Solar Engineers oversee the scientific process involved in harnessing the sun’s energy to power homes, businesses, and industry.
They combine a variety of STEM skills with leadership and problem-solving to supervise the design, installation, and monitoring of solar energy systems.
WHO ARE THEY?
Solar engineers are multi-tasking, problem-solving, leadership-oriented
professionals. They have knowledge in multiple fields of science and math
related to harnessing energy from the sun to power residential, commercial,
and industrial establishments. Solar engineers are comfortable designing and
implementing complex production plans, but also possess analytical minds for
troubleshooting and making adjustments. They collaborate with colleagues
and clients representing diverse areas of expertise and energy needs. Solar
engineers are approachable and easy to work with, but willing to raise difficult
questions to resolve issues. Successful solar engineers maximize the utility of
solar power to make sure the energy needs of both businesses and people are
met in a cost-effective manner.
WHAT DO THEY DO?
Solar engineers supervise the design, installation, and monitoring of systems
that provide solar energy to residences, offices, and factories. They conduct
audits to collect information about the characteristics and energy needs of
sites where solar power will be harnessed. They determine the materials,
equipment, and labor requirements for solar installation projects. Solar
engineers design customized systems that meet the needs of each site,
including solar panels, hot water heating systems, and space heating and
cooling units. They ensure that project plans minimize risks and comply with
government regulations. They use software to create connection diagrams for
solar-powered electric systems. Solar engineers provide detailed instructions
for teams who will install solar power and perform quality control and safety
checks during construction. Finally, they formulate plans for monitoring the
performance of systems that provide solar power.
HOW DO I BECOME ONE?
Solar engineers will need at a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a closely
related field. They will also need as many as 5 years of experience in the field
assisting with the design and development of solar power projects and energy
storage systems. Solar engineers also need
• Analytical skills for processing large amounts of information
• Interpersonal skills for collaborating with colleagues representing
different areas of expertise
• Problem-solving skills for identifying and correcting issues
• Decision-making skills for balancing conflicting information and data
• Math skills for measuring and analyzing data