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Higher Education Technical Challenges Hub: Module Specification

RE13M2 - Photovoltaic Energy

pdf version of module specification

Download the module specification

pdf version of module specification








Module name:

Photovoltaic Energy

Scope and form:


Duration (weeks; Hours/week):

15 weeks; 5 hours/week + 75 of self-study time

Type of assessment:

Diagnostic tests, independent homework, achievement tests, seminar papers

Qualified Prerequisites:

Competences and skills acquired upon the completion of module 'Fundamentals of Electronics'.

General module objectives:

Understanding of the fundamental laws, principles and phenomena of photovoltaic modules.
Understanding of photovoltaic solar energy conversion, provide an overview of solar cell operation and analyze photovoltaic systems as a power generation technology

Topics and short description:

Semiconductors and P-N Junctions. P-N and PIN structure physics. Solar radiation. Black body radiation; the solar constant. Solar spectra.Scattering and absorption.Solar cells. Tandem solar cells. Solar radiation as an energy source.Photovoltaic modules. Photovoltaic modules technology. Solar cells modeling. IV output curve. Solar cell parameters; temperature and radiation impact. Degradation and failure modes. Manufacturing Silicon Solar Cells. Issues in PV Modules and Arrays. Photovoltaic systems.Introduction; overview of subsystems. Sizing of generator; determination of battery size using observed data. Solar cells application.

Learning outcomes:




Explain simple problems of theoretical energy conversion

Design a photovoltaic system

Access the literature on photovoltaic systems and write reports on their development

Describe the phenomena of solar radiation

Identify and size a photovoltaic system for a given application

Appreciate an industrial perspective of technology development

Describe the fundamentals of photovoltaic energy conversion

Able to describe the fundamentals of photovoltaic energy conversion

Process solar energy data for photovoltaic applications

Describe the design and operation of a photovoltaic system

Able to operate a photovoltaic system

Apply technical knowledge and skills to solve engineering
problems as part of the project team

Analyze solar radiation in energy terms

Able to analyze solar radiation in energy terms

Process solar radiation data for photovoltaic applications

Recommended literature:

T. Markvart, Solar Electricity (2nd edition), Wiley, Chichester 2000.
C. Honsberg, S. Bowden: Photovoltaics: Devices, Systems and Applications, CDROM, University of New South Wales, 1998.
A. Goetzberger, J. Knobloch and B. Voss, Crystalline silicon solar cells, Wiley, Chichester, 1998.
A. McEvoy, T. Markvart, L. Castañer, Practical Handbook of Photovoltaics. Fundamentals and Applications. Elsevier, 2012.
A. Luque, S. Hegedus, Handbook of Photovoltaic Science and Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.