Electricity Concepts

  • Describe voltage, charge, and current
  • Reason about relative current flows in series and parallel circuits
  • Reason about relative energy consumption in series and parallel configurations
  • Reason about relative current flows in wires of different sizes

Electricity Circuit Models

  • Recognize and describe ideal models for resistors, batteries, voltage sources
  • Able to estimate voltage, current, power, and energy in circuit elements using circuit models
  • Describe and recognize practical applications of circuit models
  • Draw how humans can become a circuit component
  • Describe basic household wiring and safety
  • Apply circuit concepts to thermal circuits
  • Estimate the resistance of wires from physical properties


  • Describe current-voltage curve using ideal and internal resistance model for a battery
  • Calculate current, voltage, and energy available from series and parallel combinations of batteries
  • Quantify battery bank currents and voltages to loads
  • Describe basic environmental and resource implications of wide-scale battery use


  • Describe how forces are produced by currents and magnets
  • Describe basic parts of a motor (rotor, stator, windings)
  • Estimate voltage and current to motor using simple model (back emf and copper loss)
  • Predict rotation speed and torque for a motor from specifications and current provided
  • Describe the function of power converters and transformers and make estimations of power or efficiency
  • Estimate the efficiency of a motor based on copper loss

Solar Applied Physics

  • Able to estimate and calculate sun angles from date and time
  • Calculate loss of power from relative angle of panel and normal rays
  • Able to define the solstices and equinoxes
  • Able to interpret sun path diagrams
  • Able to calculate the incident radiation on a panel

Photovoltaic System Sizing

  • Estimate current and voltage from PV using IV curve
  • Estimate current, voltage, and power from an IV array
  • Recognize and describe peak sun hours
  • Estimate the monthly energy using peak sun hours and TMY
  • Able to use and interpret data from PV Watts
  • Able to use PV IV curve stacking to determine how multiple panels will behave in series and parallel
  • Able to calculate the effect of temperature variation on current, voltage, and energy production


  • Able to enter basic PV data into PV Watts tool and interpret results
  • Able to take CSV output from PV Watts and load into a spreadsheet
  • Able to determine which columns of a data set to use in a calculation of total energy or value of energy
  • Use conditional and logic statements to perform time of use calculations

Utility and LCOE

  • Describe how to estimate the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE)
  • Estimate LCOE for energy sources using simple assumptions
  • Describe the difference between load-following and supply-following
  • Describe the duck curve in California energy generation

Financial Engineering

  • Describe the time value of money
  • Calculate the present and future value of single and multiple payments
  • Construct a spreadsheet showing loan payments and remaining principal
  • Use the capital recovery factor (CRF) to calculate energy loan costs
  • Estimate LCOE for energy including the cost of capital