XSeries Program Overview
Master the technical knowledge required to start or further your career in solar energy
Solar energy technology use is expanding rapidly. The Solar Photovoltaic (PV) sector is the largest and fastest growing renewable energy employer worldwide with an increasing need for experts that can support this growth.
In this MicroMasters program you will gain the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career in the solar energy field and become a successful solar energy professional. This program will teach you what is expected from solar experts, and will prepare you for employment in various capacities including:
- Systems design and engineering.
- Solar systems installation.
- Device fabrication and characterization.
- QA and reliability testing.
- Project management and consultancy as well as (technical) sales.
The program includes diverse learning activities, including videos, readings, exercises and real-world applications. You will be guided through the content in an inspiring, hands-on, but rigorous manner. It is designed so knowledge is built gradually. We therefore recommend that students follow the courses in the suggested order. However, you may choose to enroll in any course of your choice based on your background knowledge or experience.
The program is taught by photovoltaics research experts from TU Delft with many years of experience working with industry partners. Among these experts is Professor Arno Smets , the first ever recipient of the edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions to Online Teaching and Learning.
- Solar energy adoption is growing at a surprisingly fast rate with predicted falling costs and new technologies resulting in solar generating 20% of electricity by 2027 (Research Policy, 2016).
- Solar photovoltaic was the largest renewable energy employer with 2.8 million jobs in 2015, an 11% increase over the previous year (IREA, 2016).
- Job opportunities include engineering and consultancy roles at renewable energy companies, specialized solar engineering companies, leading consultancy firms, oil and gas companies that are preparing for the transition to renewables, and non—profit organizations.
- Estimated annual salary of engineers working in the solar energy industry amounts to $85,000 (USA Department of Labor).
What You'll Learn
- Understand the physics and model all aspects of a working solar cell: performance, efficiency limits and design rules.
- Understand design concepts and fabrication processes of various photovoltaic (PV) technologies and applications.
- Evaluate components of a PV-system: PV modules, inverters, DC-DC converters, batteries, charge controllers and cables.
- Apply techniques for designing a PV-system ranging from a residential rooftop system to a utility scale solar farm.
- Understand design concepts of microgrids that include PV-systems.
- Assess the economics and ecology of PV-systems and communicate these accordingly.
- Apply the knowledge in real life projects together with your peers.
Real Career Impact
“At Trina Solar, our mission is to develop smart energy for the benefit of mankind. Skilled engineers are essential to sustain the rapid growth in the solar energy industry and drive innovation to reduce the cost of solar power. Education and training of young engineers is therefore critical in this new industry. The Solar Energy Engineering MicroMasters is extremely relevant for anyone who would like to pursue a career in this sector.” - Pierre Verlinden, Vice-President and Chief Scientist ,Trina Solar
Meet the instructors:
How to earn MicroMasters Credentials
Complete and successfully earn a Verified Certificate in all 4 courses plus the Capstone project.
How to take your Credentials to the Next Level
If you successfully earn the MicroMaster Credential and decide to apply to the Master of Science program Sustainable Energy Technology (SET) or the Master of Science program Electrical Engineering (track: Electrical Power Engineering) at TU Delft, you will need to go through the regular admission procedures for MSc students and meet the entry requirements for those MSc programs.
If you are admitted and you would like to be exempted from courses in the aforementioned MSc programs, you are required to send a formal waiver request. Campus courses that can be waived (up to 16-18 credits) are courses that are equivalent to the solar energy courses of the MSc program in question.