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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Solar Energy Basics by The State University of New York

1,999 ratings
664 reviews

About the Course

This course gives you an introduction to the fundamentals of solar power as it applies to solar panel system installations. You will learn to compare solar energy to other energy resources and explain how solar panels, or photovoltaics (PV for short), convert sunlight to electricity. You will be able to identify the key components needed in a basic photovoltaic (solar panel) system, such as is found on a house or building, and explain the function of each component in the system. You will also learn how to calculate the electrical demand of a building, how to reduce the overall demand, and then how to design a solar panel system that can meet that annual demand at a given location. You will also compare the different types of pricing models that are being used and key regulatory considerations for grid tied systems (where a house or building is connected to the electrical grid and also generates electricity from solar panels). A capstone design project that entails both the simple audit of a building to determine demand, and a selection of components to design a solar panel system to meet that demand....

Top reviews


Jun 17, 2020

I would like to thank you and your team for this great course, I'm really appreciated, it was very helpful as starting in this field, and I will be the first one who will take all your next courses


Sep 26, 2020

I'm an electrical engineering student in 6th semester. In this course I learned many new things regarding, a pathway to PV specialization, special Thanks to coursera authorities and respected Sir.

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551 - 575 of 671 Reviews for Solar Energy Basics

By Saud F

Mar 8, 2021


By Geron G

Sep 20, 2020


By Ganesh A B

Apr 24, 2020


By Ignacio P

May 7, 2020

The course is very extensive and complete, covering most of the basic concepts of photovoltaics, from technical/material aspects to financial and employment ones. Some of the concepts and models are confusing as they are a bit out of date and mostly applicable to United States, but can be compared to the rest of the world using links provided. The specialisation isn't enough to guarantee a start in a career in PV, as it points out it is necessary to have other backgrounds in engineering or electricity to manage that goal. But all in all it is a great experience and knowledge achievement, encouraging and rich, giving a feeling of understanding a good amount of basics in this sector, so I strongly recommend it if someone's looking to acquire a first approach into this technology. Looking forward to next specialisations!

By Sriram S

Oct 9, 2020

The video content and quizzes were great. They covered a lot of information and concepts to build a strong base on solar energy. The instructor was very elaborative and the speed of the content delivered was perfect.

The downside of the course is that you are not given any study material and few concepts are purely based on the US. Since there are many students from countries other than the US, I would like to suggest to have content which supports students from all countries. Example of such content is the 'certifications available for PV system'. Few essential tools could have been enlisted for further help in PV sizing calculations.

Overall, the course is valuable for building the basics in solar energy.

By Andrés V

Jun 14, 2020

it is a good training for introduction to Solar Energy design and installation.

However, it was expected to have modules about design the complete PV system, including Inverter DC/AC selection, battery charger selection, battery backup system calculation, orientation of panels, solar panels connection options depending on building orientation...

Maybe a second course would be highly appreciated, a course which involves all the mentioned topics.


By Andras H

Mar 29, 2020


i am András from Hungary. I enjoyed this course very much, it was clearly understandable and provided a very good overview on this topic. I am working with PV for a while now as a projectmanager and investor. This course gave me lot of useful information on the background, because i was mainly focusing on the financial side till now.

This is a very good course for those who need basic info.

The Forum should be a bit more active.



By Julio C G

Jun 16, 2020

I expected to learn more indeed about how to design a photovoltaic system and what components to use depending on the size of the system (PV modules, Charge Controllers, Power inverter, Batteries for energy storage, Meters, and miscellaneous components like wiring, cables, connectors, conduit and brackets). Over all is a good course. I learned a lot because I didn't know anything about Solar Energy. Instructor Neal Abrams explains very good.


Jun 23, 2020

The course is very good for mechanical engineering undergrads because it's covers the essential aspects, leaving the solar cell electronics realm and giving a good overview of energy and insolation conceptions. The only disappointment is that it does only focus on United States when it comes to insolation maps, or careers and certifications in solar energy. This should be corrected for the international students.

By Egor S

Apr 26, 2020

The course starts off with great depth of detail. The instructor is clear and well spoken. Material is divided well into clear sections. My only complaint is that the last couple of weeks were less useful than the first three, in which PV system basics were very well covered. I feel the course could have done more to cover system design and BOS concepts.

By Christina M

Jul 27, 2020

Pretty happy with course until I finished module 1 quiz and could not submit it unless I upgraded to a certificate. I have taken several Courses on here and it is the first one I could not submit a quiz without upgrading... Felt like a bait and switch. I am learning for my own growth not for a certificate!

By Gihan I

Apr 19, 2021

Neal Abrams does a very good job to simplify and explain the course. I learnt much on this course and I recommend it to anyone wanting to understand the basics. But one issue I had is that it is structured for the American student and not for an international student. This was a turn-off to me.

By Patrick L

Nov 5, 2021

I would like to thank your team and you for this great course, I learned a lot and really appreciated the time and effort for making this course so interesting.

I have one last request, could you or your team kindly re-issue the certificate for me as the name is wrongly reflected. Thanks.

By Andrew L

Dec 20, 2021

A good course although it needed a little bit of a better explanation on how to calculate the number of required solar panels what are the different types of solar irradiance maps and how to use them and there was no information about loss of efficiency of PV over time.


Oct 19, 2020

These basics about renewable energy sources like utilization of solar nergy in the form of solar panels and PV systems, modules is very much useful in designing and understanding more about solar energy!! Great it was a good experience... Nice work Coursera 👍👌

By Camilo A E G

Jul 6, 2020

The course has an interesting overview of Solar Energy, however, during the course, the instructor mentions other courses to complete a non-existent specialization. As a student, I was disappointed because I paid the course to continue the specialization.

By Hernan D G R

Feb 13, 2020

I have enjoyed the course, they gave us a good information for starting in this beautiful work, I recommend it, I love if they give us more information about the array but it is a good beginning. I hope to study more details in the next courses.

By vijaya a n

Aug 2, 2020

There is some thing to be concentrated on review of projects. What i think is some are simply rejcting becuase thier project are not submitted or not checking the project in detail. Hence i request pay some attention in this regard.

By Jj O

Oct 25, 2020

I don't like the final project was scored or checking for other students, I mean, It would be better if we got feedback from an expert or for the person who created this course,

by the way, It was really good also really helpful

By Rohan B G

Jun 28, 2020

Great course with all the required exercises and easy to understand. provided all the basics and the knowledge of photovoltaic s as well as energy consumption and one more helpful thing about course was the capstone project.

By Vikas R P

Sep 26, 2020

Complete knowledge about solar energy. Learn to calculate load, sun hour, array size.

Best thing is course test contains less MCQ, more logical and math questions.

Project improves confidence in the field of solar energy.

By Atharva A G

Jul 20, 2020

It's a Amazing course with very deep knowledge and information about solar enrgy and photovoltaics.If you are a beginner or a expert in this field no matter this course will absolutely made you expert in solar energy .

By Mamuka M

Sep 11, 2020

I learned about Solar Energy Basics. Starting from equipment and materials that are used, followed by principles of operation and completed by selection of PV Modules for specific buildings based on Energy demand.

By Aditya W

Jul 10, 2020

the course content is very good for starting off from basics of solar photovoltaics. concepts are explained properly. assignment problem and quizzes were also very interesting. real recommendable.