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Fundamentals of Solar Hot Water Heating

ProTrain Online


This online course concentrates on the basics of installing code compliant solar hot water systems. This course will be useful for people who currently work in or plan to be employed in the solar hot water industry. Student technicians will learn practical design criteria, installation guidelines, safety issues, maintenance, and legal considerations of solar hot water heating systems. 60 hours/12 weeks. Instructor mentored.

The essential training objective of this course is to provide the solar hot water installer/technician/contractor with fundamental technical knowledge on solar assisted heating in order that the technician may acquire and advance in design, installation and servicing responsibilities as the market for solar assisted water heating progresses.

The material will be taught in an online learning management system medium using web links and text reading assignments. This will be an instructor-facilitated course. Weekly online threaded discussions will allow students and instructor to communicate and share ideas with each other.


  • Introduction to Solar Hot Water Heating Systems
  • Solar Heating of Domestic Hot Water
  • Solar Hot Water Heating Components
  • Capturing the Sun
  • Planning & Sizing Solar Hot Water Heating Systems
  • Working Safely with Solar Hot Water
  • Installing Solar Hot Water Systems
  • Solar Space Heating Basics
  • Service & Maintenance
  • Legal Responsibilities & Building Codes

Computer Requirements

Internet Explorer or other equivalent browser and Internet connection is all that are required to take this course. You should have some experience and familiarity with navigating and using the internet as an information and communication resource, knowing how to download files, attach document files to e-mail, and use word processing software are necessary skills to achieving academic success in an online course environment.

Course Materials

Fundamentals of Solar Hot Water Course includes text books: Solar Water Heating: A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Water and Space Heating Systems by Bob Ramlow and Benjamin Nusz) AND Current Solar Energy Code Book.

Renewable Energy Technician courses are designed to follow the Task Analyses developed by committees of subject matter experts and adopted by North American Board of Energy Practitioners and in accordance with Interstate Renewable Energy Council/ IPSQ Standard 01021.


Upon completion of the course, the student technician should be able to:

  • Recognize the various types of residential solar hot water heating systems and components currently in use.
  • Demonstrate safe working practices.
  • Distinguish between solar system freeze protection options.
  • Properly design and size residential solar hot water heating systems.
  • Assist in the planning and installation of solar collectors and components.
  • Understand the types of codes and standards that apply to the proper installation of solar heating systems.
  • Understand the types of permits, warranties, and the customer relations required for completion of the overall solar project.
  • Assist in the servicing of common solar assisted heating problems.
  • Improve the quality of installations.


course quick facts
course code PRO1005
cost $995.00
estimated time to
complete course
60 Hours
course materials
11 Weeks

Roger Coghlan is president of Sun Pirate, Inc., a California Solar Contracting business operating in the North San Francisco Bay Area since 1981. He has a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies and Planning, with a Certificate in Energy Management and Design from Sonoma State University. He has developed the curriculum and is the instructor for FUNDAMENTALS OF SOLAR WATER HEATING, and PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM DESIGN & INSTALLATION on-line courses for the on the job renewable energy industry employee.