A solar contractor installs, modifies, maintains, and repairs active solar energy systems. An active solar energy system consists of components which are thermally isolated from the living space for collection of solar energy and transfer of thermal energy to provide electricity and/or heating and cooling of air or water. Active solar energy systems include, but are not limited to, forced air systems, forced circulation water systems, thermosiphon systems, integral collector/storage systems, radiant systems, evaporative cooling systems with collectors, regenerative rockbed cooling systems, photovoltaic cells, and solar assisted absorption cooling systems.
A licensee classified in this section shall not undertake or perform building or construction trades, crafts or skills, except when required to install an active solar energy system. The C-46 classification will be issued after development of an examination. (Note: Development of the examination has been completed.)
Authority cited: Sections 7008 and 7059, Reference: Sections 7058 and 7059 (Business and Professions Code)
Content of the Examination
The Solar (C-46) examination is divided into six major sections. These sections are:
1. Solar Design Engineering (18%)
Evaluate client needs and site feasibility
Read and draw plans
Estimate job cost
2. Safety (18%)
Protect public from safety hazards
Identify and correct unsafe working conditions
Handle hazardous materials
3. Solar Collector Installation (18%)
Install roof mount collectors
Install ground mount collectors
4. Service and Maintenance (16%)
Evaluate PV systems
Evaluate thermal systems
Repair and replace components
5. Solar Thermal Installation (15%)
Install domestic hot water systems
Install pool heating systems
Install radiant and forced air systems
6. Photovoltaic (PV) System Installation (15%)
Install basic PV systems
Install battery back-up systems
Interface with utility grid
*Percentages are approximate*
The following questions are typical of the types of items that are on the examination. The correct answer is highlighted.
1. Which of the following valves would open to relieve internal pressure in a vessel?
T & P valve
pressure reducing valve
2. At what current do thermal control sensors typically operate?
3. What does the NEC require in a 120 v residential electrical circuit located in a garage?
*All questions are written and reviewed by licensed contractors who are actively working in the field*
A Guide to Photovoltaic (PV) System Design and Installation Consultant Report # 500-01-020.