Optimal Design of Solar Thermal (ST) and Photovoltaic Thermal (PVT) Systems

Mississauga, Ontario /
Feb 4 - 5, 2019 /
Course Code: 09-0228-2361

The confirmation of a course and venue depends on early registration; Register early to avoid the postponement or cancellation of a course.
  • Overview
  • Syllabus
  • Instructor
  • Location


After Participating in this course, you will be able to:

  • Master the main design parameters of Solar Thermal (ST) and Photovoltaic Thermal (PVT) systems
  • Propose and design air and water-based ST and PVT systems
  • Identify buildings and processes with the best ST and PVT opportunities
  • Integrate ST and PVT systems in building’s HVAC systems and architecture
  • Carry out an overall technical and economical project analysis

HVAC engineers and architects are often called upon to design green buildings that incorporate solar heating, cooling or electricity. In most Canadian climates, heating takes up an important part, if not the most, of energy usage, and generate most GHG emissions. This is especially true in commercial and institutional buildings and certainly most important in industrial facilities and processes.

This course will provide necessary tools for engineers, building professionals and architects to assess the best cases for integration of solar air and water ST and PVT systems into new buildings and retrofits. Different types of solar air and water collectors and systems will be compared and optimized for the best related building applications. We look at control strategies, environmental benefits, GHG emission reduction, with many project examples across Canada and the world.

Course Outline:

  • Notions of heat transfer applied to solar thermal
  • Deriving of solar collector efficiency curves and equations, thermal and electrical
  • Survey of existing and new solar air and water heater designs, PVT systems
  • Design and operation of system components
  • Control strategies for optimizing solar fraction from technical and economical perspectives
  • Simulation of actual systems with Retscreen Expert, SWIFT or Valentin software
  • Cost estimates and systems budget, return on investment

Who Should Attend:
Engineers • Architects • Building Professionals • Contractors • Government Agents and Public Servants with a role in Energy • Energy Consultants • Teachers and Scholars • Electric and Gas Utility Staff

Special Features:

  • We use a lot of material from “Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes” from John Duffie and William Beckman
  • Many samples of collector and system components are shown and used in the course
  • All applications examples studied and simulated are ones brought in by course participants
  • The unique aspect of this seminar is that we combine theoretical notions with abundant, practical HVAC experience on the field and marketing of solar thermal systems in North America and the world.
More Information


Daily Schedule
8:00 Registration & Coffee (Day 1 only)
8:30 Seminar begins
12:00 Lunch (provided)
4:30 Adjournment

There is a one‐hour lunch break each day in addition to a refreshments and networking break each
morning and afternoon. Lunch and refreshments are provided.

Day 1

  • Solar radiation around the globe, availability and resource
  • Heat transfer review applied to solar thermal
  • Overview of different collector types
  • Deriving solar efficiency curves
  • Comparing solar, solar water and PVT collector types
  • Solar water system components
  • Modeling of a solar water heater (solar fraction, optimization)

Day 2

  • Solar PVT collectors – operation and principles
  • PVT system integration in building, electrical and HVAC system
  • Solar air collector types and models
  • Solar air integration (architectural, HVAC)
  • Simulation of solar air heating systems
  • Economic benefit calculations
  • Impact of solar thermals systems on environment
  • Market overview in Canada and abroad


Christian Vachon, ing., M.Sc.

Christian Vachon, P.Eng., M.Sc., has worked professionally in all fields of the proposed course. He has manufactured designed, installed and sold solar water systems, solar air systems, and photovoltaic thermal hybrid systems in Canada and around the world.

Graduated from Laval University in 1991, he moved to Austria where he discovered solar water heating on the roof of the very house where he was living. From them on, the course of his engineering career changed from manufacturing engineering to solar thermal engineering. After installing solar water heating systems in Austria, he decided to specialize in the field of solar thermal by completing a Master’s Degree at the University of Melbourne in Australia, in 1996. In Australia, he worked with Solahart, the world’s largest manufacturer of thermosiphon solar water heaters in the world.

Back in Canada, he founded Enerconcept in 1998. The company grew to be a global player in solar air heating technologies. He is the inventor of the perforated glazed solar air collector, which achieved the highest-ever efficiency score tested by an accredited lab for a solar air collector. Christian now works as a consultant for renewable and sustainable energy-efficient concepts, mostly in industrial settings. His goal is to integrate solar and heat recovery technologies to reduce fossil fuel usage carbon footprints by as much as 90%.


EPIC Learning Center
5670 McAdam Rd
Mississauga, ON L4Z 1T2

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Course Rating
4.6 out of 5

Overall rating of this course by its previous attendees!

Fee & Credits
  • 1.4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • 14 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)
Early Registration Fee:

$1395 + taxes

Fee after December 28, 2018:

$1495 + taxes


On-Site Training
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