NRG 203 Concepts of Solar Thermal Design

Campus Location:
Georgetown, Dover, Stanton
Effective Date:
NRG 109 or NRG 110, NRG 201


Course Credits and Hours:
3.00 credits
3.00 lecture hours/week
2.00 lab hours/week
Course Description:

This course introduces the concepts of solar heating design, installation, and operation. Design characteristics, components, operation, and maintenance of major components are covered. Site evaluation, codes and regulations, system selection, and planning are emphasized.

Required Text(s):

Obtain current textbook information by viewing the campus bookstore online or visit a campus bookstore. Check your course schedule for the course number and section.

Additional Materials:


Schedule Type:
Classroom Course

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Core Course Performance Objectives (CCPOs):
  1. Engage in professional behavior. (CCC 1, 3, 4, 5)
  2. Examine appropriate codes and standards concerning safety, installation, and operation of solar thermal systems and components. (CCC 2, 5; PGC 5, 7)
  3. Evaluate a site for the installation of a solar thermal system. (CCC 2, 4, 6; PGC 6)
  4. Design and plan a solar thermal system. (CCC 2, 5, 6; PGC 4, 5, 7)
  5. Explain the operation and maintenance of a solar thermal system, given a set of plans and schematics. (CCC 1, 5, 6; PGC 7)

See Core Curriculum Competencies and Program Graduate Competencies at the end of the syllabus. CCPOs are linked to every competency they develop.

Measurable Performance Objectives (MPOs):

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Engage in professional behavior.
    1. Demonstrate punctuality when attending class, participating in off-site projects, and submitting assignments.
    2. Communicate using industry-appropriate language in presentations, reports, and homework.
    3. Demonstrate appropriate professional behavior when working with others.
  2. Examine appropriate codes and standards concerning safety, installation, and operation of solar thermal systems and components.
    1. Identify different skills and trades involved in a typical solar thermal installation.
    2. Examine the codes and standards that apply to solar thermal installation.
    3. Differentiate the various types of collectors and their uses.
    4. Describe various piping materials and connecting techniques, and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each.
    5. Evaluate the effects of wind loading on collectors.
  3. Evaluate a site for the installation of a solar thermal system.
    1. Select the site for panel orientation and shading for solar heating potential.
    2. Evaluate structural integrity of collector mounting site.
    3. Research local code requirements to plan an installation.
  4. Design and plan a solar thermal system.
    1. Identify a manufacturer’s collector and mounting system appropriate for the site conditions.
    2. Identify acceptable roof and/or wall penetration methods.
    3. Determine piping strategy and materials.
    4. Design and plan pump(s), tank(s), and other components as required.
    5. Determine and explain sequence of operation and control strategy.
    6. Analyze power requirements.
    7. Create a detailed cost estimate for project installation.
  5. Explain the operation and maintenance of a solar thermal system, given a set of plans and schematics.
    1. Interpret the desired flow of fluid in the system from existing conditions.
    2. Measure system performance characteristics such as flow, temperature rise, and heat output.
    3. Interpret wiring schematics to plan maintenance or repair operations.
    4. Distinguish system performance problems based upon on-site measurements.
Evaluation Criteria/Policies:

The grade will be determined using the Delaware Tech grading system:

90 100 = A
80 89 = B
70 79 = C
0 69 = F

Students should refer to the Student Handbook for information on the Academic Standing Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and other policies relevant to their academic progress.

Core Curriculum Competencies (CCCs are the competencies every graduate will develop):
  1. Apply clear and effective communication skills.
  2. Use critical thinking to solve problems.
  3. Collaborate to achieve a common goal.
  4. Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct.
  5. Use information literacy for effective vocational and/or academic research.
  6. Apply quantitative reasoning and/or scientific inquiry to solve practical problems.
Program Graduate Competencies (PGCs are the competencies every graduate will develop specific to his or her major):
  1. Utilize building system and energy technology hardware and software to gather data on building lighting systems operation and energy consumption.
  2. Calculate, analyze, and verify the energy use of buildings based upon the interaction of energy consuming building systems.
  3. Evaluate residential buildings and make recommendations for optimized building performance and occupant comfort.
  4. Prepare and present technical reports.
  5. Analyze the economic, environmental, and business implications of potential energy measures.
  6. Perform preliminary and in depth site and customer suitability evaluation of potential applications for solar use.
  7. Design and calculate the output of an optimal site-specific array by deriving panel configuration and specifying components.
Disabilities Support Statement:

The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the campus Disabilities Support Counselor to request an accommodation needed due to a disability. A listing of campus Disabilities Support Counselors and contact information can be found at the disabilities services web page or visit the campus Advising Center.

Minimum Technology Requirements:
Minimum technology requirements for online, hybrid, video conferencing and web conferencing courses.