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Design and Installation
Certification Prep

Solar Energy, PV Modules & Others: Learn Essential Theory with Calculations - Self Study

by Asif Khokher • Last updated 11/2022

Course description

Course Objectives:

  1. To learn complete academic-level theory of solar energy, PV modules/systems, charge controllers, inverters and batteries

  2. To practice and solve 35 applied technical questions (with all theory and calculations explained)

  3. To strengthen knowledge on a sound professional basis, and add considerable value to the knowledge

  4. To learn in hours from zero to perfection

  5. Help prepare for industry certifications (if planning in future)


This course shall take your knowledge and understanding to a level which shall be sufficient to understand all theory behind the photovoltaics. This will cover various topics related to solar energy, PV cells and arrays including sun, solar system, solar radiation, solar energy, PV modules, PV arrays/systems, charge controllers, inverters and batteries, which are necessary to grasp the professional understanding prior to start learning and practicing in the detailed designing and installing of solar PV systems.

Additionally, this course shall help the learner to go through some of common PV-related questions and learn how to calculate and solve the problems. All theory is explained with calculations and reasoning. These questions will certainly enhance the confidence of the learner.

Efforts have been made that all such topics and questions are covered and comprehensive learning takes pace in couple of hours through theory and calculations.

Course Content

  • Solar PV and associated science of sun, solar radiation and solar energy

    • The sun, solar radiation and solar light, extraterrestrial solar radiation and solar constant, terrestrial solar radiation and air mass, peak sun value and hours, solar irradiance and irradiation, solar radiation data and maps, measuring solar radiation and sunshine, earth orbit and rotation, solar time and equation of time graph, sun path charts and solar window, photovoltaic module azimuth and tilt angles, solar and magnetic declination, power and energy basic electrical equations
  • Working of solar PV cells, modules and arrays

    • Atom, semiconductors and band-gap, silicon element structure and doping, photovoltaic effect and solar cell working principle, structure, materials and fabrication of solar cell, current-voltage-power curves of solar PV modules, temperature coefficient and calculating voltages, efficiency and fill factor
  • Module series and parallel connections, bypass diodes, PV labels, test conditions, PV international standards, system resistance, calculating minimum and maximum array voltage as per NEC, calculating minimum and maximum array current as per NEC

  • Charge controllers

    • Charge controller functions, types of charge controllers, voltage settings of charge controllers, selection parameters, installation of a charge controller
  • Inverters

    • Introduction, AC, DC and quality of power, switching, power conditioning and control, types of solar inverters, earthing & grounding, selection parameters of inverter
  • Batteries

    • Introduction to batteries, characteristics and parameters of a battery, battery of batteries, calculating battery bank size, selection parameters of a battery, operation and installation of a battery, battery standards
  • 35 applied technical questions with all theory and solutions explained

Who is this Course For:

  • Beginners, engineers, technicians or others who are interested to learn and understand solar PV science and technology on sound and professional footings
  • Engineers, technicians or professionals who are already in this field, and quickly want to refresh their knowledge on sound basis
  • Those who may decide in future to go for industry certifications

Ready To Sign Up Today? Click Here to Enroll

Full course outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This is a self-study on demand course. This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

Module 1 - Introduction to Photovoltaics

1) Photovoltaics 2) History of Solar Energy 3) PV Applications 4) PV Industry Stakeholders 5) Solar Energy Technologies

  • Photovoltaics (03:54 minutes)
  • Advantages & Disadvantages of Solar Photovoltaics
  • History of Solar Energy (03:04 minutes)
  • History and Timeline of Solar Cells (.pdf)
  • PV Applications and Industry (03:35 minutes)
  • Trends in the PV Industry: Report by IEA 2020 (.pdf)
  • Solar Industry Update 2020 by NREL (.pdf)
  • Future of Solar Photovoltaics (.pdf)
  • Photovoltaic Industry Stakeholders (07:54 minutes)
  • Solar Energy Industry Association
  • Top Solar Associations
  • Solar Technologies (Thermal Energy Collectors) (04:47 minutes)
Module 2 - Solar Energy, Radiation and Earth Rotation

  • The Sun (03:16 minutes)
  • Solar Radiation and Solar Light (02:11 minutes)
  • Extraterrestrial Solar Radiation and Solar Constant (01:57 minutes)
  • Terrestrial Solar Radiation and Air Mass (04:26 minutes)
  • Introduction to Solar Radiation
  • Peak Sun Value and Hours (03:06 minutes)
  • Solar Irradiance and Irradiation (01:20 minutes)
  • Solar Radiation Data and Maps (01:47 minutes)
  • Global Solar Atlas
  • National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB) by NREL
  • Measuring Solar Radiation (07:05 minutes)
  • Solar Radiation Measurements (.pdf)
  • Review of Devices used to Measure Solar Radiation (.pdf)
  • Best Practics Handbook for use of Solar Resource Data for Solar Energy Applications (.pdf)
  • Earth Orbit and Rotation (03:47 minutes)
  • Terrestrial Coordinates (.pdf)
  • SPACEPEDIA: A Resource of Solar System
  • Solar Time and Equation of Time (04:10 minutes)
  • Finding Sunrise/Sunset/Noon and Solar Position - Online Tool
  • Sun Path and Charts (02:24 minutes)
  • Sun Path Chart - Online Tool
  • Photovoltaic Module Azimuth and Tilt Angles (04:11 minutes)
  • Solar Magnetic Declination and Tilt Angles (02:29 minutes)
  • Tilt & Azimuth Angle: What Angle Should I Tilt My Solar Panels?
  • Power Energy Equations (03:48 minutes)
Module 3 - Photovoltaic Cells, Modules and Arrays

  • Atom, Semiconductors and Band-Gap (08:03 minutes)
  • Silicon Element Structure and Doping (04:25 minutes)
  • Photovoltaic Effect and Solar Cell Working Principle (06:15 minutes)
  • Structure Materials and Fabrication (06:29 minutes)
  • IV-Curves of Solar Module (09:01 minutes)
  • Temperature Coefficient and Calculating Voltages (17:08 minutes)
  • Maximum Power Point Tracking Algorithms (.pdf)
  • Results of I-V Curves and Visual Inspection of PV Modules Deployed at TEP Solar Test Yard (.pdf)
  • Efficiency and Fill Factor (06:16 minutes)
  • Module Series and Parallel Connections (06:56 minutes)
  • Bypass Diodes (03:30 minutes)
  • PV Labels (01:39 minutes)
  • Standard Test Conditions (02:52 minutes)
  • PV International Standards (05:23 minutes)
Module 4 - Charge Controllers

  • Introduction to Charge Controllers (02:16 minutes)
  • Charge Controller Functions (08:32 minutes)
  • Types of Charge Contollers (08:03 minutes)
  • Voltage Settings of a Charge Controller (05:38 minutes)
  • Selection Parameters of a Charge Controller (05:05 minutes)
  • How to select a solar charge controller
  • Choosing the Right Solar Charge Controller/Regulator
  • Solar Charge Controller Sizing and How to Choose One
  • Installation of a Charge Controller (03:32 minutes)
Module 5 - Inverters

  • Introduction to Inverters (05:06 minutes)
  • AC, DC and Quality of Power - I (09:04 minutes)
  • AC, DC and Quality of Power - II (09:02 minutes)
  • Switching, Power Conditioning and Control - I (06:54 minutes)
  • Switching, Power Conditioning and Control - II (09:34 minutes)
  • Types of Solar Inverters - I (08:10 minutes)
  • Types of Solar Inverters - II (07:15 minutes)
  • Earthing & Grounding (03:35 minutes)
  • Guidelines for Designing Grounding Systems for Solar PV Installations
  • Selection Parameters of Inverter - I (08:17 minutes)
  • Selection Parameters of Inverter - II (07:35 minutes)
  • Selection Parameters of Inverter - III (08:08 minutes)
  • Selection Parameters of Inverter - IV (08:55 minutes)
  • Choosing the Right Solar Inverter
  • Solar Inverter Comparison Chart
Module 6 - Batteries

  • Introduction to Batteries (19:15 minutes)
  • Characteristics and Parameters of a Battery (20:53 minutes)
  • Types of Batteries - I (12:13 minutes)
  • Types of Batteries - II (13:53 minutes)
  • Calculating Battery Bank Size (19:51 minutes)
  • Selection Parameters of a Battery (03:58 minutes)
  • Operation and Installation of a Battery (08:10 minutes)
  • Battery Standards (05:11 minutes)
Module 7 - Applied Technical Calculation Questions: All Theory and Solutions Explained

  • Calculate Voltage Drop in a Cable (03:10 minutes)
  • Calculate System Power based upon Solar Irradiance, Module rated Power and Efficiency (03:40 minutes)
  • Finding No. of Strings and PV Modules Combination given System Data (04:37 minutes)
  • Calculating Voltage and Current Output at Standard Test Conditions given System Data (08:40 minutes)
  • Calculate AC Output of a Solar PV System given System Losses and Inverter Efficiency (11:30 minutes)
  • Finding least amount of PV Modules given System Data (06:37 minutes)
  • Purpose of Bypass Diodes (07:34 minutes)
  • Best solution for having multiple orientations of PV Modules (09:52 minutes)
  • Calculate MPPT voltage of the system at Standard Test Conditions (04:22 minutes)
  • Best Voltage for charging a 12V Lead Acid battery (06:39 minutes)
  • Characteristics of a Wire that lead to more Voltage drop (02:35 minutes)
  • Calculate PV Size given Area and PV Module Efficiency (03:31 minutes)
  • Calculate minimum number of PV Modules to be installed in series given System data (08:22 minutes)
  • What kind of ground faults do most inverters detect (06:47 minutes)
  • Calculate total System size given PV Modules data and number of Strings (02:23 minutes)
  • Calculate Voltage of PV Cells given other combination (03:15 minutes)
  • Calculate No of Batteries required given Load Watt-Hours and Volts (06:09 minutes)
  • Calculate No. of Batteries required given Load data (04:48 minutes)
  • Which one affect the production of Current most in PV Modules (06:12 minutes)
  • Calculate Energy Units consumed by a Load (03:59 minutes)
  • What is Air Mass ? (05:54 minutes)
  • Calculate power produced by the PV Array given PV Module area and efficiency (05:54 minutes)
  • Calculate size of Breaker at output of an Inverter (04:11 minutes)
  • Factors required to calculate Inter-row spacing of PV Modules in an Array (07:23 minutes)
  • Troubleshooting a PV System consisting of one source circuit not producing power (08:05 minutes)
  • Optimum PV Tilt Angle during the Summer season for an Off-Grid PV System (03:59 minutes)
  • Calculate Maximum No of Modules to be connected in Series given System data (21:25 minutes)
  • Calculate the Energy Units consumed per day by a residental load (09:04 minutes)
  • Worst Orientation Design for the installation of the PV system (19:01 minutes)
  • What can be the maximum array size given Charge Controller data (03:03 minutes)
  • Finding Tilt Angle of the Array given Location and Latitude (06:39 minutes)
  • Calculate Energy produces by a PV System in one year given System data (12:18 minutes)
  • Calculate Maximum No. of PV Modules to be installed in series given System data (05:16 minutes)
  • Troubleshooting an Off-Grid PV system which often Shuts down during Winter (05:02 minutes)
  • Calculate annual System Output given System data (05:30 minutes)
Conclusion - Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate


Asif Khokher

Director, Innovasys Engineering

Asif Khokher is seasoned Professional Engineer and certified NABCEP PVIP having 24+ Years of experience as Consultant/Owner's Engineer and Project Manager in various domains like Front End Engineering & Design, Tender Design, Detailed Design & System Integration, Design Review, Approvals, Inspection/ Commissioning in the field of Instrumentation & Control Systems, SCADA... Learn more


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Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?

You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 7 module course is delivered entirely online. This is a self-study, self-paced course and you can set your own schedule to complete the materials. You can begin the lecture videos and other course materials as soon as you enroll. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.

How long do I have access to the materials?

Students get unlimited access to the course materials as soon as they enroll and for one year (365 days) after enrollment. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world. After the one year of access expires, access can be extended by joining as a HeatSpring member. A single membership extends access to course materials for all past enrollments.

Is there a certificate of completion?

Yes, when you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.

Can I register multiple people?

Yes please visit our HeatSpring for Teams page to get a group discount.

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