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Solar Design and Installation

updated 8/11/11

What I've been doing in solar

I spent a few months at Sundogs Solutions in Durham, NC, working to research, design, and install the latest in solar technology. On the technical side, I performed solar site analyses to determine shading, undertook all necessary calculations to design a solar PV/thermal system, analyzed existing environmental and structural conditions to confirm compatibility of my proposed solar system, and researched city building codes, by-laws, space and site requirements, and other technical reports to design plans that will receive city approval. On the sales side, I managed all solar PV and thermal customers from start to finish, from figuring out their goals and needs to meeting with them at job sites during the design and installation cycle.

On the planning side, I facilitated estimate review meetings, communicated with our architect in order to complete structural and electrical designs, and was responsible for drawing up our company’s revised safety policy. And on the creative side of things, I engineered the idea of Sundogs’ current 100 Rooftops Challenge to attract more customers, and leveraged my contacts to put together a more affordable, faster-installing PV solution for the company.

Unfortunately, after my few months there I was laid off, so now I'm back on the job market for what hopefully won't be too long a time.

What's so great about the solar field

1) Solar power is something still relatively new and progressive, and it's important to know about for the future. This is cutting-edge technology coming from cutting-edge science, and to be able to work with it is pretty exciting.

2) There are a wide variety of job types in the field of solar. One can be a solar panel installer, or the designer/engineer that figures out what a home's solar requirements should be, or the person that fabricates solar panels, or the person that offers them for sale. One can be outdoors all day installing panels, or indoors all day designing systems at a computer, or in front of people all day doing sales - the possibilities are limitless.

3) It is perfect for someone wanting to do something good for the environment, which was the thing that drove me to do my graduate degree in ecology.


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