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NABCEP

Solar Heating Installer


Job Task Analysis
September 2011

www.nabcep.org
Center pool photo courtesy of NREL

NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installer Job Task Analysis 09.11 1

Job Description and Task Analysis


for NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installers Introduction
This document presents a comprehensive Job Task Analysis (JTA) for individuals who install solar water and pool heating systems on buildings. It is important to note that these tasks are applicable to installation personnelnot to the system designer. This task list assumes the certified installer starts with an approved solar system design package, complete with major components, manufacturer installation manual, system schematics, and assembly and troubleshooting instructions. While the certified installer may not design the system, in many cases he or she must be knowledgeable about many aspects of systems design, and may be required to adapt certain designs to fit a particular application or customer need. In this JTA, tasks are categorized according to their priority or importance using three levels: l Critical items are considered high priority tasks and are expected competencies for all installers. These include items involving safety and other tasks with a high chance of error that could lead to system failure, destruction of components to which the system is attached, etc. l Very important items are medium priority tasks, and are generally expected of all quality installers. l Important items are considered low priority tasks, but are usually performed by all installers. This document is divided into two sections. The first section, on page 3 provides a high-level view of the JTA and lists the main tasks and their criticality. The second section, which begins on page 4, provides a detailed view of the sub topics for each of the tasks.

Job Description
for NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installer
Given basic instructions, manufacturer installation manual, major components specifications, schematics, and drawings, the installer is required to install a solar water heating system that meets the performance and reliability needs of customers in the United States and Canada by incorporating quality craftsmanship and complying with all applicable codes and standards.

Fundamentally, this JTA assumes that the installer begins with adequate documentation for the system design and equipment, including manuals for major components, electrical and mechanical drawings, and instructions. While these tasks have been developed based on conventional designs, equipment, and practice used in the industry today, they do not seek to limit or restrict innovative equipment, designs, or installation practice in any manner. As with any developing technology, it is fully expected that the skills required of the practitioner will develop and change over time as new materials, techniques, codes, and standards evolve.

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Solar Heating Installer Tasks


AREA AND TASK A. PREPARE FOR PROJECT
l Task 1. Review the construction plans l Task 2. Assemble materials l Task 3. Assemble and inspect safety protection equipment l Task 4. Assemble tools Critical Critical Very Important Important

LEVEL

B. EVALUATE THE SITE


l Task 1. Compare design to site l Task 2. Inspect and document existing site conditions l Task 3. Ensure OSHA compliance l Task 4. Ensure code compliance Critical Very Important Very Important Important

C. PLAN SYSTEM INSTALLATION


l Task 1. Lay out collector(s) installation l Task 2. Plan solar loop pipe l Task 3. Plan mechanical room/area Critical Critical Critical

D. INSTALL SYSTEM
l Task 1. Install solar collectors l Task 2. Install solar loop l Task 3. Install balance-of-system l Task 4. Wire the system l Task 5. Pressure test the system l Task 6. Fill the system l Task 7. Install insulation l Task 8. Implement site safety plan Critical Critical Critical Critical Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important

E. COMMISSION THE SYSTEM


l Task 1. Verify system operations l Task 2. Program the controllers l Task 3. Conduct customer walk-through l Task 4. Request final inspection Critical Very Important Very Important Important

F. SERVICE AND MAINTAIN THE SYSTEM


l Task 1. Perform scheduled maintenance l Task 2. Troubleshoot and repair system l Task 3. Ensure OSHA compliance Important Important Important

NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installer Job Task Analysis 09.11 3

Solar Heating Installer Sub-Tasks


AREA, TASK, SUB-TASK A: PREPARE FOR PROJECT
Task 1. Review the construction plans l Read the construction plans l Create the materials list l Identify exceptions or special materials needed l Identify special tools needed l Identify safety equipment needed l Prepare project schedule Task 2. Assemble materials l Acquire materials for job l Inspect materials l Compare material availability to project schedule l Prepare materials for transport l Arrange for equipment delivery Task 3. Assemble and inspect safety protection equipment l Assemble required Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) l Assemble required site-specific safety equipment l Inspect required site-specific safety equipment l Inspect required PPE Task 4. Assemble tools l Acquire tools for job l Inspect tools l Arrange for tool delivery l Prepare tools for transport l Compare tool availability to project schedule
Very Important Very Important Important Important Important Critical Critical Critical Very Important Critical Critical Critical Very Important Very Important Critical Critical Critical Critical Critical Very Important

LEVEL

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AREA, TASK, SUB-TASK B: EVALUATE THE SITE


Task 1. Compare design to site l Verify site address l Verify system type is appropriate for site l Measure the roof l Confirm collector location, tilt, and azimuth l Evaluate present and future collector shading l Verify tank storage size, location, and access l Verify balance-of-system equipment suitability Task 2. Inspect and document existing site conditions l Walk the site and note hazards l Document collector placement and location l Document deficiencies in existing roof conditions l Locate existing utility interconnections l Document existing damage in the planned work area l Document existing equipment deficiencies l Identify staging area Task 3. Ensure OSHA compliance l Devise the site safety plan l Begin implementation of site safety plan l Mark hazards Task 4. Ensure code compliance l Inform customer of any code violations l Post permit (if necessary) l Document existing code violations

LEVEL

Critical Critical Critical Critical Critical Critical Critical

Critical Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important

Very Important Very Important Very Important

Critical Important Important

NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installer Job Task Analysis 09.11 5

AREA, TASK, SUB-TASK C: PLAN SYSTEM INSTALLATION


Task 1. Layout collector(s) installation l Locate and mark structural members l Lay out attachment hardware l Lay out structural modifications Task 2. Plan solar loop pipe l Determine pipe layout from collector to balance-of-system l Locate and mark building penetrations Task 3. Plan mechanical room/area l Plan system interconnections l Verify storage tank location l Inform customer of utility service interruptions l Determine layout for balance-of-system

LEVEL

Critical Critical Important

Critical Very Important

Critical Critical Very Important Very Important

D: INSTALL SYSTEM

Task 1. Install solar collectors l Install safety equipment l Install mounting hardware l Seal and flash penetrations l Attach panels to mounting hardware l Place panels on roof Task 2. Install solar loop l Seal and flash pipe penetrations l Install pipe l Drill pipe penetrations l Install pipe supports l Pressure test collector loop l Insulate pipe
Critical Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important Critical Critical Critical Critical Very Important

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AREA, TASK, SUB-TASK


Task 3. Install balance-of-system l Install valves l Install pumps l Install system safety devices l Place storage tanks l Install heat exchangers l Install meters Task 4. Wire the system l Install controller(s) l Connect sensors l Install sensor wires l Wire the pump(s) l Make final AC connections l Protect wires Task 5. Pressure test the system l Inspect for leaks l Isolate the expansion tank l Attach pressure test fittings l Pressurize the system l Monitor pressure Task 6. Fill the system l Verify valve positions for filling l Close all drains l Connect charging systems l Fill system with heat transfer fluid and label l Flush system Task 7. Install insulation l Wrap the pipes with insulation l Install labels l Install UV protection l Cut and seal corners l Seal edges l Insulate required components

LEVEL

Critical Critical Critical Very Important Very Important Important

Critical Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important

Critical Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important

Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important Important

Critical Critical Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important

NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installer Job Task Analysis 09.11 7

AREA, TASK, SUB-TASK


Task 8. Implement site safety plan l Identify unsafe practices l Correct unsafe practices l Check safety equipment for defects

LEVEL

Very Important Very Important Very Important

E: COMMISSION THE SYSTEM

Task 1. Verify system operations l Verify valve positions, orientations, and functions l Check pump operation l Check temperature difference l Verify flow rates l Bleed air vents l Check system temperatures l Check collector flow direction Task 2. Program the controllers l Verify sensor connections l Verify functions l Read the manual l Set temperature parameters l Set flow rates Task 3. Conduct customer walk-through l Deliver and review owners manual l Document baseline settings (normal readings) l Explain emergency procedures l Record model and serial numbers Task 4. Request final inspection l Verify system meets code l Request inspection(s) l Coordinate inspection(s)
Important Important Important Very Important Very Important Very Important Important Critical Critical Very Important Very Important Very Important Critical Critical Very Important Very Important Very Important Very Important Important

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AREA, TASK, SUB-TASK F: SERVICE AND MAINTAIN THE SYSTEM


Task 1. Perform scheduled maintenance l Test freeze protection method l Drain and flush the system l Perform visual degradation check l Check controls and sensors l Check and replace anodes Task 2. Troubleshoot and repair system l Identify problem l Solve the problem Task 3. Ensure OSHA compliance l Use site safety l Use PPE l Observe OSHA standards

LEVEL

Important Important Important Important Important

Very Important Very Important

Critical Critical Very Important

NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installer Job Task Analysis 09.11 9

Exam Blueprint
The table below shows the blueprint (test specifications) for the NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installer Examination. It is provided for candidates and educators use to determine which specific knowledge areas to focus on when preparing for the examination.

NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installer Exam Blueprint


% of exam A. Prepare for project B. Evaluate the site C. Plan system installation D. Install the system E. Commission the system F. Service and maintain the system TOTAL 12% 13% 19% 30% 14% 12% 100% # of items 7 8 1112 18 89 7 60

NABCEP thanks the following volunteer committee members for their expertise and assistance in creating this JTA:
Jessica Baldwin Solar Plumbing Design Brooklyn, NY Bo DeAngelo Automatic Solar Boulder, CO Steve Elkin SolarUS Inc. Branford, CT Greg Gahagan UMA Solar Fairfield, CA Adam Gusse H&H Solar Energy Services, Inc. Madison, WI Dell Jones Regenesis Solar Power Lakeland, FL Larry Mapes Valverde Energy Taos, NM Les Nelson Western Renewables Group Rancho Santa Margarita, CA Patrick Redgate Ameco Solar, Inc. Paramount, CA Karl Schwingel Northwind Renewable Energy Stevens Point, WI Bill Stewart SolarCraft Novato, CA Daimon Vilppu Simply Efficient Lakewood, CO Jim Wood SOLARHOT Morrisville, NC

North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners 56 Clifton Country Road, Suite 202 Clifton Park, NY 12065 800-654-0021 / info@nabcep.org

www.nabcep.org
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