Jul 13, 2024  
2022-2023 Course Catalog 
2022-2023 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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SOLR 1020 - Introduction to Solar Assessment

Credits: 3
Hours/Week: Lecture None Lab None
Course Description: This course introduces students to basics of solar energy and solar site assessment for solar photovoltaic and thermal systems. Students will measure the solar window with a Solar Pathfinder(TM) and estimate the effects of climate, system design, and vegetation growth (and removal) on energy production. Using industry-standard hardware, mounting options and equipment, students will propose system designs, model economic and environmental costs and benefits, and report their findings.
MnTC Goals

Prerequisite(s): None
Corequisite(s): None
Recommendation: None

Major Content
  1. Factors Affecting Solar Economics
  2. Conventional Energy Use
  3. Design tools
  4. Permits and licenses
  5. Photovoltaic Electrical Design considerations
  6. Routing pipes and conduit
  7. Solar Thermal Design considerations
  8. Solar finance
  9. Solar mounting considerations
  10. The Solar Resource
  11. Incentives and rebates
  12. Write a site assessment

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. describe factors that affect the profitability of solar energy systems.
  2. explain strengths and weaknesses of solar photovoltaic, hot water and air heating systems.
  3. given climate data, estimate the output of solar photovoltaic and thermal panels in different orientations.
  4. demonstrate proficiency in use of a site analyzer.
  5. contact appropriate municipal offices for permit information.
  6. identify basic components of a solar air, water, and electric system.
  7. present options for mounting collectors and explain their effects on seasonal output and snow loading.
  8. present choices of appropriate technology to fit customer needs. Example-flat plate vs. evacuated tube.
  9. describe appropriate insulation, support and ultraviolet protection for solar wiring and plumbing and wiring.
  10. describe factors that affect the efficiency of both thermal and electric solar systems.
  11. gather customer information by interviewing and analyzing utility records.
  12. explain strengths and limitations of the solar resource.
  13. assess condition of roofing material for its appropriateness for solar.
  14. calculate cost, simple payback, return on investment and cash flow for solar energy systems.
  15. given a design, estimate the installed cost of a solar electric or thermal system, including materials, labor, subcontractors and permits.
  16. identify common roofing materials and describe their compatibility with roof attachment hardware.
  17. identify roof attachment hardware and their applications and limitations.
  18. model output and economics for a photovoltaic or domestic hot water system.
  19. model solar space heating and hot water output.
  20. size a system to a customers needs.
  21. explain when a structural engineering inspection of a roof is required.
  22. write solar site assessments including costs, benefits, and customer goals.

Competency 1 (1-6)
Competency 2 (7-10)

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