Feb 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Course Catalog 
2020-2021 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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SOLR 2030 - Advanced Solar Thermal Concepts

Credits: 3
Hours/Week: Lecture None Lab None
Course Description: This course introduces students to the knowledge and skills needed to construct solar hot water and space heating systems. Topics include preconstruction preparation, assessing roofing and roof structure, hardware and mounting methods, tools, routing of pipe and sensor wire, layout and connection of equipment, connection of the system to domestic hot water and heating systems, operation and maintenance. Efficiency, calculations of output and flow rate, and various load types will also be covered. The course is designed to prepare students to build a model solar hot water system in SOLR 2035 .
MnTC Goals

Prerequisite(s): SOLR 1020  and SOLR 1030 , concurrent enrollment in SOLR 2035  or consent of instructor.
Corequisite(s): None
Recommendation: None

Major Content
  1. Preliminary considerations
  2. Roof Mounting
  3. Ground mounting
  4. Commissioning
    1. system
  5. Controls
  6. Loads
  7. Maintenance
  8. Monitoring and troubleshooting
  9. Other system components
  10. Professional mentoring and NABCEP
  11. Solar plumbing
  12. Storage and heat exchange
  13. System types
  14. The role of tradespeople

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

  1. identify the job responsibilities for skilled and semi-skilled workers for a solar installation in a given jurisdiction.
  2. distinguish between the penetration hardware and mounting options for asphalt shingles, rubber membranes, tile, and metal roofs.
  3. calculate the pull-out strength of a lag bolt of given width and length in a given wood type.
  4. calculate the wind load on an array.
  5. demonstrate ways that rafters can be bridged and why bridging can be necessary.
  6. demonstrate how pipes can penetrate shingle, metal and membrane roofs.
  7. design an appropriate mounting plan for collectors at a specific site.
  8. describe a method of grounding solar thermal collectors and explain why grounding is necessary.
  9. compare different pipe routing methods.
  10. evaluate the structure of a typical roof and identify when remediation may be necessary.
  11. describe how roof structures can be reinforced to increase their strength.
  12. demonstrate methods of minimizing roof damage while installing and assessing.
  13. apply safety considerations to working on roofs.
  14. identify common roofing types, their expected lifespan and signs of obvious wear
  15. calculate the head loss and pressure drop in solar hot water systems made of copper tubing.
  16. compare the composition, function and efficiency of seasonal and year-round solar pool systems.
  17. demonstrate how sensors and photovoltaic pump modules are mounted and wired to the controller or pump.
  18. determine a method for routing pipes that minimizes length and visibility.
  19. diagram a bypass valve assembly and describe its use and function.
  20. diagram the major components and placement of a pressurized and a drain back domestic hot water system.
  21. evaluate options for energy storage and heat exchange for a domestic hot water system.
  22. evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a ground mount.
  23. measure the energy production and efficiency of a solar hot water system.
  24. troubleshoot common problems in solar thermal systems.

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

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