Frostburg course teaches solar panel installation

CUMBERLAND, MARYLAND - A Frostburg State University program is teaching adults from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast how to install solar panels and wind power generation systems.

Professor Hilkat Soysal coordinates the eight-week online course, which includes four days of onsite workshops.

"We have 31 students from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and we even have an international student from Barbados," Soysal said.

The course teaches photovoltaic/wind systems and resource assessments, system components, sizing, wiring, controls, the National Electric Code, building and zoning codes and different photovoltaic and wind generation system demonstrations.

"I'm interested in renewable energy sources, and I wanted to get certified," said Sheila Hyde, who works at Winters General Contractors in Oakland. She wants to use solar panels to heat her swimming pool.

The class prepares students to take the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Inc. certification test.

Doug Wilson of Waynesboro, Pa., said the course lined up with his interest in renewable energy. His interest was kindled by a trying experience in Florida after a hurricane.

"When I lived in Florida, I was on a generator for 13 days after a hurricane, and you don't realize how much power you use," he said.


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