What Do Solar Energy Systems Engineers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Job Description

Job Description

Solar Energy Systems Engineers perform site-specific engineering analysis or evaluation of energy efficiency and solar projects involving residential, commercial, or industrial customers. Design solar domestic hot water and space heating systems for new and existing structures, applying knowledge of structural energy requirements, local climates, solar technology, and thermodynamics. They also create plans for solar energy system development, monitoring, and evaluation activities.

Other tasks include:

  • Conduct engineering site audits to collect structural, electrical, and related site information for use in the design of residential or commercial solar power systems.
  • Design or coordinate design of photovoltaic (PV) or solar thermal systems, including system components, for residential and commercial buildings.
  • Create electrical single-line diagrams, panel schedules, or connection diagrams for solar electric systems, using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  • Review specifications and recommend engineering or manufacturing changes to achieve solar design objectives.
  • Develop design specifications and functional requirements for residential, commercial, or industrial solar energy systems or components.
  • Provide technical direction or support to installation teams during installation, start-up, testing, system commissioning, or performance monitoring.

We asked Solar Energy Systems Engineers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

70%

How meaningful is this job

60%


70% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 60% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Solar Energy Systems Engineers create plans for solar energy system development, monitoring, and evaluation activities. They review specifications and recommend engineering or manufacturing changes to achieve solar design objectives.

  • Design or coordinate design of photovoltaic (PV) or solar thermal systems, including system components, for residential and commercial buildings.
  • Create electrical single-line diagrams, panel schedules, or connection diagrams for solar electric systems, using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  • Perform thermal, stress, or cost reduction analyses for solar systems.
  • Provide technical direction or support to installation teams during installation, start-up, testing, system commissioning, or performance monitoring.
  • Perform computer simulation of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation system performance or energy production to optimize efficiency.

We asked some Solar Energy Systems Engineers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 82% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 32% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 59% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 9% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 23% said yes


Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Solar Energy Systems Engineers also perform thermal, stress, or cost reduction analyses for solar systems. They may also perform computer simulation of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation system performance or energy production to optimize efficiency.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Solar Energy Systems Engineers Conduct engineering site audits to collect structural, electrical, and related site information for use in the design of residential or commercial solar power systems. They might also Create checklists for review or inspection of completed solar installation projects.

In addition, they Develop design specifications and functional requirements for residential, commercial, or industrial solar energy systems or components.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Test or evaluate photovoltaic (PV) cells or modules.

To some Solar Energy Systems Engineers, it is also their responsibility to Create plans for solar energy system development, monitoring, and evaluation activities.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Irregular work schedule that changes depending on weather conditions, customer demand or contract duration.

In a typical work week as a Solar Energy Systems Engineer, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Solar Energy Systems Engineers work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
55%


Never
14%


Do Solar Energy Systems Engineers work outdoors?

Once a year
32%


Every day
27%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Thinkers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



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Related to Solar Energy Systems Engineers Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/green/solar_power/



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