Solar PV panels and battery storage training: a new dawn for electrical installers | XS Training

Solar PV panels and battery storage training: a new dawn for electrical installers | XS Training

We catch up with the team at XS Training to find out more about why solar PV panels and battery storage will herald a new dawn of opportunities for electrical installers.

In the Professional Electrician & Installer 2023 Reader Survey, which was published at the end of last year, one of the questions asked was: “Which of the following areas would you be keen to undertake training in?”

The top four responses, by a long way, were all focused around green, future energy resources. This is, of course, no great shock as our industry is only going one way. The upward trajectory curve may be ‘flatter’ than it was imagined at this point five years ago (due to a number of factors) but that it will start to rise much more steeply in the near future is not in doubt.

A huge factor in this accelerated growth is not only that green energy sources such as solar PV panels are becoming increasingly efficient and less expensive, but also we now have much more accessible and reliable methods to store any excess produced power for when we most need it. According to Chris Hewett, Solar Energy UK Chief Executive, domestic solar installations almost doubled in 2022 compared to 2021. The data for 2023 is likely to show that this rise has continued.

Quantity over quality?

As is common in any industry, when things become more popular or when grants are available to reduce installation cost, quantity of installations often becomes more important than quality installations. It doesn’t take much digging on the internet to find horror stories or see images that evidence this. Pictures of poorly strung cables rubbing against roof tiles, burnt out AC isolators being used on the DC side of the installation and even videos of fires where the emergency services can do very little to stop the blaze.

For existing electricians looking to embrace the green technology revolution and start installing PV and EESS, a form of accreditation is required. To gain this, they will also need to gain relevant qualifications in these areas.

Solar panel with rechargeable energy storage.

These courses will go through the stages of designing an efficient system with the requirements of the customer, such as how many panels can be fitted and what the long-term results of this will provide in terms of energy saving from the grid. They’ll also cover how to work out why storing this energy can give a reduction in the reliance of buying in energy from the national grid. As ever, once the system is designed it then needs to be installed correctly.

Regulatory compliance

The courses highlight the requirements set out in regulations for the use of the correct protective devices and isolation points along with how to carry out the appropriate tests to certify the installation in accordance with MCS and National Grid Connections. Without these it might not be possible for the customer to be paid for any of the power they export back to the National Grid.

XS Training will soon be offering courses for both the installation of solar PV panels and Electrical Energy Storage Systems (EESS). These will be delivered from the awarding body LCL and is one of the current qualifications required to gain MCS accreditation.

Get more details about the new XS Training qualification packages for PV and ESS courses here

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