DVD players already before, because everything was being guessed at, we never knew exactly how the stuff needs to be done. After the Principles of PV Systems course, wow! Already I could see what I was doing wrong, what was missing, what was too small or too big. I will definitely advise people to go onto these courses. Justin S, Zimbabwe
Value for money
I'm 52 years old, I have an N4 and I do installations such as security biometrics, electric fencing and so on. I found the PV Off-Grid Technician course really valuable. I pushed hard to finish the course in one week, as I had taken leave, starting early in the morning and finishing late each evening. The virtual trainer suggested that I create spreadsheets to do calculations based on the formulas I learned as I progressed, and I've now automated a lot of tedious tasks by building these templates. Neville A, South Africa
The course was SO interesting!
My background is project management in the banking sector. Then I opened my own business doing smart home- and office-automations, and I felt that I could do solar as well, hence this course. The PV Off-Grid Technician course was SO interesting! I would like to do GREEN's hands-on training next as I want to go for my SAPVIA PV GreenCard, to make sure clients know they can trust me and that I am giving them a good-quality installation. Lance A, South Africa
Adding practical experience
The best eLearning doesn’t make up for real practical experience. We are well aware of this fact and therefore recommend that you add some practical exposure on top of the eLearning. If you live near a GREEN Solar Academy or Training Centre, the easiest way is to sign up for additional practical training. Our PV Mounter course is a great option as it focuses on practical installation for two whole days. All the knowledge gained in the eLearning course can be tested and applied.
The second option is to do an internship at a local solar company. Most countries have Industry Associations or even Photovoltaic Industry Associations which can be approached to find out about local solar companies and their contact details. To make it easier to apply for an internship, we have put together some documents that are helpful for you and the internship company:
Attach this to your internship application, together with your Certificate, after you pass the course
Tips for learners on how to find a job in the solar industry
Overview of tasks you should be exposed to during the internship
Internship Checklist for companies
Guide for companies – hand this over to your internship company
Principles of PV Systems
Recommended Notional Hours: 32. FREE online solar course
Are you an absolute beginner where solar power and even electricity are concerned? What forms of energy exist in the world? What does off-grid mean? What are watts, volts and amps and why do they matter? If these are the questions you are asking, then you’ve found the right course! You can work through the easy-to-follow narrated slides at your own pace and we’ve also included downloadable learning guides so that you can read about the topics in more detail to ensure that you fully understand the subject matter. This course also includes podcasts, which are great for learning on-the-go, lectures, videos and interactive quizzes, plus a final self-exam where you can test yourself on what you’ve learned during the training.
- The different types of renewable energy available and the advantages and disadvantages of each
- How renewable energy is used in your country and elsewhere in the world
- The basic operating principles of photovoltaics
- The definition of electrical terms relevant to PV solar
- The difference between AC and DC power, and the pros and cons of each
- The components that make up an off-grid PV system and their functions
- The difference between lead acid and lithium-ion batteries
- How to identify different PV system configurations, including AC- and DC-coupled
Please Note: You have 28 days from date of registration to complete this free course and receive your certificate.
PV Off-Grid Technician
Recommended Notional Hours: 170
Cost: 50 EUROS
In this course, you will build on what you learned in Principles of PV Systems. You will understand the workings of off-grid PV (photovoltaic) solar power and obtain the skills to size, design, install and provide aftercare for an off-grid solar system according to your client’s unique energy requirements. The course developers have strived to infuse the content with practical elements in the form of videos and podcasts but there is no substitution for the real, hands-on thing; our recommendation is that this course is best undertaken in combination with a solar internship to round off your skills.
- Types of renewable energy, their advantages and disadvantages
- The possibilities and limitations of PV solar power
- The basics of electricity relevant to photovoltaics
- The components of a PV system and their functions
- The different PV system configurations
- How to perform a site survey and how to document your visit
- How to calculate loads and energy demand
- How to size the solar array and battery bank
- The different mounting options for solar modules
- How to detect, address and document technical problems
- How to work safer using Personal Protection Equipment
- What testing should be done when commissioning a system
- How to do online monitoring and on-site maintenance of a PV system
- How to market your business and approach clients