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Solar Energy Systems & Building Design

Number: BCT 525
Credits: 3
Format: In person, Amherst

Semester: Spring
Meeting Times: Mon/Wed 11:15 - 12:30
Room: Olver Design Building 162

LMS Link


Ho-Sung Kim,

Senior Lecturer & Chief Undergraduate Advisor

Office: Olver Design Building 320
Phone: +1 (413) 545-1970

Office Hours | Faculty Page | LinkedIn

Course Description

Introduces the fundamental concepts of solar building design and energy systems. Through project-based study and occasional field visits, students will explore the theory, technologies, applications, and benefits of the solar design of buildings and discover how to utilize solar energy systems for residential and commercial buildings.

Students will be required to research and document technology and complete a semester case study project in which they will examine various energy conservation aspects and economics underlying solar energy systems.

Open to Seniors, Juniors and Graduate students only.

Learning Goals

  • List and explain the main sources of energy and their primary applications.
  • Describe the challenges and problems associated with the use of various energy sources.
  • Discuss potential solutions for the supply and environmental issues associated with fossil fuels and other energy resources.
  • Understand the fundamental concepts related to passive solar design.
  • Understand how to estimate available solar energy for a given site and application.
  • Design a passive solar heating system for a building.
  • Design an active solar heating system for a building.
  • Describe and illustrate basic PV system electrical concepts, components, and their interconnections.
  • Analyze the performance of a PV system.
  • Understand issues in connection with the maintenance and troubleshooting of a PV system.
  • Understand issues related to PV markets, applications, regulations, and policies.
  • Introduction to DesignBuilder, Microsoft Office


None required

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