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Solar thermal installers install and maintain solar energy systems that are designed for running solar-powered hot water systems for residential, commercial, and even industrial use. This position is often called by other names such as, solar energy system installers, solar thermal repair technicians, and solar hot water thermal installers. These systems are used in swimming pools, heating and cooling, water power generators, and domestic water heater devices.
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Solar thermal installers plan the layout of all of the components of the solar-powered systems. They plan and install the tanks, pipes and other components of the hot water systems. They also plan and install the solar panels in the correct areas so as to gain the most sun power possible for the residence or building. They perform all of the aspects of installation of solar-powered hot water systems. From the plumbing and tanks, to the electrical components, they are responsible for the total installation.
Not only are they responsible for the installation, but they also must perform routine maintenance and repair on all of the components of the systems. They use different tools to make sure that the solar panels are functioning correctly and absorbing the sun power that they should. Through the use of smart phones and laptops, they analyze the solar site shade to be sure that the panels are working in an optimized manner.
With so many different duties that may be possible with this type of work, it can vary greatly from company to company and even in different countries and states. Some installers deal with all aspects of the install, maintenance, and repair. Some companies have electricians and plumbers that deal with some aspects of the job and allow for the solar thermal installer to be more focused on the solar panel programs and equipment.
This job may not be for everyone. The position can require the installer to be in danger throughout the job. They face weather conditions, falls from high buildings, and electric dangers. The installer must follow all safety protocols to be sure that they are safe and secure as they work alone or with coworkers.
Most companies require at least a high school diploma for their installers. Entry level positions often include on-the-job training. Most installers must have the skills of traditional plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and HVAC workers. Though they must have these skills, they lean more towards the knowledge of solar power and the earth-friendly means of creating power from the sun.
There are now many colleges that offer associate degrees in solar thermal power technology. These degree programs can teach the installer all of the methods of working with solar power technology in the field of hot water generation. This type of education can help them to get their foot in the door with a company much faster.
Many solar thermal installers begin their careers in the construction field. They begin working with solar power through construction and learn under an apprenticeship type of experience. These construction workers end up transferring to the solar thermal field because of the trade that they learn under the construction apprenticeship.
The requirements for a solar thermal installer involve the ability to lift heavy items for installation. They should be able to handle heights of all degrees and small spaces that are quite confined. This job involves a lot of physical exertion.
The workplace of a solar thermal installer is normally outdoors and in all types of weather conditions. The installer works on the tops of roofs and in small spaces. They are moving and lifting throughout the day to get solar systems installed.
Installers may also be required to travel from installation site to site. They may work primarily alone or with a group of other professionals, such as plumbers and electricians. This can be a dirty job as the installer is exposed to all types of conditions and situations.
The installer may be high on a building installing solar panels, or digging into the dirt to install plumbing pipes. They may have to deal with water leaks and all other sorts of maintenance problems. Many find the dangers and messiness of the job to be a downside so, an installer must be prepared for all types of environments while they are working.