Online Solar Energy Degree Course – Solar Energy Engineering

An Accredited Solar Energy Degree That You Can Do From Home.

This is an update to an article that we did several years ago for people around the world that would like to earn credentials in solar energy from reputable universities or colleges. Also we wanted to share some solar energy courses that could be free to try and also be web based, online education.

The article was easily one of our most popular over time, which is a testimony ( not to my skills as a writer ) , but to interest around the world on learning about renewable energy, specifically solar energy and the possibility of a long, lucrative career that has meaning.

Online Solar Energy Course and Degrees from Delft

Online Solar Energy Course and Degrees from Delft – Get A Solar Energy Degree

In this case the course is a path to a masters degree in solar energy engineering from Delft University in the Netherlands. The university is primarily a brick and mortar school with students participating in national and international solar energy vehicle challenges.

Students learn all aspects of solar energy in the classroom based courses

Students learn all aspects of solar energy in the classroom based courses

TU Delft’s MicroMasters program is a series of online courses designed to advance your career and offer a path to an accelerated Master’s program.

Flexible and free to try, ( $1400 if you want to be able to claim the degree ),MicroMasters programs provide access to advanced education for everyone, everywhere.

Students in the Solar PV_lab_TU_Delft

Students in the Solar PV_lab_TU_Delft

Accredited Solar Energy Degree Programs.

Created by prestigious universities, including TU Delft, and offered in the most in-demand fields, the programme provide deeper learning in a specific career area. MicroMasters programs are offered on, the non-profit online learning.

Deflt University has its own solar power on the roofs of their buildings

Delft University has its own solar power on the roofs of their buildings

Solar energy technology use is expanding rapidly. The Solar Photovoltaic (PV) sector is the largest and fastest growing renewable energy employer worldwide with an increasing need for experts that can support this growth.

In this MicroMasters program you will gain the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career in the solar energy field and become a successful solar energy professional. This program will teach you what is expected from solar experts, and will prepare you for employment in various capacities including:

  • Systems design and engineering
  • Solar systems installation
  • Device fabrication and characterization
  • QA and reliability testing
  • Project management and consultancy as well as (technical) sales

The program includes diverse learning activities, including videos, readings, exercises and real-world applications. You will be guided through the content in an inspiring, hands-on, but rigorous manner. It is designed so knowledge is built gradually. We therefore recommend that students follow the courses in the suggested order. However, you may choose to enroll in any course of your choice based on your background knowledge or experience.

Deflt university trying to generate their own energy from renewable technology

Delft university trying to generate their own energy from renewable technology

The program is taught by photovoltaics research experts from TU Delft with many years of experience working with industry partners. Among these experts is Professor Arno Smets, the first ever recipient of the edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions to Online Teaching and Learning.

Job Outlook

  • Solar energy adoption is growing at a surprisingly fast rate with predicted falling costs and new technologies resulting in solar generating 20% of electricity by 2027 (Research Policy, 2016)
  • Solar photovoltaic was the largest renewable energy employer with 2.8 million jobs in 2015, an 11% increase over the previous year (IREA, 2016)
  • Job opportunities include engineering and consultancy roles at renewable energy companies, specialized solar engineering companies, leading consultancy firms, oil and gas companies that are preparing for the transition to renewables, and non-profit orgs
  • Estimated annual salary of engineers working in the solar energy industry amounts to $85,000 (USA Department of Labor)

Real Career Impact

Trina Solar

At Trina Solar, our mission is to develop smart energy for the benefit of mankind. Skilled engineers are essential to sustain the rapid growth in the solar energy industry and drive innovation to reduce the cost of solar power. Education and training of young engineers is therefore critical in this new industry. The Solar Energy Engineering MicroMasters Program is extremely relevant for anyone who would like to pursue a career in this sector.
— Pierre Verlinden , Vice-President and Chief Scientist, Trina Solar

What You’ll Learn:

  • Understand the physics and model all aspects of a working solar cell: performance, efficiency limits and design rules.
  • Understand design concepts and fabrication processes of various photovoltaic (PV) technologies and applications.
  • Evaluate components of a PV-system: PV modules, inverters, DC-DC converters, batteries, charge controllers and cables.
  • Apply techniques for designing a PV-system ranging from a residential rooftop system to a utility scale solar farm.
  • Understand design concepts of microgrids that include PV-systems.
  • Assess the economics and ecology of PV-systems and communicate these accordingly.
  • Apply the knowledge in real life projects together with your peers.

The cost aspects, market development, and the application areas of solar cells are presented.

After completion of the course, you will be able to:

  1. explain the various concepts to convert solar energy in to electricity, heat and solar fuels
  2. explain the physical working principles of photovoltaic conversion in solar cells
  3. recognize and describe the various solar cell technologies, their current status and future technological challenges
  4. analyse the performance of solar cells and modules
  5. design a complete photovoltaic system for any particular application on paper

The first edition of the Solar Energy course has been awarded the Open MOOC  for OpenCourseWare Excellence 2014.

Education method

The class will consist of a collection of eight to twelve minute lecture videos, exercises, assignments and exams. Specified assignments and the three exams will determine the final grade. The new textbook on “Solar Energy, basics, technology and systems” from the Delft University of Technology will be available for the students on-line and free of charge.

Your course staff will encourage and challenge you to learn from, and interact with, your fellow students by helping each other and sharing ideas and best practices, in the course forum.  We were happy to see the incredible number of interesting student videos on solar energy systems from all over the world in the previous edition of this course.

Here is the link to the course. Delft Solar 

About Gordon Smith
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.


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