A solar energy systems designer is a professional in alternate energy who designs solar panel collection systems, including the way they deliver and modulate energy to homes, businesses and industrial enterprises. The designer normally uses a variety of calculations that incorporate expected solar cell energy collection, the power it can deliver and the means by which it can deliver power. The designer then recommends ways to optimize energy usage to take advantage of solar energy. Solar energy systems designers must work with clients to assess their existing power needs and investigate opportunities to reduce or mitigate this power usage. They also gather as much climactic data as possible to perform calculations and analysis on solar power expectancy, and then determine the needed amount and placement of solar panels.
In some cases, the designer works on a new construction project for a business or home. In this situation, the designer may work with the architect to incorporate solar panels into the structure's design. They also design internal systems that provide the least amount of energy dissipation and efficient delivery to the various power draws within the building; part of this design typically includes ways to switch automatically between solar energy utilization and conventional power assistance when needed.
Previous experience with solar design is typically needed in this position, and at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field may be required or preferred. Solar energy systems designers often work as contractors, and they typically work regular business hours during the week, with outdoor field work and travel necessary.
Solar Energy Systems Designer Tasks
Assess sites, taking detailed measurements and recommending placement of systems in compliance with codes.
Design to mitigate environmental impacts from wind, storage/transfer of power, and other factors.
Build and install solar systems, including sizing, energy storage, and transformer design.
Create documentation like permits, bills of materials, and cost estimates.