Advanced Sunny Central Service Training (ASCST)
ASCST is composed of ten hours of online prerecorded webinars and three-day- in-person--hands-on technical training. Registered attendees study the prerecorded webinars at home before attending the in-person training at the SMA Service Center in Rocklin, California.
ASCST is intended for the field personnel of qualified SMA customers directly involved in the operations and maintenance of the Sunny Central CP family of central inverters for utility-scale photovoltaic solar parks. ASCST does not cover the scope of a PV 101 course. Attendees must have a solid background on photovoltaic technology and study the prerecorded webinars to be able to understand the classes and pass the test.
Preventive Maintenance. The Advanced Sunny Central Service Training does not include commissioning or component replacement. Theory of operation of Sunny Central CP family of inverters and their individual components. How to safely operate the inverters, identify the faults, extract data and exchange information with the SMA service line to maximize uptime.
100 % of the instruction time is in a Lab in front of live, fully operational Central inverters. Because of safety and practical reasons, the maximum number of attendees is limited to 6 and is only delivered at our Service Center in Rocklin, which is configured for a safe, live environment.
Included in the Training Fee
Not included in the training fee
Travel expenses, hotel and dinner.
Q. Where is the ASCST training seminar?
A. The ASCST seminar is delivered only at the SMA America Service Center. The address is: 3925 Atherton Road, Rocklin, California 95765. Phone 916-625-0870
Q. Is the SMA Service Center at the same building as the SMA America headquarters?
A. No. The headquarters of SMA America are at 6020 West Oaks Boulevard, Rocklin, CA, less than a mile from the Service Center.
Q. When do you provide ASCST seminars?
A. There are two pre-scheduled seminar slots per month. Each slot is three days of class: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm.
Q. What is the closest airport to Rocklin?
A. Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is the closest airport. It is located within a 45 minute drive from Rocklin. Due to frequent traffic delays your return flight on the last day of training (Thursday) should have a departure time no earlier than 7 pm.
Q. Are there any hotels and restaurants close to the SMA Service Center?
A. Yes, there are at least 10 hotels and 15 restaurants in the Rocklin area within a 15 minute drive from the Service Center. SMA provides continental breakfast, lunch and refreshment breaks during the classes and lab. Hotel accommodations must be paid and arranged by the attendees.
Q. Are there any hotels that offer discount rates if I say I’m taking a training seminar at SMA America?
Q. Do you provide the ASCST seminar at any location other than Rocklin?
A. SMA only offers this training in Rocklin because the seminar requires a controlled safety environment with the capability of live simulation of inverter operation up to 1,000 VDC and 400 VAC.
Q. Can you give the seminar in Spanish at our site in Mexico with all the presentations and manuals in Spanish?
A. We can provide ASCST in Spanish only at the Service Center in Rocklin, CA, but not all of the supporting material is offered in Spanish.
Q. How many attendees can I book?
A. You can book 1 to 6 attendees. If you book 1 to 5 persons, you and/or your group, may share the training with other companies’ attendees at the available dates.
Q. Are we going to learn how to replace components like control boards, IGBT bridge and contactors?
A. No. We cover a visual, conceptual overview of basic component replacements like a power supply, a filter capacitor and a fan but we do not teach how to replace every component.
Q. Do I need a laptop computer or tablet during the training?
A. You do not need a computer, laptop, cell phone, calculator or tablet during the training. For safety reasons, please do not take any personal electronic devices to the lab and we respectfully ask that you leave them off while in the training room.
Q. Will I have opportunity to check emails, texts etc.?
A. Yes. We give attendees 15 minute breaks every 45 minutes of class to check e-mails and make phone calls. If you have to make an urgent call please feel free to step out the classroom or lab.
Q. Do I have to wear specific clothing and take my PPE to the class?
A. No. Please wear comfortable work clothing, preferably arc rated.
Q. We buy different models of inverters from SMA for different solar parks so I assume that in the seminar you will focus on the specific configuration of each of our solar parks and each of the models with our option codes.
A. Unfortunately that is not possible. The ASCST covers the most common and aggressive configurations of the Sunny Central CP family but not a specific model, size or option code. The training is not geared towards a specific company, site, inverter model, MVPP platform model or Inverter configuration.
Q. Where can I find the links to the prerequisite webinars and how much time does it take to study them?
A. You will receive the links to the webinars after registration. It takes a minimum of 10 hours to study the webinars. There are questions during the class and in the test based on the content of the webinars. Each webinar has a maximum duration of 90 minutes. To view the webinar click on the corresponding link, enter the password and wait a couple of minutes for the WebEx player to buffer the video. You can stop, playback, rewind and play again as many times as you want.
Q. Is this an easy class to participate in?
A. It is easy if you have the background on photovoltaic theory, PV balance of system components, PV inverters and you have studied the webinars. The in-person training is an intensive 24 hour course delivered in three consecutive days of 8 hours each day. There are questions in the daily quizzes and on the test based on the content of the presentations and on the practical lab activities in front of the inverters. At the end of the first day of training you can take all the study material to your hotel, review it and check if you have questions for the instructor on the second and third day of training. Remember to bring back the material to the classroom as you will need it for the class and the test.
Q. Do we receive a printed handout of all the presentation slides before each class?
A. No, you will receive a printed hand out only at the end of the third day just before taking the final test. We provide note pads and pens to take notes during the class.
Q. Is the test easy to pass?
A. It is easy if you have a solid background on photovoltaic technology, studied the webinars and passed the daily quizzes. The test is written with digital entry open-book. To pass the final test itself you need at least 75 % of correct answers. Remember that the final test score is averaged with the quiz scores. There is only one correct answer per question. Check the training material. If you don’t know the correct answer, do not guess and continue with the next question. A question without an answer is considered incorrect so it does impact negatively on your score. No cell phones, laptop computers, tablets or any electronic device is allowed during the test.
Q. Do I get to know the right answers?
A. At the end of the test and after all examinees have turned in their tests, the instructor will lead a round of revision of the questions and answers with participation of each of the attendees so everybody has the chance to learn the correct answers. The actual tests of each attendee are kept confidential and on file at SMA.
Q. How are the test results scored?
A. The test will be scored as passing or failing. The actual score as a percentage is kept confidential by SMA. SMA will not provide a copy of the test to any examinee nor any other person. Examinees who do not pass the test can request a transcription of only the questions they answered incorrectly.
Q. Are there any rules to follow in the certification process?
A. To be able to attend the training the candidate has to be willing to follow a few rules to protect the certification integrity. A candidate cannot take the test without attending the full three day in-person training. There is only one certificate issued to candidates who pass the test. The title of the certificate is “SMA Certified Technician of Advanced Sunny Central Service Training of the CP Family of Central Inverters.” If the candidate does not pass the test, he/she has to repeat the steps which include paying the fee, attending the classes and taking the test again. Candidates who do not pass the test will not get a certificate of attendance to indicate that they just attended the training but did not pass the test. The Certificate does not have expiration date. It is limited to the Sunny Central CP family of central inverters so if SMA releases a new model or family of models of central inverters or equivalent technology, the candidates may need to follow the steps for the corresponding new line of products.
Q. How do I get my certificate?
A. SMA will send the certificate in PDF Format by e-mail within a business week to the group coordinator or training coordinator of the company or organization for whom the examinee works. The e-mail will also show who passed and who failed in the test. SMA will not send the certificate to each individual who passed the test. Likewise, SMA will not send any notification to each individual who did not pass the test. SMA will not endorse nor recommend examinees to current employers or prospective employers of the examinee. Only upon request of the examinee, and in exceptional cases, SMA will disclose to a third party that the examinee is certified.