EME 811
Solar Thermal Energy for Utilities and Industry

Welcome to EME 811: Solar Thermal Energy for Utilities and Industry


Quick Facts about EME 811

Course Developer:

Dr. Lucas Witmer, Lecturer, Department of Energy and Environmental Engineering, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University.

Course Instructor:

Dr. Mark Fedkin, Teaching Faculty in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (RESS), Research Associate, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State Univeristy.

Course Structure:

The course consists of 12 weekly lessons delivered through this site, with each lesson accompanied by reading quizzes and graded activities. Some weeks are reserved for the work on the project proposal, which will be final deliverable in the end of the semester. All course assignments are submitted through the Penn State course management system - Canvas. Please see Syllabus and Orientation for more details.


Solar thermal energy conversion can be applied to a wide array of industrial and district applications, which provide benefits in avoided fuel costs for water and steam production in industry. EME 811 covers the physical materials used for solar energy conversion to useful thermal energy; the function and performance of non-concentrating and concentrating solar thermal energy systems; the markets and thermal requirements for industrial projects; and applications of solar thermal energy to buildings (heating/cooling), chemical processing, fuel synthesis, drying, and desalination.