EME 811
Solar Thermal Energy for Utilities and Industry

Technical Requirements


Before you begin working through the course content, you need to make sure the computer you are using is configured properly for the multimedia that you will encounter. Below are specifications and tests to help make sure everything is in working order.

General Requirements

For this course, we recommend the minimum technical requirements outlined on the World Campus Technical Requirements page, including the requirements listed for same-time, synchronous communications.

Internet Connection

Access to a reliable Internet connection is required for this course. A problem with your Internet access may not be used as an excuse for late, missing, or incomplete coursework. If you experience problems with your Internet connection while working on this course, it is your responsibility to find an alternative Internet access point, such as a public library or Wi-Fi ® hotspot.

Mixed Content

This site is considered a secure website, which means that your connection is encrypted. We do however link to content that isn't necessarily encrypted. This is called mixed content. By default, mixed content is blocked in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. This may result in a blank page or a message saying that only secure content is displayed. Follow the directions below to view the mixed content.

  • Firefox
    In “Permissions” Menu, select “allow” for specific media content you are trying to access.
  • Chrome
    Click the shield icon to the right of the address bar.
    In the icon dialog box, click "Load anyway."
  • Internet Explorer
    Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click "Show all content."

Movies and Videos

We have YouTube video material in many of the lessons in this course. Chances are pretty good that you already use a Web browser that is configured to view YouTube videos, but to be safe, here is a "test" file that you should try out now to make sure you won't have problems later in the course. If this video (1:14) runs smoothly for you, then you're ready to go. If you can't get the video to play on your computer, then please refer to the steps at the bottom of this page to troubleshoot your problem.

Video: How Online Learning Works at Penn State World Campus (1:14)

Click here for video transcript.

Music playing.

Words on screen: Penn State World Campus How Online Learning Works How do I get started on the first day of classes? What does an online course look like? How will I interact with my professors and classmates? What's it like to learn online? Is this a real Penn State degree? Yes! Same faculty Same academic rigor Same degree Can I make my own schedule? Most courses follow a standard schedule with weekly assignments Your syllabus will outline assignments and deadlines Complete your coursework at any time of day Group work may require you to schedule chats with your classmates How much time will I have to spend on each course? Average time spent on a 3-credit course: 8-12 hours per week How do I talk to fellow classmates and faculty? There are lots of options! Discussion forums, email, web conferencing tools, and other technology What if I need help? Full support from academic, student service, and financial teams 24/7/365 technical support through our HelpDesk Penn State World Campus A world of possibilities. Online. worldcampus.psu.edu

Having trouble? Troubleshooting tips...

Request Help. If you still have not had any success, then it is time for you to contact the HelpDesk. University Park or Commonwealth Campus students should contact the IT Service Desk, and World Campus students should contact the Outreach Helpdesk. It is in your own best interest to be as specific as you possibly can. Vague descriptions of a problem only delay assistance. Try to include information such as:

  • the specific course page, quiz question, etc., you were on, what you attempted to do when that failed, and the exact language of any error message displayed on your screen;
  • the date and time when your problem occurred;
  • any other pertinent information (whether the problem happens consistently and always in the same way, etc.).


This course uses many equations. In order to view the equations, you must use one of the following browsers. This list supersedes the list of browsers found on the Technical Requirements page.

  • Firefox (any version)
  • Safari (versions 5.1 or 6.0)
  • Internet Explorer with the MathPlayer PlugIn.

If you use any other browsers, there will be pages that do not render properly.

Customize Your Zoom Settings

You can customize your browser to zoom in on the equations by following the steps below.

  • Right-click (Mac users Ctnl-click) on the formula and select "MathSettings."
  • Choose "Zoom Trigger" to tell the equation to zoom when you either hover, click, or double-click on the equation. 
  • Choose "Zoom Factor" to set the zoom factor (125% - 400%).
 screen shot of MathJax settings.

Try It!

Below is an example of a formula. Right click (Mac users Ctrl-click) on the formula to access the Zoom settings.

p=m ( 1 u 2 c 2 ) 1 2 u

Electronic Submissions

This course will require you to complete some handwritten assignments which must be submitted electronically. You must have a scanner, camera, or other device capable of capturing an 8.5" x 11" document with a minimum resolution of 150 pixels per inch (~2 megapixels or 1275 pixels x 1650 megapixels). Most modern cell phones have sufficient resolution for this requirement.