Solar Thermal Installers and Technicians

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Also known as:
Fire Sprinkler Installer, Gas Main Fitter, Gas Plumber, Hydraulic Plumber, Industrial Gas Fitter, Marine Pipefitter, Marine Steamfitter, Master Plumber, Pipe Fitter, Plumber

Video transcript

Solar energy installers are the boots on the ground in the renewable energy movement, helping homeowners, businesses, and industry to reduce energy usage and costs. Solar photovoltaic installers, or PV installers, set up and maintain solar panels. They connect PV, or solar panels, to the power grid, and test solar-powered systems for quality performance. Solar thermal installers and technicians install systems that use solar-heated water. They mount collectors on roofs and install plumbing including pipes, fittings, pumps, and electrical equipment. Solar thermal workers test all related systems, and make sure pipes and tanks are sealed and secure. Customer service skills are helpful, as solar installers often train users on how to operate solar equipment. Installers need agility and balance and must be able to lift heavy equipment, parts, and tools. These workers risk falls, and use protective gear and practices to avoid electrical shocks and burns from hot equipment. PV installer training can last from a few days to a few months, and is available at technical and trade schools. Solar thermal technicians typically need technical training, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree. Electrician or construction experience may be helpful.

Install or repair solar energy systems designed to collect, store, and circulate solar-heated water for residential, commercial or industrial use.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Install heat exchangers and heat exchanger fluids according to installation manuals and schematics.

Identify plumbing, electrical, environmental, or safety hazards associated with solar thermal installations.

Install monitoring system components, such as flow meters, temperature gauges, and pressure gauges, according to system design and manufacturer specifications.

Connect water heaters and storage tanks to power and water sources.

Fill water tanks and check tanks, pipes, and fittings for leaks.

Perform routine maintenance or repairs to restore solar thermal systems to baseline operating conditions.

Assess collector sites to ensure structural integrity of potential mounting surfaces or the best orientation and tilt for solar collectors.

Design active direct or indirect, passive direct or indirect, or pool solar systems.

Install circulating pumps using pipe, fittings, soldering equipment, electrical supplies, and hand tools.

Install solar thermal system controllers and sensors.

Test operation or functionality of mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and control systems.

Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Installation Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.