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Can Any Electrician Or Electrical Contractor Install Solar PV Panels With Battery Storage In Australia?

    This is a question we get asked very often by electricians. They want to know if they can install solar and battery systems or if they are required to undertake additional training. 

    1. Skills required to be a solar electrician

    Usually, electricians are in charge of installing and maintaining all electrical and power systems in homes, businesses, and factories. Electricians install and maintain wiring and control equipment. In factories and a variety of other businesses, the electricians also do the installation and maintenance of electrical equipment and machines.

    The skills required for a regular electrician include:

    • Technical abilities
    • Problem-solving skills
    • Good communication skills and business knowledge
    • Being able to work independently
    • Being Technologically savvy
    skilled solar electrician

    2. Solar Electricians require all of the skills listed above and :

    • Good physical abilities – as they must stand for the majority of the day, climb ladders, and carry panels
    • Being comfortable working at heights – as they will be working on rooftops
    • Being a team player – usually, a few people work on a solar installation especially if it is a commercial one – including other construction workers and contractors. However, for service and maintenance, only one electrician is usually required
    • Working outside – they need to be happy to work under harsh weather conditions, under the sun, and in the cold depending on where they work

    A solar electrician should not only be able to have the skills described above but should also be competent to conduct this specific type of work 

    A solar electrician should :

    • Have an understanding of basic electrical systems
    • Be able to solve fundamental issues in photovoltaic energy apparatuses and systems
    • Be familiar with the design of grid-connected photovoltaic power supply systems
    • Understand how to install, configure, and commission LV grid-connected photovoltaic power systems

    3. Is it possible for any electrician who doesn’t have any solar training to install a solar PV system with or without battery storage?

    Electricians who do not have a CEC accreditation might be able to install solar PV systems but they will not be able to claim any rebates or STCs. They will also need to partner with an accredited installer in order to be able to request the connection to the grid. If you are not connecting the system to the grid and you are not claiming STCs or rebates then you could install the system without being CEC accredited. 

    Not being accredited might also impact other aspects of the job like not being able to get warranties on products, insurance policies, or incentives. 

    solar training requirement for electricians

    4. Why is it important to undertake solar training?

    Solar panels generate high-voltage DC electricity, which, if handled incorrectly, can result in death from electrocution, fire, or fall from height. After connecting the inverter, the electrician must get approval from the relevant electrical authorities before turning it on. In order to be able to design the most efficient systems that follow legal requirements, a solar electrician must know and understand the guidelines put in place by the Clean Energy Council and regulatory bodies. 

    You will learn about the following concepts during your training:

    • Workplace safety procedures for solar-powered systems
    • How solar energy systems are designed and installed
    • Solar power system maintenance requirements
    • Components of the solar photovoltaic system and their functions
    • The efficiency of solar technologies
    • How to calculate system output, costs, and greenhouse gas savings

    The following courses are available : 

    You must have the following pre-requisites to enrol in most of the solar courses:

    • A current electrical licence, as well as a Certificate III in Electrotechnology
    • A valid photo ID (e.g., a driver’s license)

    After completing any of the solar courses successfully, you will be able to apply for accreditation from the Solar Accreditation Australia (CEC).

    Apprentice undertaking solar training

    5. Where can you do solar courses and how long does it take?

    You can do solar courses at any accredited RTO that is on the Clean Energy Council list. Solar courses are relatively short and would typically take less than a week. Most RTOs offer the courses at set dates at their campus but you can also do some of the courses completely online.

    6. Job Role examples for Solar Electricians

    • Solar Design Engineer
    • Solar Project Manager
    • Field Supervisor
    • Solar Technician
    • Solar Electrician
    • Solar Panel Installer
    • PV System Designer
    • Solar Co-ordinator
    • Technical Support Engineer

    You can also have your own business and do solar installations.

    Last reviewed date: 14/06/2024

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