Frequently Asked Questions

Please click each question to see the answer and re-click it to close the answer.

1. How do I register for your solar workshops?

Click Solar Registration on the Workshops page, or from the Home page click on the red Solar Workshops button, then click on the Register Now button. This takes you to the Registration form. You can print it out and mail it in with your check. You can also fill out the Registration form electronically, submit it, and then use PayPal to send your full payment.

2. Will I learn how to make a solar collector?

We will not have time to actually build a solar thermal collector, but you will learn how to build one with a variety of material options.

3. What does “drain-back” mean?

Drain-back refers to a freeze-proofing method for a solar hot water system. Another freeze-proofing method utilizes chemical anti-freeze as the liquid in the system. Drain-back systems utilize plain water. At night, or whenever the pump shuts off, the water all drains back into a storage reservoir inside the warm house.

4. How will I get credit for this workshop?

Upon completion of the 4-day course you will receive a Certificate of Completion that can be used as a credential for potential employment applications.

5. Will we learn theory or 'hands-on' practical, or both?

At Crestone Solar School instruction proceeds on three levels:
1. Theory, lectures and exercises from a class workbook,
2. Hands-on demonstrations and
3. Home tours to different residential installations in the area, including both solar thermal, photovoltaics, passive solar and alternative building techniques and materials.

6. What topics will you cover in the course?

A variety of topics covered in the 4-day intensive course are listed in the curriculum.

7. Is the emphasis on photovoltaics (solar electric) or solar thermal (hot water)?

The emphasis in the solar training at Crestone Solar School is on the fundamental principles of solar design which do not change like technology and materials change. Learning and mastering these fundamental principles allows you to be flexible and fluent in applying them to any aspect of solar design and application. This includes troubleshooting problems, being innovative and creative in technical design, as well as solar architecture. The workshop building is a living laboratory of solar energy design.

8. What do you mean by “residential” workshop?

Residential” means we will form a solar village during the 4-day intensive workshops. You are invited to bring camping equipment and find your favorite spot to camp on the land as well as enjoy gourmet meals prepared by a chef at well attended workshop sessions.

9. Are there any B&B’s nearby?

In the Crestone area many B&B’s offer great accommodations, should you prefer that option. Click here to visit local offerings.

10. How far are you from Denver?

Crestone is a 4-hour drive from Denver. Another option is a 1-hour small plane ride from Denver International Airport (DIA), which brings you into a small airport in Alamosa, Colorado, where you can rent a car.

11. What’s the best way to get to Crestone from Denver?

You can compare the car rental drive from Denver to the 1-hour small plane flight by visiting Great Lakes Airlines.

12. Can I get a job in the solar/wind industry after your course?

You will be qualified to apply for nearly any job in the solar industry by learning and mastering the solar instruction at Crestone Solar School.

13. What do I need to bring with me?

Please visit our What to Bring page to see the list. The Workshops page of this website has all the information you need to prepare.

14. Where can I find directions to your location in Crestone?

Please see the driving instructions map here.

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