The University of Nairobi's Solar Academy was launched in 2012 to develop the skills required to build and maintain Kenya's Photovoltaic (PV) sector. Course curriculum now completed by over 500 trainees involves designing, sizing, installation and IoT to share the benefits of solar to the public. An inaugural cohort of 41 trainees completed the T1 & T2 training in 2012 helping to start what is now a recognised brand and respected professional Solar PV qualification.

The course takes nine full days of study and takes place at Department of Physics at Chiromo Campus, University of Nairobi. Classes start at 8am and finish at 5pm. The T1& T2 training costs KShs.45,000/- for Kenyans, or USD 500 for non-Kenyans. A T3 training can be taken - KShs.50,000/ for Kenyans or USD 550 for non- Kenyans.

Skills you'll develop

  • Basics of Solar Electricity: solar radiation principles, measurement
  • Introduction to Photovoltaics: PV components, benefits, limitations, technology
  • Solar cell / Module Characterisation: current-voltage measurement, effect of shading, temperature, connection modes
  • PV system configurations & Mounting: DC, AC/DC stand alone, grid connect, pv power plants
  • Storage batteries: technologies, installation, connection, choice of batteries
  • Power conditioning: charge controller & inverter functions, technologies & criteria for choice
  • PV Appliances: types of appliances & their technologies including lighting, TV, radio, refrigeration, communication, security, water pumping
  • PV wiring: cable specifications, voltage drop, types of wiring, wiring diagrams, wire standards
  • PV System sizing: daily energy demand, system voltage, size of modules, batteries, controllers, cable sizing
  • PV system design, installation & commissioning: planning, safety, installation steps, system check & tests, earth rod resistance, RCD, continuity, user training
  • PV System maintenance: components maintenance, troubleshooting, records
  • Solar Lanterns: technologies, principles, standards, markets, cost benefit analysis
  • Entrepreneurship in PV: PV market in Kenya, PV payback period, constraints, policy


Must have Higher National Diploma in Electronics or higher, or have been active in solar work for at least two years.