Learn Alternative Energy Design and Installation This Spring

Article by: Paige Allen,
GODFREY – With a recent surge of interest in alternative energy, two spring classes will give students hands-on experience and information about the design and installation of solar energy sources – Solar Design and Installation (SOLR-120-A1) and Grid Tied Solar Design (SOLR-121).

L&C Architectural Technology Coordinator Luke Jumper said students taking both classes will gain a basic understanding of photovoltaic systems.

“Both classes would appeal to anyone exploring photovoltaic or solar cells as an alternate energy source,” Jumper said. “The classes are set up for a novice as well as a professional. Whether you are contractor who wants to increase your knowledge on the job or you are someone interested in alternative energy for your home or other structure, you will learn a lot of valuable information as well as get some hands-on experience.” 

Each two-credit hour course is offered one evening a week on the Godfrey campus.

Solar Design and Installation (SOLR-120-A1) runs from Tuesday, Jan. 17 - Tuesday, March 7. It is a prerequisite to Grid Tied Solar Design (SOLR-121) which runs March 21 - May 9. 

Solar Design and Installation presents competencies and expected outcomes for photovoltaic (PV) design and installation. Students learn the fundamentals of sizing a residential battery-less grid-tied system, wire sizing, over-current protection and grounding. The course also reviews fundamental design criteria for off-grid stand-alone systems including specifying batteries, controllers and battery-based inverters.

Students advancing to Grid Tied Solar Design will learn about advanced photovoltaic (PV) design and grid tied installations and apply the standards presented in the National Electric Code (NEC) as they perform grid interface calculations, ground considerations and wire sizing. Students will evaluate a photovoltaic system under various operating systems and will also evaluate batteries and their sizing, charge controllers, and hybrid systems. 

Registration for both classes currently is open. For more information, visit or call (618) 468-2222 to enroll now.