Residential PV systems designers are tasked with designing and drawing solar-powered systems which are used to power appliances in citizens' homes. It is essential that these designers stay up-to-date with all applicable codes and laws, and proficiency with AutoCAD is necessary to create plans and layouts.
Residential PV systems designers may work on several projects at once, so they should be able to multitask and work efficiently under pressure. Much of the work is done independently, though they also work with construction workers, engineers, project managers, and clients. Some planning elements are done in an office on a computer, while some work involves site-visits to determine adequate equipment-sizes, roof sizes and structures, what equipment is necessary, and any electrical service that may be needed. Because some of the work is done outdoors, these designers must be able to tolerate uncomfortable weather conditions, such as heat, and mathematical skills are also important to determine the feasibility of projects and perform accurate measurements. They may oversee installations of these systems to ensure they are working properly, and they typically see projects through to completion, so they must stay up-to-date with all developments in the field to provide the newest technology to clients.
A college degree in architecture, mechanical engineering, or a related field is generally required for this position.
Residential PV Systems Designer Tasks
Perform site-specific audits to collect structural, electrical and related information for use in the design of residential, commercial, or industrial solar power systems.
May utilize computer simulations of solar power generation performance or production to optimize efficiency.
Create plans for solar energy system development, as well as monitoring and evaluation activities.
Design photovoltaic (PV) or solar thermal systems, including system components.