College News

CCCC launches two-tier energy technology certificate program

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07.24.2012College & CommunityCollege General

PITTSBORO -Central Carolina Community College is now offering a two-tier professional certificate program in renewable energy and energy efficiency technology.

Having two tiers makes the training appropriate for a variety of interest levels, whether it is individuals who just want to become more knowledgeable, those who want to install energy efficient systems in their homes, or contractors who want a good working knowledge of energy efficient technology incorporated in the homes they build.

The training culminates in industry exams and certifications, including the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Photovoltaic Entry Level Exam, NABCEP Solar Thermal Entry Level Exam, and Building Performance Institute (BPI).

Tier one

Tier one is the Integrated Renewable Technology certificate. It includes Introduction to Photovoltaics System Technology and Thermal Systems. These courses can be taken in succeeding semesters through the college's Continuing Education Department for the combined cost of $352.50.

The Introduction to Photovoltaics System Technology (Alt 220) course introduces the concepts, tools, techniques, and materials needed to understand systems that convert solar energy into electricity with photovoltaic technologies.

Topics include site analysis for system integration, building codes, and advances in photovoltaic technology. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the principles of photovoltaic technology and current applications. The course runs 6:30-9 p.m. Monday and Wednesdays, Aug. 20-Dec 12.

Thermal Systems (Alt 250) introduces concepts, tools, techniques, and materials used to convert thermal energy into a viable, renewable energy resource. Topics include forced convection, heat flow and exchange, radiation, various elements of thermal system design, regulations, and system installation and maintenance. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of geothermal and solar thermal systems and corresponding regulations. The course will be taught in the spring, but class days and times are not yet determined.

For those interested in a career in the field, the program provides the knowledge and skills to work as an entry-level technician for photovoltaic and solar thermal dealers, installers or contractors.

Those successfully completing the two courses will receive an Integrated Renewable Technology certificate. Course competencies and objectives correlate with the NABCEP Entry Level Exam. Testing for the PV and Solar Thermal NABCEP Entry Level Exams are held at the end of each semester. The cost of each exam is $75. Individuals who want the knowledge but don't plan to work in the industry can take the courses without taking the certifying exams. For those planning to work in the industry, it is advantageous to have the NABCEP certification.

Tier two

Tier two is the Integrated Renewable Technology and Building Performance certificate. Individuals must have completed tier one to take tier two. This program adds a Building Science/Performance class, covering building science, energy efficiency, and the physics of building performance. It utilizes the nationally recognized Building Performance Institute coursework, readying the student to sit for BPI Building Analyst Certificate test. The program cost is $176.25.

This class trains the student in the knowledge and skills to work as an entry-level residential energy analyst. In this field, one conducts home weatherization assessments and energy audits for the private sector, small businesses or governmental agencies. The course prepares students to participate in weatherization programs, assess building performance and remediation, and execute job site fixes.

Students will be prepared to sit for the BPI field and written exam. The cost of the written test is $175 and the field test, $200. Both are required for the BPI Building Analyst certificate. This class will be taught in the spring, and the days and times have not been determined.

For more information about CCCC's renewable energy and energy efficiency technology certificate program, contact instructor John Delafield, 919-545-8020, or