Introduction to Solar Energy


1-day course

CPD Credit: 6.5 hours, C1

Course Aim

The aim of this course is to provide delegates with an extended foundation of the main concepts of solar energy and to enable them to practically apply their knowledge in the design of solar energy systems for small (domestic) and large (commercial) applications.  

Course Programme

Topics include:

  • Introduction
  • Importance of understanding Solar energy resource
  • Overview of photovoltaic technologies – fundamental principles to current state of the art
  • Designing a domestic system – explanation of different components (inverters, control, battery and/or grid)
  • Designing for solar farms
  • Grid integration issues

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, delegates should be able to:

  • Describe the function & design of different photovoltaic including monocrystalline silicon, amorphous, thin film and multijunction modules and emerging technologies.
  • Explain how the performance of solar energy systems varies annually and diurnally, depending on location, sky conditions, device and application type and load/user behaviour.
  • Describe the function of the most important components necessary in a solar energy system for small (domestic) and large (commercial) scales.
  • Understand grid connection issues for small & large solar installations

Trainer's Profile

Sarah McCormack

Sarah McCormack is an Associate Professor in the Dept of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at Trinity College Dublin.

She took up a Faculty position at Trinity in 2009 and was made a Fellow of the College in 2016.  She has PhD, MAI and BSc degrees in Science & Engineering from Ulster University. Her research areas are sustainable energy, particularly solar energy and energy storage and has published over 100 papers, with over 5000 citations.

She has co-organised several international conferences and workshops in the sustainable energy areas.  Her current research projects focus on Luminescent Solar Devices enabling collection of diffuse solar radiation of higher latitude climates (ERC funded) and in a 14-partner IDEAS project (H2020 funded) her team have developed novel luminescent CPC systems for solar efficiency enhancement.

She is the coordinator of this 4M H2020 project, based on the integration of renewable energy technologies in a more holistic and integrated manner in buildings. 

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Engineers Ireland supports the Sustainable Development Goals. This event contributes to Engineers Ireland's Sustainability Framework.

Please contact the Team for further information on scheduled course dates and In-Company options. You can reach us by phone: 01 665 1305 or email