Fundamentals of Solar Energy Systems

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ELT 154

       Course Name: Fundamentals of Solar Energy Systems

       Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ELT 130 and ELT 140

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

The course covers the theory, operation, and application of photovoltaic and thermal systems and technologies. The content includes solar energy basics, site surveys, available technologies, installation options, cost estimation, and project justification. The course will include both lecture as well as hand-on lab sessions.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Student will learn the fundamental of solar PV and thermal systems that are in common use today.

  • Familiarization with terminology used for solar energy and thermal systems.
  • Ability to conduct a survey of a site to assess its potential.
  • Analyze the information on the site’s energy consumption. This would include data monitoring and evaluation.
  • Evaluate the application of energy conservation options.
  • Measure and size suitable solar collector(s) system components.
  • Demonstrate the effects site-specific requirements such as obstructions, covenants, and building code restrictions.
  • Present a project cost estimate and justification.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

VII.  Methods of Instruction

The course will be 70% lecture and 30% lab. The lecture will be an informal discussion of the assigned material and related topics. The lab experiments will be timed to reinforce the concepts presented in the lecture.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Tests 60%
Homework assignments 15%
Labs 25%

Attendance is mandatory. Excessive unexcused absences will adversely affect your course grade score

All assignments are required to be finished on time, or a make-up test may be given at the following session for students who missed the test for a good reason.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Exams 60%
Lab Assignments 20%
Homework Assignments 20%

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.