AET University Solar Thermal Training Syllabus


Monday - Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


AET Solar Thermal Courses

Solar Thermal Fundamentals

Solar Thermal Installation

Solar Thermal Design

Solar Thermal Sales

Solar Thermal Business Development

Solar Thermal Advanced Design

Course Schedule:


Monday - Fundamentals

An introductory course focused on giving students an in depth background on the solar thermal industry.  This core knowledge is essential for building the foundation our students need during the design and installation sections of the training program.  Our instructors have extensive field expertise; they embrace and encourage questions from our students.  During the fundamentals course students will be exposed to areas of solar thermal such as:

  • Solar insolation and geographical variations

  • Site Selection, azimuth, angle of incidence, shading

  • Use of Shade Analysis Tools- Solar Pathfinder & Sun-Eye

  • SRCC, Reports, OG100 & OG300

  • Manufacture Efficiency Curves  

  • Three types of heat transfer

  • Collector types

  • Flat plate construction- series flow vs. parallel flow

  • Flush, rail, rack, ground, collector mounting

  • Tanks, open and closed loop

  • Valve types

  • Valve selection 

  • Active system vs. passive systems

  • Direct systems

  • Indirect systems

  • Types of pumps

  • Pump selection

  • Differential controls, programmable and non-programmable

  • Intro to pool heating

  • Intro into space heating



Tuesday - Installation

  • Installation of single and dual tanks systems

  • Attaching and flashing brackets: spanner mount, lag mount, j bolt mount

  • Proper pipe flashing: coolie cap, Oatey, manufacture specific

  • Flat roof mounting: curb, ballasted, pitch pan

  • Differential controllers; non-programmable & programmable

  • Troubleshooting differential controls

  • Proper system charging

  • Collector mounting: flush mount, rack mount, stand-off mount, asphalt shingle, tile roof, metal roof

Tuesday - Installation (Hands On) 

The content of the Solar Installation course was developed from FSEC installation guidelines, Uniform Plumbing Code, courses developed for manufacture dealer training, and NABCEP Task Analysis.


  • Solar Water and Pool Heating Manual, Design and Installation & Repair and Maintenance, January, 2006. Florida Solar Energy Center, 1679 Clearlake Road, Cocoa, FL 32922-5703

  • Uniform Plumbing Code, 2006. International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials, 5001 East Philadelphia Street, Ontario, CA 91761-281

  • Alternate Energy Technologies Dealer Installation Certification Seminar 2001


Wednesday - Solar Thermal Design

In this section of the training students will be taught proper placement and sizing of solar thermal arrays in order to meet not only the customer needs, but also to adhere to strictly enforced building codes.  Appropriate resources for finding rules and regulations that must be met in the student’s local jurisdiction will also be provided.  Much of this class will be spent learning the proper formulas needed to calculate the amount of BTU’s necessary to meet the customer’s hot water demand.  Our instructors explain this process clearly and are extremely patient during the learning process, again not allowing any student to fall behind.  Other important areas that will be discussed include but are not limited to:


Thursday - Business - Sales & Marketing

With over 4 decades of experience in the Solar Industry, our instructors have extensive practical knowledge in both the design and installation and sale of solar thermal systems.  This section of the training is geared toward providing students with the knowledge needed to successfully develop productive sales and lead generation initiatives.  In the residential sales portion of the course, the students are taught the types of personal characteristics and skills that are necessary build a truly professional solar salesperson.  They are taught techniques to control the direction of an in home sales presentation that will increase your closing ratio.  Our students are shown how to identify the buying motive of their customers and successfully present the benefits of our products.    


In the commercial sales portion of the course our contactors are shown how to properly prepare for commercial sales presentation.  They are show how to use tools such as Google Earth and Google Draw to illustrate to their client how the solar system will appear on their building.  They are also taught how to use the reports generated from design software such as TSol and Ret Screen to enhance their presentation and generate the economic forecasting that their client will require.  Our students are shown how to conduct a proper site visit and are instructed how to identify and collect all of the data that the system designer will require, and what they will need to offer their client an accurate “ball park” figure for the cost of the system.  Our contractors are familiarized with the various financing packages that AET offers that include Lease Purchase and Power Purchase Agreements.  Finally they are shown how to write an effective proposal.


Friday - Advanced Design

Advanced Solar Thermal Design- This course will focus on the designer’s ability to complete a design from site survey & assessment through construction drawings and into permitting and commissioning. The fact that all of the participants have been through a basic design course should allow this training to be more hands on and interactive than the introductory design class. [Depending on the number on students in attendance; groups will be formed and an outline for a site specific design will be given to each. Every group will do a site survey and assessment, presentation layout and production estimation & then create a permitting package and project handbook.] Students will be given the opportunity to experience the process of design, and implementation. The design will be small scale commercial. This should provide the student with knowledge and the experience needed to any residential or commercial installation.


This class provides the Solar Thermal designer, contractor, or installer with a comprehensive understanding of Solar Thermal design. These skills are essential for designers of commercial systems and complex residential systems such space heating applications.  This class was created to provide an in depth knowledge of the tools and best practices needed for complex Solar Thermal systems.




Fundamentals/Advanced Design Exam given Friday - allow 3 -4 hours on Friday afternoon to complete.

Students experience how to apply techniques learned in the classroom to real life situations.  We provide different roof types for the students to advance their skills using a variety of mounting techniques.  The mock roof types include asphalt shingle, flat commercial, and standing seam metal.  This ensures that when our contractors are out working in the field they will not be presented with a job that they are not comfortable accomplishing.  Our installation lab is one of a kind and rivaled by no other training facility in the country.  We believe that hands on experiences are essential to the success of our students and we will stop at nothing to ensure the best possible lab experience for each individual.  Other areas of the installation process will include:

  • Design of passive water heaters: Thermosiphon, & ICS

  • Design of Active Direct Systems: A/C Differential Controlled, PV Controlled

  • Design of Active Indirect Systems: Drainback Systems, Glycol Systems

  • SRCC Report as it relates to manufacture collector efficiency curve

  • Using SRCC Report as a design tool

  • Using manufactures collector efficiency curve as a design tool

  • Determining loads using the BTU formula

  • Determining loads using hot water consumption profiles

  • Solar Fractions

  • Calculating  proper spacing between collector rows

  • Balancing multiple collector rows

  • Balancing multiple tanks

  • Calculating system pressure drops and flow rates

  • Pump curves and pump sizing

  • Pipe sizing

  • Determining system fluid capacities

  • Pool System sizing and design layout

  • Determining effects of pressure/flow rates on pool filtration

  • Sizing collectors and storage for space heating systems: forced air,                                   radiant floor, groundwater source heat pumps using building heat loss loads



Alternate Energy Technologies

1345 Energy Cove Court

Green Cove Springs, FL 32043