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Course Title
Solar Photovoltaics for the New Clean Energy Economy


Upon completion of this course the students shall understand the detailed functionality of Photovoltaic system components, and all common solar systems from straight water pumping to stand alone battery based systems, and grid tie PV with and without batteries. Students will be able to design and size these systems. They will see what is involved with interconnection to the utility. This course prepares students to enter the workforce as a valuable resource to a company.


Students shall understand the detailed functionality of PV system components


  1. Overview of Photovoltaics: PV History, Current and Emerging Technologies, Advantages and Disadvantages to PV, System components and Types of Systems.
  2. Photovoltaic Electric Principles: Electric terminology, basic circuits, series and parallel wiring.
  3. The Solar Resource: Solar Radiation Fundamentals, Gathering Site Data, Site Analysis.
  4. Electric Load Analysis: Energy efficiency, refrigeration, lighting, Calculating load estimates.
  5. Photovoltaic Modules: PV principles, module characteristics, module performance and environmental conditions and PV mounting options.
  6. Batteries: Types and operation, specifications, safety, battery wiring, battery sizing.
  7. PV Controllers: Types, features, Specifying a controller, controller sizing.
  8. Inverters: Operating principles, types and features, Battery-less grid-tied, stand-alone inverters, Stand alone inverter sizing.
  9. Photovoltaic System Wiring: Wire types and conduit, wire sizing, sizing exercises, over-current protection and sizing, disconnects, grounding, surge suppression.
  10. Sizing Stand Alone PV Systems: Design penalties, sizing exercise, hybrid systems with generators.
  11. Grid-tied PV Systems: Types and advantages, system sizing and economics, obtaining interconnection agreements. Net metering, and sizing exercise.
  12. PV and the National Electric Code
  13. Interconnection Issues
  14. Slideshow of PV installations


Students must know the basics of electricity and electric generation

Method of Instruction

Classroom Instruction, hands-on-training