SMA Service Training

Utility Power System Certification Program

Advanced Sunny Central Service Training (ASCST) Utility Power System
The Advanced Sunny Central Service Training (ASCST) on the Utility Power Systems Family of Central Inverters is a Three-Day, In-person, Hands-on Technical Training offered only at the SMA Service Center located at 3925 Atherton Road, Rocklin, California, 95765. The training IS NOT at the SMA Headquarters.

ASCST IS NOT an entry level course on solar energy. Attendees must have a solid background on photovoltaic technology and photovoltaic central inverters to be able to understand the classes and pass the tests.

Content Overview
The training, delivered 100 % of the time in front of live operable inverters, is about how to do preventive maintenance, how to safely operate the inverters, how to do basic troubleshooting to avoid unnecessary calls to the service line, how to extract data and how to communicate with the SMA Service Line in the event of a permanent or intermittent malfunction in order to maximize uptime. ASCST DOES NOT COVER how neither to commission inverters nor about how to replace components or do inverter repairs which are under the SMA competency.

Is this training for me ?
ASCST is intended for the O&M field personnel of qualified SMA customers who directly purchased inverters of the Utility Power System from SMA and do Operations and Maintenance of their own Sunny Central Inverters at utility-scale photovoltaic solar plants. The training is not for you if you are an O&M contractor or subcontractor.

Overview


Prerequisites

  • Employee of an existing qualified SMA Customer directly involved with the field Operations and Maintenance of Inverters of the Utility Power Systems like, for example, Sunny Central 1850-US, 2200 US, 2500 EV
  • Working knowledge of photovoltaic technology and Photovoltaic Central inverters.
  • Experienced professional PV electrician, PV installer, or PV engineer.
  • Pay in advance a non-refundable fee of $3,000 per person.


Not mandatory

  • It is not necessary to show a certificate but it is recommended to have NFPA 70E Electrical Safety Training or equivalent either at an accredited organization or Electrical Safety or Arc Flash Awareness training at the workplace.
  • It is recommended to read, before the in-person training , about the Inverters Utility Power System on the SMA Website
  • Do I have to study prerecorded webinars before attending the in-person training?
    No, you do not have to study prerecorded webinars before the Utility Power Systems in-person training.


Included in the Training Fee

  • In-person instruction.
  • Training material : thumb drive with more than 4,000 pages of inverter technical information, operation and maintenance manuals
  • Hard copy of Operation Manual, Circuit Diagram, Service Line Call Procedure, SC Event Codes and Preventive Maintenance Form.
  • Continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments.


Not included in the training fee

  • Travel expenses, hotel and dinner.


Activities

  • Review of Electrical Safety :How to safely approach the inverter and minimize the risk of exposure to electric shock and arc flash. Lock out Tag Out.
  • Components and functionality of DC, AC Auxiliary Power, Cooling, Communication , Data Logging and Monitoring.
  • Live sequence of operation and inverter interaction with the PV array and utility grid during sunrise, power production and sunset.
  • Troubleshooting scenarios of utility grid, PV array and internal errors.
  • How to communicate with the inverter, evaluate the operational status, read event and error codes, extract and exchange data with the SMA service line.
  • How to read circuit diagrams and identify components and part numbers.
  • How to perform and document the preventive maintenance requirements to maximize the system uptime and retain the SMA warranty.

FAQ


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
PLEASE READ AND ACKNOWLEDGE EACH FAQ

Q. Where is the ASCST training seminar for Utility Power System?
A.ASCST training seminar for Utility Power System is delivered only at the SMA America Service Center. The address is: 3925 Atherton Road, Rocklin, California 95765.
Phone 916-625-0870. THE TRAINING IS NOT AT THE SMA HEADQUARTERS.

Q. When do you provide ASCST seminars for Utility Power System?
A.
Once a month or every other Month on 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?
A.
Yes, please click on one of the links below for more information on that hotel:
- TownePlace Suites     - SpringHill Suites

Q. Do you provide the ASCST on the Utility Power System in the field or at another location other than Rocklin?
A.
No SMA only offers this training at the training facility of the Service Center in Rocklin, California because it has all the technology and organization focused on learning in a controlled safety environment with the capability of live inverter operation up to 1,500 VDC and 400 VAC.

Q. Can you give the seminar on Utility Power System in Spanish at our site Latin America with all the presentations and manuals in Spanish?
A.
No . We provide ASCST in Spanish at specific dates only at the training facility of the SMA Service Center in Rocklin, CA, but not all of the supporting material is offered in Spanish.

Q. Are we going to learn how to replace components like control boards, IGBT bridge and contactors?
A. No. We do not cover components replacement.

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 and outside the training room.

Q. Will I have opportunity to check emails, texts messages , make phone calls?
A. Yes. We give attendees 15 minute breaks every 45 minutes of class to check e-mails, make phone calls and take a coffee break. You cannot have your cell phone with you during the classes. You have to leave it off , in the break room outside the training room. If you cannot be 45 minutes without your cell phone, laptop, or tablet you cannot attend this training.

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 plants so I assume that the training is on the specific configuration of each of our solar plants 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 Utility Power System Family but not a specific model, size or option code. The training is not geared towards any specific company, site, inverter model, platform model or Inverter configuration. The training does not cover site specific topics and does not answer pending or current issues of any specific site . For site specific questions you have to contact in advance the SMA Project Manager assigned to your Solar Plant. There are no meetings with any person of SMA during the classes. The content of the classes is the same even if all the 6 attendees are from your company and even from your same solar plant because it is impossible to develop specific material of the thousands of solar plants in operation.

Q. Do we receive a printed handout of all the presentation slides before each class?
A. No. Only manuals and technical documentation.

Q. Is this an easy class to participate in the quizzes easy to pass?
A. The classes and quizzes demand a lot of focused attention and they are relatively easy if you have the background on Photovoltaic Theory, PV balance of system components and PV Central Inverters. The training is an intensive 24 hour course delivered in three consecutive days of 8 hours each day. There are quizzes during each class based on the content of the presentations and on the practical lab activities in front of the inverters.

Q. What happens if I don’t pass the tests?
A. You don’t get the certificate and have only one more chance to register again to a future training event, pay again, attend again and take the test again. Out of hundreds of attendees, less than 1 % failed.

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.

Schedule


Please click on the individual links below for more information and to register for a seminar:

December 12-14, 2017