Solar Energy

Course Description

Solar Energy is an INTRODUCTORY course with the use of some elementary equations and the use of spread sheets for some analysis.

Renewable energy will be a integral part of future energy use in our world.

GOALS

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

          
Students will be able to:
Some reasons for taking the course are: general information for personal use, to acquire information for teaching, general information for policy makers, knowledge so you can train users of the technology, and you are interested in reducing demand for fossil fuels.

Course Information

TEXT:  No official text.

Previously The New Solar Home Book by Bruce Anderson and Michael Riordan was used. However, it is now out of print. There may be a copy in the local library.

Sequence is the same as the Table of Contents.  Your input is needed and welcome for improving the multimedia aspects of the online course. 

You will be expected to participate in the chat sessions and bulletin board.  Questions in the bulletin board and the discussion will be an integral part of the course.

The grade book under Tools will show grades. Be sure and keep copy of all files sent to me, because I may have problems in down loading them or maybe even delete a file by mistake. Problems and tests are graded within one week of due date.

Course Grade

Midterm Test 25%
Problem Sets 25%
Project (Web preferred, paper accepted) 15%
Questions and Activities 10%
Final 25%

Notes to Students

WTONLINE
WTOnline is the virtual university of West Texas A&M University. Classes started in the Summer of 97. In Fall 03, there were 110 courses with an enrollment of 4,260 students. Previous surveys indicate that seventy percent of the students prefer the online courses. One major factor is the savings to the students, in terms of driving time and other costs.

The main difference is WTOnline is a Learning University, in contrast to the traditional teaching and research universities. The instructor is a facilitator, a promoter of interaction, while the student is now primarily responsible for their learning. Interaction and participation is a key for a successful course and this is what makes Web Based Courses vastly different from correspondence courses. 

A.  WEB BASED COURSE
This is a web based course, but it is not self paced because due dates are structured. This means the students are doing the work with the instructor providing guidance. Username and password for the course are issued when you first log on.  You have access to the course because you are in the WTAMU database, i.e. registered and paid fees.

B.  BULLETIN BOARD
Bulletin Board is for answering questions posted by the instructor.  After it is posted, you can not change your answer. If you have suggestions for questions for the bulletin board, send them to me by coursemail.  Net etiquette applies, especially since there is not anonymous correspondence.

C.  CHAT
Chat will be in the evening, and I will have two sessions per week. You are expected to participate once per week. Times to be determined from your input. Some projects or assignments may be by groups, which means there may be chat sessions without the instructor. Again net etiquette applies. 

D.  ASSIGNMENTS
Problems, questions, and bulletin board questions will be assigned. Assignments and due dates will be posted in the announcements and the calendar. Most problems will have a value of 1.0. Tools Upload will be used to send in assignments and return of graded assignments.

E.  OTHER MATERIAL OF INTEREST, INTERESTING LINKS
I want your comments and suggestions, especially on links related to the course material.  Send by coursemail. We are using Netscape Communicator for composing web pages. You may use Netscape, Internet Explorer or Safari browsers. Also send your comments on problems with the online aspect of the course. If you have ideas for graphics and even video clips which would help in understanding the material, please mail them or send me coursemail.
 
F.  REFERENCES, OTHER INFORMATION
We want to move from regular references to electronic references.  You will be expected to assist in finding and evaluating online links. Links should be specific, as most people will not try more than 3 jumps to get the information they want. In general students do not pay any attention to references at the end of chapters, unless they are doing a project or a paper on that topic. A number of books on solar energy are available.

If you are planning on building a house, the best source of information is THE PASSIVE SOLAR ENERGY BOOK, Edward Mazria, Rodale Press, 1979.

G.  The instructor is fallible and not any smarter than you. Remember you are at the prime of ability for intellectual endeavors.

YOUR EFFORTS ARE THE KEY. I will also be learning from you.

Disability Statement

Note:  West Texas A & M University seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for all qualified persons with disabilities.  This University will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required to afford equal educational opportunity. It is the student's responsibility to register with the Disability Support Services and to contact the faculty member in a timely fashion to arrange for suitable accommodations.

Copyright

This material may not be used without the permission of the Alternative Energy Institute and the International Renewable Training Consortium.  Contact the Alternative Energy Institute, aeimail@mail.wtamu.edu

Acknowledgements

I appreciate all the students that have previously taken this course and participants in workshops, along with many other people chasing the reality of sustainable energy.   A hugh hunk of credit goes to the student web access teams and instructional assistance. Present WTOnline staff are constantly assisting in the presentation of all WTOline courses. Past movers and shakers of WTOnline are Dr. LeAnn McKinzie, Dr. Vaughn Nelson, James Houston, Paul Cordero and Trey McCallie, Dr. Sue Taylor, Sean Usleton, Gabe Lopes, graduate student Dongesok Lim, and former students Jarvis Hampton, Anthony Coggins, Chad Hampton, Michelle Houston, Wes Farris, Paul Bullish, Mark Uptergrove.  Students are and were major contributors to WTOnline.