Grid-Connected PV Systems (Pacific)


Grid-Connected PV Systems – Pacific Version

This self-paced online course gives students the skills and knowledge to design a grid connected (grid tied) solar (PV) system in accordance with Australian standards. It also provides knowledge on the installation requirements for a grid connected PV system in accordance with Australian standards and industry best practices.

This course includes a copy of the Grid-Connected PV Systems Design and Installation 8th Australian Edition. The cost of the book is included in the course price, but postage/shipping costs are additional and calculated at checkout.

The standards are not included in the course.

Participants who complete the course will receive a digital certificate of completion from GSES.

If the participants are located in the Pacific islands the certificate will state that they have successfully completed the registered Unit Standard:
PPAGC100 Designer of Grid Connected PV Systems
listed in the Pacific Qualifications and Standards Register (PQSR).

Please Allow 1 Business Day for Enrolment details to be emailed to you after purchase.


The material in the online course also covers all the theory relating to the installation of grid-connected PV systems, however, to complete the installation section of the course requires attending a 3-4 day practical session. A quotation could be provided for conducting this course in your country.


All course participants should have the following skills:

  • Some knowledge of safe work practices;
  • Minimum Senior Secondary School maths (or in-country equivalent) skills for solving standard problems; and
  • Minimum Senior Secondary School English (or in-country equivalent) and reading skills.

All course participants must be able to read and understand English.

It is preferred that the participants already have knowledge and skills in:

  • Electricity, electrical terms, and common formulae;
  • Working knowledge of tools and meters used in installation and maintenance of electrical systems; and
  • Basic customer education and service practices.

Though having these skills is preferred, the attendees can learn some of these skills during the online course or with extra work while completing the course.

Course Outline

Introduction to Grid-Connected Solar PV Systems
• Why Solar PV?
• Grid-Connected PV Systems
• Types of Grid-Connected PV Systems
• Work Place Health and Safety International Practice
• Developing a WH&S Procedure
• On-site Risk Assessment
• Common Hazards and Controls

Introduction to Electrical Basics

Characteristics of DC Electricity
• DC Circuits
• Working with DC Electricity
• Introduction to AC Electricity

Solar Radiation
• Measuring Solar Radiation
• Capturing Solar Radiation

PV Cells
• Electrical Characteristics of a Solar Cell
• The Effect of Combining Solar Cells
• The Effect of Combining Solar Modules Connecting to the Grid Overview of the Grid
• Characteristics of AC Electricity
• Interconnection with the Grid

PV Modules
• Types of Solar Cell Technology
• Manufacturing Solar Modules
• Protection of PV Modules
• Module Reliability
• PV Module Warranty

• Inverter Specifications
• Types of Inverters
• Grid-connect Inverter Protection Systems

Mounting Systems
• Engineering Certification
• Wind Loading
• Module Orientation and Mounting Configuration
• Roof-mounting Systems
• Mounting Frame: Flush and Tilted Mounting
• Roof Attachment: Roofing Brackets
• Module Attachment: Mounting Clamps
• Building-integrated PV
• Ground-mounting Systems
• Types of Ground-mounting Systems
• Ground-Mounted System Row Height

Balance of System Equipment

• Cabling & Electrical Protection
o Protection Devices: Fuses and Circuit Breakers
o DC Overcurrent Protection Devices
o DC Disconnection Devices
o AC Disconnection Devices
o Earthing
o Lightning Protection
• String and Array Combiner Boxes
• Metering
• System Monitoring

Energy Assessment
• Load Shifting & Assessment
• Introduction to Energy Efficiency
• Heating and Cooling
• Energy Efficiency: Hot Water
• Lighting
• Energy Efficiency: Appliances

Site Assessment
• On-site Assessment
• Site Assessment for the PV Array
• Site Assessment for the Array Mounting
• Site Assessment for the Inverter
• Site Assessment of the Grid Connection
• Climate Assessment
• Maintenance and Security

Matching Array and Inverter
• Overview of Matching Array and Inverter Calculations
• Matching the Array and Inverter: Voltage
• Matching the Array and Inverter: Current
• Matching the Array and Inverter: Power
• Oversizing the Array
• Multi-MPPT and Multi-input Inverters

System Protection

• DC Overcurrent Protection
• DC Disconnection Devices
• AC Overcurrent and Disconnection Devices
• System Earthing
• Lightning Protection
• Residual Current Device (RCD)

Cable (Wiring ) Design
• DC Cable Design
• AC Cable Design

System Efficiency and Yield

Sources of Energy Loss
• The Energy Yield of a PV System
• System Performance Assessment

System Installation Standards and Best Practice
• Installation Preparation
• Installation of the PV Array
• Installation of the Inverter
• System Protection and Disconnection
• General Cabling
• Earthing
• Monitoring
• Signage
• System Equipment

System Commissioning System Verification
• System Validation
• Additional Commissioning Steps

Maintenance and Trouble Shooting

System Maintenance
• Troubleshooting

Economics of Grid Connected PV Systems

Initial System Cost
• PV System Rebates
• Ongoing Cost of PV Systems
• Ongoing Benefits of PV Systems
o Electricity Offset
o The Cost of Electricity
o Feed-in Tariffs
• Estimating the Economics of a PV System
• Life Cycle Analysis
• Levelised Cost of Electricity

Commercial and Utility Scale PV Systems

Preliminary Design Process
• Design Considerations for Large-scale Systems
• Large-scale Grid-Connected PV System Design Process

• Risk Assessment and Safety
• Harnesses, Equipment, MC4 connectors, Winches and DC cabling
• Tiled Roofs
• Installation of Rooftop Isolator
• System Earthing
• Cabling
• Inverter Mounting
• PV Array DC Isolator Installation
• Video: Commissioning


Training Outcome

After successfully completing the course the course attendees will be eligible to apply for provisional PV Grid-Connected solar design -accreditation under the Pacific Solar Technician Accreditation Program which is co-managed by the Pacific Power Association and the Sustainable Energy Industry Association of Pacific Islands (SEIAPI). For further information go to SEIAPI.

Materials and Equipment

This course includes a copy of the Grid-Connected PV Systems Design and Installation 8th Australian Edition. The cost of the book is included in the course price, but postage/shipping costs are additional and calculated at checkout.

Students will also require the following:

  • Computer (preferred), mobile phone or tablet with an Internet connection
  • Scientific calculator
  • Email account, checked regularly
Delivery Method and Duration

Students work through the course at their own pace. GSES has a team of tutors who mark the online work and as necessary supply feedback or additional technical information to the students. GSES’s tutors are also available to be contacted by phone during business hours or email.

The course is expected to take between 40-80 hours to complete, although this will vary between students. Online course access is valid for 12 months, and will expire afterwards.

Tutor Help

You are not alone in your solar education journey! Your course purchase includes our team of tutors who will support you as you progress through the course. You are about to make an investment in yourself, and we want you to finish! Students can email their working and attempts at problems and the tutors will reply promptly during business hours.

Cancellation and Refunds

Cancellation of online training courses will be subject to the following conditions:

  • Cancellation of online training courses made within fourteen (14) days of the date of payment AND before the online course has been accessed: the student will receive a full refund of the online course payment.
  • Cancellation more than fourteen (14) days after the date of payment OR after the online course has been accessed (whichever occurs first): the student will receive no refund.
  • All course refunds are exclusive of the price of the supplied course publication as advertised at the time of enrolment, unless the publication is returned to GSES in an undamaged and unused condition. GSES reserves the right to refuse a refund of the publication on the basis that goods are damaged or have been used prior to return.