Solar Energy Fundamentals Online Course & Certificate

Current Status
Not Enrolled
Get Started

20 contact hours
Used For:
2 Continuing Education Units
Course and Certificate:

Solar Photovoltaic Energy Fundamentals provides an introduction to renewable energy production using solar technologies. The course begins with an overview of solar energy – how sunlight is converted to electricity and heat. Topics also include basic residential and commercial solar electric and thermal system design and installation of photovoltaic plates, markets and applications, and emerging technologies such as wind and hydropower technologies. The environmental, costs, and political considerations will also be discussed.


After completing Solar Photovoltaic Energy Fundamentals students will be equipped with a basic understanding of the following:

  • solar photovoltaic industry and technologies
  • solar thermal electricity fundamentals
  • photovoltaic module construction
  • wind and hydropower technologies
  • environmental impact
  • outlook for the future


The course is designed for anyone interested in knowing more about solar energy. No prior knowledge or experience in solar energy is required.

 Students will be assigned 5 homework assignments, and 1 final exam for each course. 

Introduction to Solar Energy

Solar Energy Market Overview and Trends

Basic Electricity Overview

  • conductors vs. semiconductors vs. insulators
  • Ohm’s law; resistors and diodes
  • basic circuit concepts (series vs. parallel, current, voltage and power)
  • introduce solar cell and solar module as circuit

Direct Solar – Active and Passive Solar Heating, Solar Thermal Electricity, and Photovoltaics

  • Solar energy flows
  • Technologies
  • Module construction
  • Environmental impact
  • Politics, economics and social costs

Indirect Solar – Hydropower, Wind

  • Conversion technologies
  • Environmental impact
  • Politics, economics and social costs


 This course is Instructor-led and delivered through our award-winning online Learning Management System. 

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date