ERIC Number: EJ994494
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Career Directions--Renewable Energy Systems Integrator
Fleeman, Stephen R.
Tech Directions, v71 n8 p22-23 Mar 2012
Renewable energy systems are beginning to appear everywhere. Solar modules are creating "blue roofs" that convert the energy from the sun into household electricity. Solar thermal systems on roofs can generate hot water. Wind turbines catch breezes to provide even more electricity. Recommendations for saving energy, specifying systems for producing electricity, and designing ways to measure the performance of these and other systems are all part of a renewable energy systems integrator's job. A renewable energy systems integrator technician, or simply "integrator," is basically a design consultant for sustainable energy systems. The integrator helps customers make informed decisions about their renewable energy choices. For example, reducing a customer's energy usage is the first step before adding renewable energy generation. The integrator can perform a site analysis to determine if solar electricity or solar heating are reasonable options, whether a wind turbine will work adequately, or if a geothermal system for heating and cooling makes sense. An integrator is also skilled in electronics and electrical systems, providing solid background knowledge for system design and evaluation. For example, a customer may have a renewable energy system installed and needs help evaluating its performance. An integrator can monitor the system and take measurements. Another customer may need help designing light-emitting diode (LED) lighting systems; the integrator has the necessary electronics knowledge to provide that help. An integrator must be talented, versatile, and flexible to rise to a wide variety of challenges. Because every day is different, learning is continuous. This article discusses everything students need to know about careers for renewable energy systems integrators--wages, responsibilities, education and skills needed, career advancement possibilities, and more.
Descriptors: Energy Conservation, Technical Occupations, Occupational Information, Work Environment, Job Skills, Income, Certification
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A