Solar Energy Basics I - Fundamentals
Harlan H. Bengtson, Ph.D., P.E.
This two-hour, on-line course describes the basic nature of solar energy (electromagnetic radiation) and how it behaves when it strikes an object. Solar variables such as declination, altitude angle, and hour angle are discussed and methods for determining their value are given. Methods of utilizing solar energy and means of estimating extraterrestrial and terrestrial solar energy are discussed.
This course includes
a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding
of the course materials.
At the conclusion of this material the student will:
This course is intended for mechanical, electrical and energy engineers and architects.
Benefits to Attendee
An attendee of this course will have basic knowledge about solar electromagnetic radiation, will be familiar with fundamental solar parameters, and will be able to obtain or calculate values for those parameters and use them in calculations. An attendee will be prepared to take additional more specialized solar engineering courses.
This introduction to solar energy provides information about the nature of solar radiation and methods of utilizing solar energy. Several solar position parameters are discussed along with equations for their calculation. Means are discussed for estimating average extraterrestrial and terrestrial solar radiation rates at a given location for a given month.
The course content is in the following PDF file:
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Solar energy reaches the earth in the form of electromagnetic radiation. It can be absorbed by an object that it strikes and thus be converted to thermal energy (heat). Typical methods of utilizing solar energy include, space heating, water heating and generation of electricity. Several parameters that are used in solar energy calculations were presented and discussed. Means of estimating monthly average extraterrestrial and terrestrial solar radiation rates at a specified location were discussed.