The key factor in getting more efficient and cheaper solar energy panels is the advance in the development of photovoltaic cells. In this course you will learn how photovoltaic cells convert solar energy into useable electricity. You will also discover how to tackle potential loss mechanisms in solar cells. By understanding the semiconductor physics and optics involved, you will develop in-depth knowledge of how a photovoltaic cell works under different conditions. You will learn how to model all aspects of a working solar cell. For engineers and scientists working in the photovoltaic industry, this course is an absolute must to understand the opportunities for solar cell innovation.
This course is part of the Solar Energy Engineering MicroMasters Program designed to cover all physics and engineering aspects of photovoltaics: photovoltaic energy conversion, technologies and systems.
We recommend that you complete this course prior to taking the other courses in this MicroMasters program.
- The principles behind the potential loss mechanisms in photovoltaic devices
- The semiconductor physics necessary to understand solar cell performance and engineering
- The optics and light management tools necessary for optimal solar cell design
- To model all aspects of a working solar cell, understanding the efficiency limits and design rules
- Audit learners can develop their skills and knowledge in relation to the above learning objectives by having access to the video lectures, a limited number of practice exercises and discussion forums. Verified learners are offered a number of study tools to demonstrate they have mastered the learning objectives. They will have access to all exercises: practice, graded and exam questions.
Dr. Arno H.M. Smets is Professor in Solar Energy in the Photovoltaics Material and Devices group at the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, Delft University of Technology. From 2005-2010 he worked at the Research Center for Photovoltaics at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba Japan. His research work is focused on processing of thin silicon films, innovative materials and new concepts for photovoltaic applications. He is lecturer for BSc and MSc courses on Photovoltaics and Sustainable Energy at TU Delft. His online edX course on Solar Energy attracted over 150,000 students worldwide. He is co-author of the book “Solar Energy. The physics and engineering of photovoltaic conversion technologies and systems.”
Professor Smets was awarded the first ever edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions to Online Teaching and Learning for his Solar Energy course. To learn more, visit here.