Season 5 • Episode 7

The Basics of Photovoltaics


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Made possible with support from the Sally Mead Hands Foundation.

About Season 5 Episode 7: The Basics of Photovoltaics

Ever wondered how solar panels work? Or how the solar industry has grown over the years? Or how to ensure a quality solar installation? Get answers to all these questions and more in this episode of the Rise Up Podcast as Nick Hylla interviews Kris Schmid, founder and owner of Legacy Solar, LLC and MREA instructor.

About Our Guest: Kris Schmid

Kris Schmid is the founder and owner of Legacy Solar, LLC, a solar energy company that has been designing and installing solar electric and solar thermal systems in northwestern Wisconsin since 2002. With a background in electrical engineering and software design he now shares his expertise by instructing PV classes for the MREA, including the Solar Training Academy, and is a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional and a Licensed Master Electrician. Take a class with Kris by visiting his instructor webpage

Episode Chapters:

0:00 Kris Schmid Introduction

1:38 The Energy Fair and starting in solar

3:07 How does solar work?

4:54 Changes in the solar market

8:46 Critical design considerations

10:46 Indicators of a quality installation

13:30 Customer solar considerations

15:39 Incentive paperwork, site assessments, and service upgrades

19:40 Batteries and solar technology advancements

25:42 Solar workforce

29:21 NABCEP certification

32:56 Closing thoughts

Midwest Consumers’ Guide To The Energy Transition

The Midwest Consumers’ Guide To The Energy Transition is out now! Learn about the most up-to-date and need-to-know information to help prepare you for a greener tomorrow. Articles are written by regional experts and professionals, many of which have been featured on the Rise Up Podcast!

Start Your PV Journey

Inspired to begin your career in solar? Want to learn more about PV systems? Sign up for PV 101: Basic Voltaics, an eight-hour course where participants study the fundamentals of electricity, learn how photovoltaic (PV) cells and systems work, explore the different sizes and types of PV systems, and identify the components and equipment needed for each type of system.


Address: 7558 Deer Rd. Custer, WI 54423
Phone: (715)-592-6595

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a nonprofit organization with the mission to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration.