Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Solar Energy Systems Overview

University at Buffalo and State University of New York via Coursera


By the end of this course, learners will have acquired a broad understanding of the history and mechanics behind converting light into electricity, commonly known as photovoltaics (PV). They are empowered to recognize and describe elements of a PV system, enabling them to: compare the most common types of solar cells, sketch a solar PV system, and analyze differences between rooftop and ground mounting configurations. The course explores economic considerations, touching on solar PV costs for residential and commercial use, incentives, and contrasts solar power with fossil fuel and nuclear plants.

This course is ideal for anyone interested in entering the solar power sector, whether fresh to the workforce or switching industries. The curriculum is especially useful for engineers, HVAC installers, architects, and building code inspectors.

Material includes online lectures, videos, demos, project work, readings and discussions. This is the first course in the Solar PV for Engineers, Architects and Code Inspectors specialization. To learn more about the specialization, check out a video overview at


  • Acknowledgement
  • Solar Power
    • This module introduces learners to the history of solar power and the nature of photovoltaics (PV).
  • The Nature of PV
    • This module provides an understanding of the structure and function of different types of PV systems and their components.
  • Solar Power ROI
    • This module provides an understanding of the costs and ROI that can be expected when installing a PV system.
  • PV System Analysis Project: Theory to Practice

Taught by

Gay E Canough


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 700 ratings

Start your review of Solar Energy Systems Overview

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.