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Solar Energy Technology - Associate Degree

Program Code: 104824

The Solar Energy Technology program provides a skilled workforce of installers, designers, and technical sales personnel who are able to assess sites; design systems; and install, operate, and maintain solar electric and solar thermal systems for residential and commercial applications in the growing renewable energy industry. Potential employment possibilities will be with existing solar, electrical and mechanical contractors to help expand their offerings of solar energy technologies. Other possible areas of employment are with energy consulting firms, design firms and utilities. With additional education and experience, graduates can expand their careers to energy analyst, journeyperson electrician/plumber, project manager, energy engineer, and environmental consultant.

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Employment Potential

A graduate of the program will have the potential for employment for diverse employers, such as renewable energy businesses, energy companies, equipment supply companies, oil and gas field service companies and utilities in the following areas:

• Solar Electric Energy Technician: designs, estimates, installs, troubleshoots, repairs and modifies residential and/or commercial solar electric systems.

• Solar Site Assessor: conducts facility energy audit/assessments; is responsible for making recommendations regarding solar energy systems. Prepares cost estimates, energy analysis; is accountable for building long-term customer relationships.

• Solar Sales Representative: provides consultations and assessments to potential customers. Manages the pipeline of contacts and opportunities within an assigned territory and deliver compelling presentations. Acts as the project manager for installation of systems and coordination of closeout.

With additional education and/or work experience, graduates may find other opportunities for employment.

• Energy Analyst
• Plumber or Electrician Journeyperson
• Project Manager
• Energy Engineer
• Environmental Consultant

The following certificates/technical diplomas may be applied toward this program:

• 904821, Renewable Energy-Solar Electric Certificate
• 904822, Renewable Energy-Solar Thermal Certificate

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Requirements for Program Entry

• Completed application.
• High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to www.nwtc.edu/gettingstarted.)
• As a requirement for program entry, an Academic Skills Assessment (Accuplacer) with appropriate benchmark scores is necessary. Program Benchmarks are Elementary Algebra 61; Reading Comprehension: 80; Sentence Skills: 75. Students not meeting these benchmarks or the equivalent will be required to establish an individualized academic plan. Students may have the opportunity to enroll in selected program core courses while completing their individualized plan. Upon completion of the plan, students will be eligible for all program courses. However, higher test scores will lead to greater success in core program courses. To learn more about these assessments and program benchmark scores, please contact a counselor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.

Program Availability

FULL TIMEFall 2016Spring 2017Summer 2017
Green Bay
Accepting
Unavailable
Unavailable

Application Checklist

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Curriculum
Students following the study plan below will complete the Solar Energy Technology associate degree in the number of semesters shown.
FIRST SEMESTER
10-442-150
Machine Fabrication 1
1
10-442-150 MACHINE FABRICATION 1 ...a study of joining processes including welding, brazing, soldering, mechanical fasteners and adhesives. Course Typically Offered: Fall/Spring
10-480-101
Energy-Intro Renew & Sustain
4
10-480-101 ENERGY-INTRO RENEW & SUSTAIN ...an overview of various renewable energy technologies and sustainable design practices and their current applications. Emphasis will be placed on policies, renewable energy production, green products and jobs. Course Typically Offered: Fall/Spring
10-482-126
Intro to Solar
4
10-482-126 INTRODUCTION TO SOLAR ...an overview of the use of sunlight to produce heat and electricity and the practical and economical use of solar power and solar thermal systems. Learn the importance of energy efficiency and the economics of solar hybrid designs. Course Typically Offered: Fall
10-620-100
Fluids 1: Basic Pneumatics
1
10-620-100 FLUIDS 1: BASIC PNEUMATICS ...what fluid power is, differentiate between hydraulics and pneumatics, implement basic pneumatic circuits, utilize schematics, apply Pascal's Law, define properties of fluids, implement airflow control and hydraulics cylinder circuits.
10-620-101
Fluids 2: Basic Hydraulics
1
10-620-101 FLUIDS 2: BASIC HYDRAULICS ...hydraulic pumps, basic hydraulics actuator circuits, hydraulic schematics, apply Pascal's Law, summarize the effects of fluids friction, define properties of hydraulic energy, design hydraulic circuits with directional control valves. (Corequisite: 10-620-100, Fluids 1: Basic Pneumatics) Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
10-660-104
DC 1: Introduction
1
10-660-104 DC 1: INTRODUCTION ...introduction to the concepts of DC electricity and simple series circuits. Voltage, current, resistance, Ohm's Law, power and Kirchoff's Voltage Law are defined. Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
10-660-105
DC 2: Circuits
1
10-660-105 DC 2: CIRCUITS ...analysis of parallel and series-parallel circuits. Application of Kirchoff's Current Law to parallel circuit combinations. Introduction of current sources and source conversions. (Corequisites: 10-804-118, Interim Algebra w Apps; 10-804-113, College Tech Math 1A; OR equivalent; 10-660-104, DC 1: Intro) Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
10-804-118
Interm Algebra w Apps
4
10-804-118 INTERM ALGEBRA W APPS ...algebra content with applications. Topics include properties of real numbers, order of operations, algebraic solution for linear equations and inequalities, operations with polynomial and rational expressions, operations with rational exponents and radicals, algebra of inverse, logarithmic and exponential functions. (Prerequisites: Accuplacer Elementary Algebra=61 or ACT-Math =21 or 10-834-110, Elementary Algebra AND Accuplacer Reading=55 or ACT-Reading=15 or 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 or Intro to College Writing with "B" or better OR equivalent)
10-890-101
College 101
1
10-890-101 COLLEGE 101 ...develops tools and strategies that support success in college. Focuses on study skills, college resources, goal setting, time management, and learning styles. Introduces concepts for self assessing learning and completing an Exit Assessment that provides evidence that learning took place. Students should take this course prior to or during the first semester of their programs. 1 cr. Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/J-Session/Spring
SEMESTER TOTAL
18
SECOND SEMESTER
10-482-132
Photovoltaics-Design & Site
3
10-482-132 PHOTOVOLTAICS-DESIGN & SITE ...learn steps to performing a site audit prior to installation of a PV system. Focus on defining the solar window, system site placement, system sizing and design, load analysis and energy efficiency concepts. (Prerequisite: 10-482-126, Intro to Solar) Course Typically Offered: Spring
10-620-140
Machine Wiring and Safety
1
10-620-140 MACHINE WIRING AND SAFETY ...introduction to machine wiring, including basic documentation, labeling, and wiring practices; an overview of NFPA 70 machinery, safety and installation standards. Course Typically Offered: Fall/Spring
10-660-101
Digital 1: Logic
1
10-660-101 DIGITAL 1: LOGIC ...AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, logic operation using switch logic, ladder logic, and gate logic. Simplification methods using Boolean theorems and Karnaugh Maps, and timing diagram analysis.
10-660-102
Digital 2: Sequential
1
10-660-102 DIGITAL 2: SEQUENTIAL ...operation and connection of latches, RS flip-flops, JK flip-flops, and D flip-flops using timing diagram analysis, and some simple applications are studied. (Corequisite: 10-660-101, Digital 1: Logic) Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
10-660-107
AC 1: Properties
1
10-660-107 AC 1: PROPERTIES ...introduction to the properties of capacitors and inductors including types and behavior in switching circuits. Inductor basics include a study of magnetic fields. (Prerequisite: 10-660-105, DC 2: Circuits; Corequisite: 10-804-196, Trigonometry w Apps OR 10-804-114, College Tech Math 1B) Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
10-660-108
AC 2: Reactance
1
10-660-108 AC 2: REACTANCE ...study of the way inductive, capacitive and resistive components behave in a circuit excited by a sine waveform. Effective and average values of the sinewave are derived. (Corequisite: 10-660-107, AC 1: Properties) Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
10-660-110
Electronics 1: Diodes-Basic
1
10-660-110 ELECTRONICS 1: DIODES-BASIC ...introduction to the characteristics and usage of semiconductor diodes in rectifiers and linear power supplies. Special diodes and diode circuits are also considered. (Prerequisite: 10-660-105, DC 2: Circuits; Corequisite: 10-660-107, AC 1: Properties) Course Typically Offered: Fall/Spring
10-664-100
Automation 1: Control Logic
1
10-664-100 AUTOMATION 1: CONTROL LOGIC ...electric motor control components such as switches, relays, starters, transformers; and safely mount and install motor and motor control components and perform related wiring and troubleshooting of motor control circuits. Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
10-664-101
Automation 2: Motor Control
1
10-664-101 AUTOMATION 2: MOTOR CONTROL ...electric motor control components such as sensors, timers and counters. (Corequisite: 10-664-100, Automation 1: Control Logic) Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
10-804-196
Trigonometry w Apps
3
10-804-196 TRIGONOMETRY WITH APPLICATIONS ...topics include circular functions, graphing of trigonometry functions, identities, equations, trigonometric functions of angles, inverse functions, solutions of triangles complex numbers, DeMoivre's Theorem, polar coordinates, and vectors. (Prerequisites: Accuplacer College Level Math=63 or ACT-Math =24 or 10-804-118, Intermediate Alg w/ Apps with "C" or better AND Accuplacer Reading=55 or ACT-Reading=15 or 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 or Intro to College Writing with "B" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr. Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
10-806-143
College Physics 1
3
10-806-143 COLLEGE PHYSICS 1 ...presents the applications and theory of basic physics principles. This course emphasizes problem solving, laboratory investigation and applications. Topics include laboratory safety, unit conversions and analysis, kinematics, dynamics, work, energy, power, temperature, and heat. (Prerequisites: Accuplacer Elem Algebra=61 or ACT-Math score=21 or 10-834-110, Elementary Algebra w/Apps with "C" or better AND Accuplacer Reading=80 or ACT-Reading=17 or 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing or 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr. Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
SEMESTER TOTAL
17
THIRD SEMESTER
10-403-100
Blueprint Reading Intro
1
10-403-100 BLUEPRINT READING INTRO ...develop the knowledge skills process and understanding of site plans, footings and foundations, floor plans, elevations, below-grade piping, above-grade piping, isometric piping diagrams, schedules and details, electrical floor plans, lighting, ventilating, and air conditioning. Course Typically Offered: Fall
10-481-114
Intro to Energy Management
3
10-481-114 INTRO TO ENERGY MANAGEMENT ...introduces the basic concepts of energy, utility systems and utility rate structures; defines the need for energy management as an integral part of society at all levels. The course will present the various opportunities available to energy management students. Course Typically Offered: Fall
10-482-133
Photovoltaics-Advanced
4
10-482-133 PHOTOVOLTAICS-ADVANCED ...topics include batteries, wiring configurations, system diagramming, National Electrical code, component selection, wiring, safety and system maintenance. (Prerequisites: 10-482-126 Intro to Solar; 10-660-104, DC 1: Intro; 10-660-105, DC 2: Circuits; 10-620-107, AC 1: Properties) Course Typically Offered: Fall
10-483-107
Solar Thermal Design & Site
3
10-483-107 SOLAR THERMAL DESIGN & SITE ...learn steps to performing a site audit prior to installation of a solar thermal system. Focus on defining the solar window, system site placement and sizing, lead analysis and energy efficiency. (Prerequisite: 10-482-126, Intro to Solar) Course Typically Offered: Fall
10-605-157
Power Electronics 1: Devices
1
10-605-157 POWER ELECTRONICS 1: DEVICES ...the device characteristics and applications of thyristors, power transistors, and switching devices. (Prerequisite: 10-660-107, AC 1: Properties) Course Typically Offered: Fall/Spring
10-605-158
Power Electronics 2: Drives
1
10-605-158 POWER ELECTRONICS 2: DRIVES ...power circuitry of AC and DC drives and basic setup and application of an industrial DC and AC drives to DC and AC motors. Course Typically Offered: Fall/Spring
10-801-136
English Composition 1
3
10-801-136 ENGLISH COMPOSITION 1 ...learners develop knowledge/skills in planning, organizing, writing, editing. Students will also analyze audience/purpose, use elements of research, format documents using standard guidelines, and develop critical reading skills. (Prerequisite: Accuplacer Sentence Skills=75 AND Accuplacer Reading=55 OR ACT-English =18 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing or 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better OR equivalent) Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
SEMESTER TOTAL
16
FOURTH SEMESTER
10-483-106
Solar Advanced System Design
4
10-483-106 SOLAR ADVANCED SYSTEM DESIGN ... troubleshooting and repairing renewable thermal and electric equipment; diagnosing faulty equipment; selecting replacement parts; preparing a detailed work order. (Prerequisites: 10-483-107, Solar Thermal Design & Site; 10-482-132, Photovoltaics-Design & Site; 10-482-133, Photovoltaics-Adv; Corequisite: 10-483-108, Solar Thermal Advanced) Course Typically Offered: Spring
10-483-108
Solar Thermal-Advanced
4
10-483-108 SOLAR THERMAL-ADVANCED ...topics include safety, system design and layout, component selection, mounting collectors, plumbing and insulation copper pipe, storage tank installation, heat exchanger and circulation pump. (Prerequisite: 10-482-126, Intro to Solar) Course Typically Offered: Spring
10-801-197
Technical Reporting
3
10-801-197 TECHNICAL REPORTING ...principles of report writing and correspondence, proposals, feasibility reports, progress reports, investigation reports, evaluation reports, meeting reports, memos, and correspondence. (Prerequisite: 10-801-136, English Composition I OR 10-801-195, Written Communication with “C” or better) 3 cr. Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/Spring
10-809-172
Intro to Diversity Studies
3
10-809-172 INTRO TO DIVERSITY STUDIES...basic American values of justice and equality by teaching vocabulary, history of immigration/conquest, transcultural communication, legal liability, multicultural majority/minority relations, ageism, sexism, gender, sexual orientation, the disabled/ADA. (Prerequisite: Accuplacer Sentence Skills=60 AND Accuplacer Reading=55 OR ACT-English =16 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing or 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better OR equivalent)
10-809-198
Intro to Psychology
3
10-809-198 INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY ...survey of theoretical foundations of human behavior such as sensation and perception, motivation, emotions, learning, personality, psychological disorders, therapy, stress, and human diversity in personal, social and vocational settings. (Prerequisite: Accuplacer Sentence Skills=60 AND Accuplacer Reading=55 OR ACT-English =16 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing or 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better OR equivalent) Course Typically Offered: Summer/Fall/J-Session/Spring
SEMESTER TOTAL
17
TOTAL CREDITS
68
Curriculum Note
. The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an institutional requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements, but must be passed with a C or better.
. Students completing General Studies courses at NWTC must earn a "C" or better in English Composition to enroll in Technical Reporting.

Program Outcomes

• Evaluate the energy use of commercial and residential buildings and perform site assessments for solar electric and solar thermal systems.
• Generate technical project proposals and estimates for solar electric and solar thermal systems.
• Read and comprehend mechanical blueprints.
• Upload and download information from remote and local networks to aid in the operation and maintenance of systems.
• Facilitate distributed generation agreements and connection to local utilities.
• Obtain zoning regulations and building permits.
• Design, install and maintain solar electric systems.
• Design, install and maintain solar thermal systems.
• Ensure compliance with the national electrical code.
• Provide training to user upon project completion.
• Install, troubleshoot, repair and modify mechanical and electrical systems including programmable controllers.

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Start here. Finish at a four-year.

NWTC transfer programs are offered through collaborative agreements with our four-year college and university partners. See where your associate degree credits will transfer >> EXCLUDEEND

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Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Studies staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor.

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