New dates to be announced
This course runs from 10am to 4.00pm in Stanmer Park, Brighton.
Learn how to design and install off-grid and on-grid photovoltaic energy systems in the beautiful setting of Earthship Brighton.
What will the Introduction to photovoltaics course cover?
The course will cover the basics of photovoltaics, from system design and load calculation through to the various types of solar panels, batteries and inverters and their suitability in different situations. The afternoon will be spent setting up a small photovoltaic system and will include a tour of the award winning Earthship Brighton.
The day is aimed at those who wish to get a broad introduction to renewable energy technologies, as well as those wishing to install a photovoltaic energy system for power, as well as for water and/or space heating. See Andy’s article on the latest developments in solar here: Water and space heating from solar
Please bring a basic calculator to use during the day.
A taste of what you’ll learn
View a video from Andy about the course here: https://www.youtube.com/embed/oG0Xmb3jBmU
Who is the Introduction to photovoltaics course for?
This course is open to anyone aged 16 or over. It is for anyone wishing to learn how to make a small scale basic solar electric energy system for domestic or other similar purpose. It is suitable for people who are familiar with electrics.
Complete beginners should take the Setting up a solar battery course before attending this course.
Brighton Permaculture Trust aims to meet the needs of participants with physical disabilities and leaning difficulties. If you have any issues which you feel may affect your ability to attend or participate in this course/event, please contact us to discuss them prior to booking.
Learning methods and outcomes
Participants will learn about photovoltaic systems, from the basics of electricity, batteries, panel types and inverters through to designing a basic off-grid or on-grid system. The course includes slides, discussions, a practical session wiring up and testing a small off-grid photovoltaic system and a tour of Earthship Brighton. Course participants who complete the entire course will receive a certificate, which will be sent via email after the course.
Andy Reynolds is a long-term practitioner in low-impact living and the associated technologies, who has been building and using wind and solar systems since the late 80s. He runs his home almost entirely from home-generated renewable energy and is the author of Wind & Solar Electricity: A practical DIY guide.
Daniel Holloway will be assisting. Daniel is a designer and maker of sustainable systems, mechanical and ecological with permaculture as an underlying influence.
Stanmer Park (near University of Sussex)
South East England
Get directions to Stanmer Park.
If you intend to book accommodation, please check availability before booking a place, as accommodation in Brighton can be hard to find, especially over the summer months.
Get details on local accommodation and Brighton Permaculture Trust supporters who can provide accommodation in their homes.
No reading is required prior to the Introduction to photovoltaics course. The resources listed here are recommendations only:
- Participants will each receive a free copy of Wind & Solar Electricity: A practical DIY guide by Andy Reynolds (3rd edition)
- Wind and solar electricity ideas, tests, and projects: YouTube playlist by Andy Reynolds
- Low Impact Living Initiative
- Off the Grid by Duncan Keridge (out of print)
- Wind & Sun
- Home Power Magazine
- Green Building Bible
- The Low Carbon Trust links page is a very useful resource.
- The Centre for Alternative Technology has a wealth of useful resources on renewable energy.
Fees include tuition, refreshments and information sheets.
- £260 – Sponsored/organisation rate
- £260– Individual income more than 25k/yr
- £210 – Individual income 18-25k/yr
- £160 – Individual income less than 18k/yr
- £110 – Individual, concessionary rate (check your eligibility)*
* Concessionary places are limited. If places are not available check back two weeks before the course/event as more may be available then.
We endeavour to make our courses and events affordable to all. Unfortunately, we do not receive any external funding for most of these and rely on large amounts of voluntary input.
See the cancellations and refunds policy.
Booking the Introduction to photovoltaics course
Booking is essential, as most of our courses/events are fully booked weeks in advance. However, if places are still available, then bookings can be made until midday the day before the course. A place is not secured until we have received the requested payment.
If you have completed the booking process but you haven’t received a confirmation email from us please contact us to check your booking has gone through.
If you are booking within two weeks of the event, or the event is nearly full, you will not have the option to pay by cheque or BACS. Instead, you will need to pay immediately using a credit/debit card or PayPal.
Booking link coming soon!
"Fascinating seeing the Earthship and I now feel fairly confident about being able to make my own solar installation."
"I was hoping to leave the course with a basic understanding of off grid solar but left with enough knowledge to actually build a system. I would highly recommend anyone to attend, as we should all be aware of solar power."
"Although the course addressed diverse goals and levels of technical understanding I obtained an understanding of solar energy and panels that will help me take a better informed decision about having them for heating my home."
"What better place to hold a solar PV course than in an Earthship?"
"Well structured, good amount of information (not too much but enough to be satisfied) and taught well. Friendly and engaged tutors/volunteers - and participants!"