What you will learn
- The physics of and how to model all aspects of a working solar cell: performance, efficiency limits and design rules.
- Design concepts and fabrication processes of various photovoltaic (PV) technologies and applications.
- How to evaluate components of a PV system: PV modules, inverters, DC-DC converters, batteries, charge controllers and cables.
- Application techniques for designing a PV system ranging from a residential rooftop system to a utility scale solar farm.
- Design concepts of microgrids that include PV systems.
- How to assess the economics and ecology of PV systems and communicate these accordingly.
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.
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.
Courses in this program
DelftX's Solar Energy Engineering MicroMasters® Program
- Starts Aug 24, 202110–11 hours per week, for 12 weeks
Learn how solar cells generate electricity, and about the semiconductor physics and optics required to design and manufacture solar cells.
- Starts Aug 24, 202110–11 hours per week, for 11 weeks
Explore the main PV technologies in the current market, to gain in-depth knowledge on the design and processing methods of solar cells.
- Starts Aug 17, 202110–11 hours per week, for 11 weeks
Explore the wide range of solar energy applications and learn to design a real PV installation with excellent performance and reliability.
What is a MicroMasters Program?
MicroMasters programs are a series of graduate level courses from top universities designed to advance your career. MicroMasters program certificates showcase deep learning and in-demand skills to employers and can help you get started on a path toward completing an advanced degree.
How to Earn a MicroMasters Program Certificate
To earn the program certificate, learners must complete and successfully earn a verified certificate in all four MicroMasters program courses, as well as the capstone project.
From Program Certificate to a Master’s Degree
MicroMasters programs are designed to offer learners a pathway to an advanced degree and can count as credit toward completing a Master’s degree program. Learners who successfully earn this MicroMasters program certificate may apply for admission to a Master’s program, and if accepted, the MicroMasters program certificate will count towards the degree.
Learners who successfully earn the MicroMasters program certificate may apply to the Master of Science program Sustainable Energy Technology (SET) or the Master of Science program Electrical Engineering (track: Electrical Power Engineering) at TU Delft. You will need to go through the regular admission procedures for MSc students and meet the entry requirements for those MSc programs. If you are admitted and you would like to be exempted from courses in the aforementioned MSc programs, you are required to send a formal waiver request. Campus courses that can be waived (up to 16-18 credits) are courses that are equivalent to the solar energy courses of the MSc program in question:
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) also offers a pathway to credit toward RIT's Master of Science in Professional Studies. If accepted into the program at RIT, students will be eligible for up to 9 credits which will serve toward one concentration required for this interdisciplinary degree. The MS in Professional Studies – which can be completed online or in-person – is a customized, flexible program that meets industry demand by enabling students to strategically combine multiple, complementary fields of study to reflect their unique career and educational goals.
- 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)
- Estimated annual salary of engineers working in the solar energy industry amounts to $85,000 (USA Department of Labor)
- Solar photovoltaic was the largest renewable energy employer with 3.4 million jobs in 2017, an annual increase of more than 10% over the previous years (IRENA, 2018)
- 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.
Meet your instructors
Experts from DelftX committed to teaching online learning
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.
- Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.
- Courses start 3 times a year, and the comprehensive exams can be taken any time. New start dates for the next calendar year are released on a regular basis.
- The "Comprehensive Exams" course include 2 exams, which are in the format of proctored exams. To read more about proctored exams and to review the technical requirements, review edX's help pages (https://support.edx.org/hc/en-us/articles/207249428-How-do-proctored-exams-work-). Each exam covers two courses (first exam covers the first two courses; the second exam covers the third and the fourth.) You can take one exam at a time, when it suits you. You may decide to take the first exam right after you complete the second course, when the material is still fresh in your mind. You will also have the chance to review preparation material to help you prepare. In addition to the final exams, in each course you need to pass 3 exams (not proctored).