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An Introduction to Solar Energy Engineering

In this free online course, you will learn the basics of solar energy exploitation and radiation geometry

Publisher: NPTEL
In this free online course, you will learn about the nature of solar radiation, how it reaches the earth and different ways of exploiting it. You will explore different instruments and devices used in capturing and measuring solar radiation. You will also learn the basics of solar radiation geometry, how to calculate the solar time of a place and read sun-path diagrams. This course is your gateway to the field of Solar Energy Engineering.
An Introduction to Solar Energy Engineering
  • Duration

    4-5 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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This free online course introduces you to the field of Solar Energy Engineering and its immense importance in today’s world, given the current energy scenario. Renewable Power generation is fast gaining importance and Solar Energy is at the heart of it, being the ultimate source of all energy. The course begins by explaining the need and importance of renewable energy sources in today's world and the global focus on solar energy. You will then learn about the different ways in which scientists and engineers are capturing solar energy in the form of heat, light and electricity, as well as the methods being employed to utilize that energy. You will learn about the different devices used for collection and storage of solar energy, both in the thermal and electrical form. You will also gain a basic understanding of how solar PV generators and Solar power plants work. Suitable numerical examples will help you understand how solar equipment designers predict and estimate the amount of energy available and maximum possible utilization. You will also get an idea of their concerns and the challenges they face. 

As you progress through the course, you will dive deeper into the relationship between the sun and the earth and understand how solar radiation reaches the earth from the sun. You will learn about the phenomena of atmospheric absorption and scattering or sun’s rays, and the concept of Air Mass. You will also learn about the different types of radiation, the instruments used for solar radiation measurement and basic solar radiation geometry. You will get acquainted with the various terms and definitions associated with radiation geometry, particularly the different angles and their mathematical expressions. You will also learn how the expressions are derived and how to apply them. Next, you will see how the duration of sunshine is recorded, how radiation data is obtained and where it is applied. Finally, you will learn how to calculate the solar time of a place and read sun-path diagrams. Throughout this journey, numerical examples will help you understand how solar energy engineers and equipment designers actually work. 

This course can be taken by anyone with a knowledge of high-school-level physics and mathematics. It will help you gauge your interest in the fascinating subject of energy and effectively prepare you for a more, in-depth study of Solar Energy Engineering and Technology by introducing you to the concepts and definitions associated with Solar radiation measurement and capture, and the physics of energy in general. Thus, this course will be useful not only to those students who wish to pursue a career in Solar Energy Technology, but also to those who are interested in the fields of energy management and technology, renewable energy studies, architecture, and town planning. As the demand for energy is spiralling across the world and the need to get the maximum out of Solar energy is becoming increasingly important, the role of energy engineers and technologists are also becoming increasingly important. Building a career in the field of energy engineering or a related field can be extremely rewarding in the near future. So, why wait any longer? Seize this opportunity and start developing your understanding of the sun’s radiation and the technology around it. 

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