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Fundamentals of Photovoltaics

Course Summary

This course is based on 2.626 Fundamentals of Photovoltaics, Fall 2008 made available by Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.
In this course students will learn how solar cells convert light into electricity, how solar cells are manufactured, how solar cells are evaluated, what technologies are currently on the market, and how to evaluate the risk and potential of existing and emerging solar cell technologies. (An excellent online resource entitled "Photovoltaics: Devices, Systems and Applications" is available for free access.)

We examine the potential & drawbacks of currently manufactured technologies (single- and multi-crystalline silicon, micromorph tandem cells, CdTe, CIGS, CPV, PVT), as well as pre-commercial technologies (organics, biomimetic, organic/inorganic hybrid, and nanostructure-based solar cells). Hands-on laboratory sessions explore how a solar cell works in practice. We scrutinize what limits solar cell performance and cost, and the major hurdles technological, economic, and political towards widespread substitution of fossil fuels. Students will apply this knowledge towards developing and critiquing a solar energy technology prospectus.

Fundamentals of Photovoltaics
(source - Wikimedia Commons)

Reading Material

1. Applied Photovoltaics
Wenham, S. R., M. A. Green, M. E. Watt, R. Corkish. Applied Photovoltaics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 2007. ISBN: 9781844074013. (Click the button below to see a preview of the book)


2. Thin Film Solar Cells: Fabrication, Characterization and Applications
Poortmans, J., and V. Arkhipov. Thin Film Solar Cells: Fabrication, Characterization and Applications. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. ISBN: 9780470091265. (Click the button below to see a preview of the book)


3. Third Generation Photovoltaics: Advanced Solar Energy Conversion
Green, M. A. Third Generation Photovoltaics: Advanced Solar Energy Conversion. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 2007. ISBN: 9783540265627. (Click the button below to see a preview of the book)


4. Handbook of Photovoltaic Science and Engineering
Luque, A., and S. Hegedus. Handbook of Photovoltaic Science and Engineering. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003. ISBN: 9780471491965. (Click the button below to see a preview of the book)


5. Planning and installing photovoltaic systems: a guide for installers, architects and engineers
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sonnenenergie, Planning and installing photovoltaic systems: a guide for installers, architects and engineers, Edition 2, Publisher: Earthscan, 2008, ISBN 9781844074426
(Click the button below to see a preview of the book)


Course Material

Not available.

Other Resources

1. Online book: Photovoltaics: Devices, Systems and Applications
Honsberg, C., and S. Bowden. Photovoltaics: Devices, Systems and Applications

Software

Not available.


 

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