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Get to grips with energy generation from solar sources, including the associated technologies and main technical challenges.

Develop focused skills in this key area of renewables and further your career as a graduate engineer or energy industry professional.

Learn from a team of internationally experienced engineers and academics at the University of Aberdeen. Study with us online, part-time, wherever you are in the world.

This course is part of our MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering. You can go on to study this Masters degree online, one short course at a time.

What will I study?

You’ll examine the solar energy industries in-depth, looking at:

  • resources
  • technologies used
  • practical implementation
  • development
  • barriers
  • environmental and sustainability issues.

You’ll explore various examples of solar energy calculations in different power ranges, from rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems to large PV farms.

You’ll cover the following topics:

  • Sun solar spectrum, effects of Earth’s atmosphere, orbit and rotation on insolation
  • Concentrated solar thermal power generation
  • Externalities of solar energy conversion
  • Cost considerations of solar energy conversion
  • Power electronics devices for PV
  • Grid-connected PV systems
  • Isolated PV systems and storage
  • Network integration, connection standards, codes and practice

You’ll complete your course by carrying out a detailed design project. The case study for this design can be tailored to you or your employer’s requirements.

By the end of this course, you will be able to…

  • Discuss and explain the sources of solar energy, their nature and availability.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of different sources of energy.
  • Quantify the energy potential (heat, power and transport) from different sources of energy.
  • Assess the technologies available for the conversion of solar to different forms of energy.
  • Describe and discuss the technical challenges facing solar-based energy industries.
  • Carry out the design and analysis of a solar-based plant system.
  • Understand the market dynamics and economics of solar energy.

Why study Renewable Energy online with Aberdeen?

How will I study?

This course is delivered online, with a final exam that you must sit in person. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you. We’ll help you locate an exam centre in your area for your final exam.

The course is taught at Masters level by a team of internationally experienced engineering staff. Involved in active research, they’ve worked on major projects all over the globe. You’ll benefit directly from their remarkable level of industrial experience and academic expertise.

Your course content is also developed and reviewed by an Industry Advisory Board. This group of experienced professionals ensures your learning is always in line with the latest industry trends, technology and career opportunities.

Your training is delivered through MyAberdeen, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This gives you easy access to resources you can view when it suits you. It’s also available as an app, so you can access learning materials on computer, smartphone and mobile device 24/7.

This course features:

Where will this take me?

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:

Masters in Renewable Energy Engineering (120 credits plus a 60-credit project), or a:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Renewable Energy Engineering (60 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Renewable Energy Engineering (120 credits)

All are available to study part-time online or full-time on campus.

Find out more about credits

Further learning

We offer a wide range of specialist online short courses:

Most are part of existing Masters degrees and can be used to build up credits towards postgraduate qualifications. Read more about credits.

Looking to study a full degree?

Careers

This course will prepare you for professional and managerial roles in the renewable energy sector.

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Course coordinator

Am I ready?

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level of teaching, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:2 (second-class) degree in Engineering or the Physical Sciences
  • or relevant experience that supports this level of training.