Audience: Students who will be enrolling in one of
the three classes offered in the Solar Curriculum: Solar 101
Introduction to Energy, Solar 050 Photovoltaic’s, and Solar 060
Solar Thermal, and want to polish there math skills before taking
one of these courses.
Description: This short course is intended to
provide students with a review of algebra, trigonometry and general
problem solving encountered in designing solar systems. The
participant will develop the skills to solve problems related to
basic electrical circuits and solar power. We will use a basic four
function plus trig calculator, the Casio fx260-solar.
Class format: Wed, 5:00pm - 10:00pm ~ 16 weeks – 80
• Powers of ten,
exponential notation and prefixes (e.g. "mega" and "giga")
• Percentages and decimal fractions: How to convert back and
forth between the two e.g. +10% and 1.1, and -10% and 0.9.
• Metric system as applies to physical, electrical and
energy systems (kilogram, meter, second, watt, joule).
Conversion from and to commonly encountered "English" or
"Imperial" units e.g. feet-to-meters, gallons-to-liters,
BTUs-to-Calories-to-Joules-to-kilowatt-hours and degrees
• Trigonometry of right triangles. Using the basic
trigonometric (and inverse trigonometric) expressions to
solve for one unknown given two other known quantities.
• Graphing data and extracting data from graphs
• Time-rate-of-change: How to relate quantities that change
with time to their rates e.g. distance and speed, energy and
• Calculation of area and volume from linear dimensions
• Understand the concept of flux e.g. "power per unit area"
and to be able to convert back and forth between a quantity
(e.g. power) and its flux using the area involved.
• Understand the concept of precision (significant figures)
and apply it consistently through a series of calculations.
All of these skills will be taught
using practical examples from solar, electrical and thermal
applications. All students will be required to purchase the Casio fx-260
Solar ($9.00 in stores everywhere).