Photovoltaic (PV) Fabrication & Testing Technician
What is a PV Fabrication Technician?
Photovoltaic cells are better known by their media name "Solar Cells". Photovoltaic cells are the translucent, flexible plastic wafers that convert sunlight into electricity, as opposed to solar thermal panels, which convert sunlight into heat.
The career outlook for a photovoltaic-pv fabrication and testing technician is very good. They make on average $22 to $27 dollars an hour.
Therefore, a Photovoltaic Technician is someone who tests and assembles solar cells into electricity-generating solar panels.
Photovoltaic Testing Technicians are responsible for testing photovoltaic solar cells to verify that they do general electrical energy from the sun, and that they produce a sufficient amount of electricity. Photovoltaic Fabrication Technicians wire the tested solar cells into arrays of solar panels.
You may ask, why do we need people to assemble solar cells into solar panels? Can't industrial machinery in factories do that automatically? Well, yes, for standard sizes. There is a constant customer demand, however, for solar panels of all shapes and sizes to fit into older homes.
What Are the Qualifications for a PV Fabrication Technician?
Testing and wiring solar cells together is essentially an electrician's job. Minimum qualifications would be at least an Associates Degree in Electronics, Electrical Engineering, Material Science, Physics, or Chemistry. Obviously, a Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree in any of the above fields is preferred, and would give you a stronger chance of obtaining employment in this field.
Alternately, equivalent industry training or work experience may be enough (such as being a certified and registered electrician).
Finally, real-life work experience is invaluable for a job like this. Some companies might require up to two years of work experience in a laboratory environment for this position.
What Type of Person Is Good for This Position?
Anyone who excels at electronics must have excellent math skills, an analytical approach to problem solving, strong concentration, and patience.
Finally, anyone working with the electricity-producing photovoltaic solar cells must have a meticulous attention to detail. When working with electricity, even the slightest error may result in injury or death. Although the average electrical output of a solar panel is not enough to electrocute a person, it is enough to give someone a nasty shock.
Photovoltaic (PV) Fabrication & Testing Technician Resources*Solar Power Your Home For Dummies (For Dummies (Home & Garden))
*Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual
*Practical Photovoltaics: Electricity from Solar Cells
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