Available Workshops

(for a list of upcoming educational events see our events page)

Presented by the New York Solar Energy Society


(Prices may need adjustment depending upon travel expenses and for larger groups. )

60W PV Module Assembly Instruction (1 or 2 day program)

1 or 2 days depending on the number of participants, and the skill level (HS aged students are the easiest to teach!). The list of materials for ten, 60W (DC) modules and step-by-step procedures are provided at the workshop. Soldering experience helpful but not required. Each class begins working on the first half of the process of making a module. After the solar cells are completely covered by a clear encapsulant, a dry, half completed module is used to complete the workshop. One module is completed and tested. The “wet” module is left with the instructor for the next class.

$1750 for the two day workshop including all parts and tools
$1150 for the one day workshop including all parts and tools

PV Battery Charger Workshop

(AA, C, D size batteries, either alkaline or NiCad)
3" x 6" PV cells to be cut for the correct size during the workshop. Some breakage occurs during inexperienced cutting. Solder/ribbon wire, white charger case, plastic cover, screws and metal battery holders supplied. Usually 15 – 20 participants share five soldering irons.

$20.00 parts per participant
$950 Facilitator charge for the one day workshop

PV Cell Phone Charger Workshop (not for I-phones)

8" x 10" glass picture frame set, 3 to 4PV cells to be cut to size for cell phone charger size [amp], oil based paint (for 10 - 15 kits), soldering ribbon and wire, silicon clear; silicone caulk, plus the tools, 10 irons, solder.

$20.00 parts per participant (Important ! …bring an extra ‘charger’ cord for your phone)
$950 Facilitator charge for the one day workshop

Solar Thermal Hot Water Collector

Hot water collector (as in Maine Solar Primer) - Recycled glass or new $100.00, One insulation 4'x 8'x 1", isocyanuride, plus one 4’x 8’ x 2”, ISO sheet, plumbing fixtures and tubing (actual size determined by glass size), Butane cartridge, burner and plumbing solder, silicone caulk / adhesive, assorted hardware, screws and edging, 1” x 4” boards for frame of collector, 4’ x 8’ plywood sheet for back (option for 'glass' backing sheet, as we have seen that the plywood backing sheet will decay with moisture, after a time due to condensation).

$250 for parts per SHW collector
$950 Facilitator charge for the one day workshop

Solar Thermal Hot Air Collector (“Sun-grabber” window insert or solar wall heater)

This hot-air collector (sun-grabber, as described in The Maine Solar Primer, see the page included for description) , uses recycled glass piece, tempered preferred 5' x 3’ and a 5' x 3' metal sheet for air flow director / restrictor. Build with 1" x 6" wood for collector frame, one sheet (4’ x 8’) 3/4" plywood CDR (ext), one 4’ x 8’ x 1" ISO. Sheet - insulation, caulk / adhesive, hardware, screws and edging, black paint.

$125.00 total parts (for the optional full price tempered glass please add $80.)
$950 Facilitator charge for the one day workshop

PV / Thermal Hybrid Collector … (2-Part workshop)

Which is a combo, PV and hot-water collector, (the hot water side, removes the excess heat caused by the concentrated sun-light on the PV side), resulting in additional PV electricity, as well as the hot-water, collected in a pre-heated, solar tank, and used to reduce the fossil fuel necessary to bring the water to the required usable temperature. (The parts are a combined cost of the hot-water collector, plus a 100W PV module, with additional fin behind the PV for heat take-off.)

Parts: $450.00 (approx.) determined by supplies and materials for one hybrid collector.
Facilitator charge: $1500 for two days. It is necessary for the encapsulation process to set-up for a few days between each workshop day. (Two weekends work well.)

Workshop Intensive Series

“Train the Trainer!” Please contact www.NYSES.org for further information.

The hybrid solar hot-water/PV collector, solar hot-water collector and solar hot-air collector require a ‘tempered’ glass piece (possibly a patio door glass),) that we get through re-cycling an old broken insulated patio door where one piece of glass can be saved. The exact size of the collector is determined by the actual size of the glass piece. (Tempered glass cannot be cut !) There are other, more expensive options, like buying specific size, new, tempered glass.   Please see The Maine Solar Primer pages provided at the workshop for the projects that we will work on that day. There are other solar projects in the Primer, which can be part of solar workshops. MESEA sells the Primer, as a fundraising effort, for the work in the developing world, www.mainesolar.org. (Re-cycled materials are used when available, which will affect the parts cost.)

Half-Day Workshops

  • Each workshop lasts 3 hours. Includes question and answer period.
  • Registration: $ 85.00 Early registration $60.0 Workbook materials provided.
  • Breakfast or lunch available for $15.00 per participant.

I. Sustainable Designs for New Buildings:
Choosing Passive Solar and Renewables

How to get to zero emissions of carbon from your home. How close to zero is necessary and for which lifestyle. What exactly is passive solar energy and how does it heat a home? For your new home or for renovating an existing building three things must be on the top of the list: winter sun, insulation and insulation. Daryl and his other brother Daryl.

  • Eliminate energy waste.
  • Save on energy bills.
  • Be independent.

A little knowledge goes a long way. Sure you are use to flipping the switch. Granted “change” is a dirty word for some of us. But, our air we breathe is dirty and our lakes and fish are full of mercury so if we use continue to use coal plants and drive polluting cars we will have more respiratory disease like asthma, feel sick outside and pay multinational utilities our hard earned local money.

Site design, building orientation, insulation, ventilation, airtight, materials and resources. Planning for land use, transportation alternatives, landscaping and water issues.

II. Energy Efficient Renovations

Prioritize your “retrofit laundry list” for all the most significant renovations for your home or building. Knowledge to choose cost-effective improvements and how to finance these improvements. Understand building science and conservation of energy as a lifestyle.

Prepare homeowner to evaluate the causes of energy waste and explain advantages of possible renovations such as lighting, insulation, appliances, windows, doors, better air flow, renewable energy solutions for heat, hot water and electricity.

Building Performance Institute (BPI)

III. Healthy Buildings: Energy and Air Quality

Professional workshop for homeowners, architects, engineers and builders.

acquaint participants with the keys to design for indoor environmental quality. What are the materials and resources in the marketplace today?
Topics addressed
ventilation, moisture problems, hazardous air, airtight solutions, thermal comfort, pest control.

IV. Investing in Energy Saving Technology

What is available and how much does it cost? Understanding the benefits long-term and short-term, the regulatory aspects and incentives in a time of uncertainty.

What is renewable energy and how does it work, where is it going to fit, how much does it cost and how is it financed (sometimes for free). Hint: energy savings.

V. Hands-On Workshop

Learn the basics of solar thermal systems which heat water for domestic and commercial use as well as for radiant floor heating. Spend time going over a solar thermal demo unit to clarify each component. Every building is different and there are many application to consider. Learn which one is right for you.

VI. Coop/Condo/Multi-unit Buildings

Understanding how the dynamics of the shell of the building and the individual units function, how to make them energy efficient and how to finance renovations.

VII. Low-income Housing

Design features to conserve energy resulting in lower monthly bills. Save money and pay for energy upgrades. Financing multifamily, renewable energy powered buildings.

VIII. Solar Home & Building Tours

See what a passive solar building is, visit with the architects, builders and owners. Watch an electric meter spin backwards. Wonder if you can make the choice to live comfortably with renewable energy and sustainability. Discover sustainable design as a way of thinking.


  • Solar Ovens or Solar Cookers - 11 – 2 pm, sunny day
  • Energy Efficiency for Your Home – 1 hour
  • Deep Energy Retrofits – 1 hour
  • Solar Thermal Hot Water – 3 hours, demo unit
  • Photovoltaics 101 – 1 hour
  • Remodel and Retrofit Principles – 1 hour
  • Photons, Atmosphere and Carbon - 1 hour
  • Poster Contest
  • K-12 (and adult) programs.

Each session is audience participatory with time for questions. We work with you to define your needs and suggest appropriate lessons.