About The Course

This course will provide a first-hand comprehensive discussion of crucial topics of different stages across the value chain of a grid-connected solar PV project. Issues like best practices of installation, field measurements on PV modules, O&M, EPC contract evaluation, quality assurance, Technical Due Diligence or module testing in the laboratory, will be highlighted focusing specifically on the challenges and best practices in order to ensure a clear understanding of what leads to a good or a poor result.

The content of the course not only focuses on technical aspects, it illustrates also the interface between technical results and commercial or financial interpretations bringing LTA and investors to a common ground allowing an interdisciplinary and  more accurate evaluation of technical outcomes with financial impact. This course has 60% of theory and 40% of practical experience in both PI Berlin´s IEC accredited laboratory and a 61MWp grid connected PV plant.

This course contains the knowhow of PV expertise acquired over almost one decade of intensive activities in mature and nascent markets in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Learning Outcomes

This course will be valuable to participants involved in any of the different stages of the value chain providing a global understanding of the deployment of PV projects.

Beginning with introductory aspects, the instructor will lead the participant through the natural course of PV projects including references to real projects in the past keeping a balanced mix between PV theory, hands-on practices, legal, commercial and academic topics. Through this multi-perspective approach the participant will gain a better understanding of the interface between different stakeholders. A visit to a large scale PV plant (61MWp) as well as the visit to the laboratory facilities of PI Berlin will constitute a perfect complement to the in-class training. Following topics will be specifically covered.

  • How to assess an investor from the technical perspective
  • Identifying risks in each project stage
  • How to differentiate between suitable and unsuitable sites for a plant location
  • How to structure and improve an O&M program
  • How to conduct a TDD
  • How to detect and interpret module failures in the field
  • Best practices to be applied during installation of PV Plants
  • Which guidelines must be applied to properly certify a PV plant
  • Identification of challenges in the deployment of SPV in new market
  • How to identify potential risks in EPC contracts
  • Practical training of IV curve tracing, electroluminescence and infrared technology
  • Practical training of visual inspection of modules and other components
  • Basic information about standardization, certification and accredidation
  • What is the role of an IEC accredited laboratory?
  • What testing packages are available for assessing the quality of PV modules?
  • What are the main tests conducted in an IEC accredited laboratory?
  • Witnessing of the relevant IEC tests: power measurement, ground continuity test, mechanical load and hail test

Who Should Attend

There are no prerequisites to attend this course but a basic knowledge of PV technology and PV systems will help to increase the understanding of the content shared during the 5 days of instruction.

  • Lenders
  • Project developers
  • Investors
  • EPCs
  • Project managers
  • Installers
  • Designers
  • Government policy makers
  • Module manufacturers

Expert Trainers

Asier Ukar is Senior Technical Manager of the Business Unit PV Systems at the PI-Photovoltaik Institut Berlin AG based in Berlin, Germany. He has 10 years of experience in deployment of multi-MW grid-connected PV systems with physical presence in Germany, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, the UK, Czech Republic, Chile, Brazil, Israel, Turkey, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria and India, being active in the Asian market since 2010. Asier Ukar has years of experience in the creation of feasibility studies, design of multi-MW PV plants, installation supervision, commissioning, energy yield assessment, tender process support, contract assessment and comprehensive quality assurance of large-scale grid-connected PV plants. The installed capacity of the power plants for which he has acted as a consultant range from 1MWp and 560MWp.

He is in charge of supervising the technical activities of the Business Unit PV Systems, developing tailor-made design and inspection packages, site-specific inspection concepts acting as on-site specialized supervisor with presence at key phases of projects. The Business unit PV Systems has been actively involved in the design, supervision, operation and refinancing of approximately 2.5 GWp of installed capacity since 2007 in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Asier Ukar acts as consultant for several banks, lenders, governmental authorities, EPCs and module manufacturers since 2008 and is responsible for the capacity building programs in PI Berlin AG since 2014. Asier Ukar regularly collaborates in scientific publications and is invited as a speaker at international conferences around the world. He is listed as an international expert in various organizations, including “Asian Development Bank” (ADB), the German “Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt” (PTB), “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit“ (GIZ) and the organ Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik “(DKE), which belongs to the German Institute Standards (DIN) and „Verband der Elektrotechnik, Elektronik und Informationstechnik“ (VDE). Asier Ukar holds a diploma in mechanical engineering from the University Karlsruhe, Germany (TU Karlsruhe) and speaks five languages.


Michael Schoppa is Head of the Business Unit PV Module Quality & Lab Services at the PI-Photovoltaik-Institut Berlin AG based in Berlin, Germany. He has over 10 years of experience in quality and material control of PV modules and components. Besides his deep knowledge of the relevant international standards and PV module certification systems, Mr. Schoppa is part of the national electrical standardization organization (DKE – the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies) which consists of German experts from industry, research and development.

Michael Schoppa has set up and supported several PV testing laboratories ever since he built up the testing laboratories of PI Berlin and PI China which both gained national accreditation and admission to the CB Scheme of IECEE under his lead. He has years of experience in establishing and implementing quality management systems and has a profound knowledge of PV production processes. As trained assessor for ISO 17025 accredited laboratories he conducted several inspections in laboratories and PV module production sites with a yearly production capacity of up to 4GW. Mr. Schoppa has carried out international projects of multi-MW PV plants located in Germany, Japan, China, India, Bulgaria, etc. in respect to the quality control of PV modules.

He is in charge of supervising the strategic and technical activities of the Business Unit PV Module Quality & Lab Services at PI Berlin. He has developed customized quality control plans for multi-MW PV projects which include the inspection of the module supplier and the modules it selves from the factory to final acceptance before shipment. Mr. Schoppa is also in charge of PV module certification according the relevant international standards for PV modules.

Michael Schoppa furthermore acts as technical consultant for TÜV Süd, banks, national metrology institutes, governmental authorities, EPCs and module manufacturers since 2006. He holds a diploma in environmental engineering and renewable energies from the University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Germany (HTW Berlin). From 2004 onwards Mr. Schoppa specialized in long term stability on new solar concepts working as a research assistant at the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and wrote his thesis on this topic at the Hahn Meitner Institut in Berlin. 2006 until 2007 he worked as a project engineer for the TÜV Rheinland in the field of international certification being in charge of customer support and supervision.


  • Total installed power: 84,7 MWp
  • More than 440,000 PV modules
  • Total surface: 210 Ha
  • Yearly production: approx. 83 GWh (equivalent to the energy consumption of 23.500 households)
  • Built on a former Russian military airport of the cold war (dismantled in 1989)
  • End of installation of the PV plant: 2011
  • In 2011 Finow was the biggest PV plant in Europe
  • More than 400 workers involved during the construction phase
This training course has a limited attendance for up to 20 participants only. Sessions commence at 9am on all days, with short intervals at 10.30am and 3.30pm respectively. Refreshments will be provided in the short intervals. Lunch will be provided at 12:30pm for 1 hour. Sessions will end at 5pm on all days.

Unique Features with powerEDGE Training

• Pre-Course Questionnaire to help us focus on your learning objectives
• Detailed Course & Reference Manual for Continuous Learning and Sharing
• Practical Exercises & Case Examples to better understand the principles
• Limited class size to ensure One-to-One Interactivity
• Assessment at the end of the course to help you develop a Personal Action Plan