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NABCEP Entry Level Certificate of 

Knowledge Exam Preparation

Photo-Merritt Community College PV students preparing for the NABCEP Entry Level Certificate of Knowledge Exam after class 5/29/08

NABCEP stands for North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners

Here is the NABCEP website:

The best way to prepare for the exam in 2016 and beyond is by studying Sean White's bookSolar Photovoltaic Basics:

This book was written to be the most time efficient way to study for the exam. There are many other great books, but this one gets to the point of passing the NABCEP Entry Level Exam.

Sean White also teaches online courses at HeatSpring that go by his three books and prepare students to take all NABCEP PV Exams. The HeatSpring Online course includes the price and enrollment for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam.

The book is also recommended for many other great NABCEP Entry Level Courses.

This NABCEP Entry Level Mobile Study Guide below is popular, yet outdated. It is designed to fit in your pocket, so you can study anywhere anytime.

Here is a link to the NABCEP study guide for the more advanced installers exam. It has a lot of information in it and I would at least read it, since it was written by the people who wrote the NABCEP exams. There is also a test at the end, with answers. I think you should go through this very completely. Some of the detail is not relevant to our test, such as the numbers of the codes and regulations. Here it is:

The website also lists where classes are offered that administer the NABCEP Entry Level Certificate of Knowledge Exam. Additionally, you can find a lot more information on the website to study.

The Solar Living Institute offers many great courses and workshops: .

If you can take a course at Diablo Valley College in PV taught by Tom, you would be well advised to do so. His classes are always full, so plan ahead at . He also trains teachers.

One of the best books to buy to study for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam and to learn the latest on installing & designing PV systems is called Photovoltaic Systems. The book is very new and you can not get it at the normal outlets. (The Author, Jim Dunlop is on the NABCEP board of directors).

Here are some places to see & buy Photovoltaic Systems that I found on the internet: $70 new $70 new ($51 used, but they probably don't have it)

I just bid on a PV Systems book on ebay.

If you can not easily figure out how to solve for every factor in Ohms Law: V=IR & Watts=Volts x Amps, you should study algebra. You should be able to solve for Volts, Watts, Amps or Resistance.

Better yet, take a course at a community college in algebra or even check out a basic algebra text book at the library.

The other best book that has been around a while longer is Photovoltaics Design & Installation Manual by Solar Energy International. You can find the book many places and at their website at:

They also have many great programs.

The magazine that all PV people read is: Home Power Magazine.

Home Power Magazine recently came out with a magazine specifically for Solar Installers:

Solar Pro Magazine.

This is where you can get some practical experience installing:

A really great resource and place for networking is the Pacific Energy Center. There is the best location in San Francisco and other locations in Stockton & Tulare. They also have classes at other locations. To search for solar related classes, I go here: and drop down on the bottom form for solar and then search. The PEC website is: The PEC classes are free and include free lunches usually, which are very good. I highly recommend the PEC. It changed my life!

Here is a very helpful webpage with links to everywhere that you should look to further educate yourself on PV and get a job, including the Solar Living Institute and almost all of the solar organizations in the world:

Good luck!

Sean White

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