Green Sheet

ESCI 63 - 2.0 Units

Instructor: Stewart Wadsworth

Hours: Six Hours Lab

  • Lab: Fridays in room KC 120, 10:30 a.m. - 4:10 p.m.

Course Description

A photovoltaic (PV) technology field studies course emphasizing hands-on learning of solar angle/orientation and energy use calculation, PV systems design and installation for residential and commercial projects. Good field studies course for students considering the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification program. Out-of-class field trips are required for this course.

Instructor's Contact Information

  • email: (please put ESCI-63 in the subject box of all emails)
  • Office: KC212
  • Office Hours: Fridays before class
  • Phone/Voicemail: 831-359-2584
  • ES Dept website:


Be prepared to:

  1. Attend all classes!
  2. Participate in team assignments in and outside of class time
  3. Work with a team to work on a hands-on PV project and other assignments

Course Objectives

After completing this course you should be able to:

  1. Explore the solar angle/orientation and energy use calculation techniques required to install a photovoltaic (PV) system project.
  2. Examine skills required to design a photovoltaic (PV) system project.
  3. Analyze the skills required to install a photovoltaic (PV) system project.
  4. Analyze and calculate energy saving generated by installation of a photovoltaic (PV) system.
  5. Analyze opportunities for educating the public, public agencies and other stakeholders utilizing energy resources about photovoltaic (PV).

Course Materials

Textbooks: Available for check-out at the Stewardship Resource Center (SRC)

Complete Written Assignments

  1. Individual assignment: Each student will complete a field lab journal
  2. Team assignment: Students will participate in a hands-on photovoltaic project.


Point Breakdown:

Participation: 50

Class journal: 50

Team Assignments: 50

Total Points: 150 points

Grading Scale

% of total





less than 55%

General Information:

1. This is an intensive environmental science course!

2. Please contact Pat Cornely ( for tutorial assistance for this course.

3. Make-up lecture classes must be completed by the dates listed in the lecture schedule

4. Class protocol for each day of lecture:

· Class begins promptly at 10:30 am

5. Stewardship Resource Center (SRC) protocol:

· Daily activities (ie computer research) may be scheduled at the SRC

· Computer check-out by team requires one student ID

· Stay with your computer at all times – do not leave unattended! Someone should always be at your station!

6. Students are expected to exhibit proper indoor and outdoor classroom etiquette: arrive to class on time, participate in all activities, do not talk during lecture & no cell phones or other such devices on! Disruptive student behavior will result in an F in the class and the student will be dropped from the class.

Class Schedule:


This Week’s Topics


Class #

Sept 25

Course Intro & Expectations

Introductions, projects, PV Components & Equipment

SPwr Modules, Inverter, Racking, Site Survey Tools.


Oct 2

Electricity Generation, Transmission, Renewable Energy, Electric Bills for students home.

PG&E Bills of students, PGE website, Energy Efficiency, Energy Star. Identify PV Need.


Oct 9

Solar Site Survey, Types of Systems, DC Electricity, W=VxA, String Sizing, Shading, Rules of Thumb for design.

Site Survey Equipment, Solar School House Kits, Measure Voc, Isc with modules outside. Multi Meter & Amp Clamp


Oct 16

Field Trip

Site Survey Tools


Oct 23

Inverters, Modules, BOS, Mechanical Integration and Electrical Integration.

Work with SPwer equipment, modules & Inverter & Racking. Plywood, screws, AC Disconnect & Load Center


Oct 30

Detailed System Design, Specification, and Permitting and Design

Access to online tools


Nov 6

Sales, Design and PV Market


Nov 20

Cheeseman ESA Building PV Project – Bid Process


Dec 4

Putting together final system for each students home, pricing, equipment, generation & consumption.

CPF or On-Grid Solar Proposal tools, 7 day trial for each group or student.


General Information:

1. This is an intensive environmental science course!

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