Solar Energy: Photovoltaic (PV) Technologies

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The technologies used to produce solar cells and photovoltaic modules are advancing to deliver highly efficient and flexible solar panels. In this course you will explore the main PV technologies in the current market. You will gain in-depth knowledge about crystalline silicon based solar cells (90% market share) as well as other emerging technologies including CdTe, CIGS and Perovskites. This courseprovides answers to the questions: How are solar cells made from raw materials? Which technologies have the potential to be the major players for different applications in the future?

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.


Part 1. Crystalline silicon

Week 1. Introduction & Crystalline Silicon I
1.2 Introduction to Silicon
1.3 Silicon Processing

Week 2. Crystalline Silicon II
2.1 c-Si Solar Cell Design
2.2 Advanced cell design
2.3 From cell to module

Part 2. Solar Cell Characterization

Week 3. Solar cell characterization
3.1 J-V Measurement
3.2 EQE Measurement
3.3 Reflectance - Transmittance Measurement
3.4 Lifetime Measurement


Part 3. Thin Film Processing

Week 4. Thin Film Processing
4.1 Thin Film Design
4.2 Thin Film Deposition

Part 4. Thin Film Technologies

Week 5. Thin Film Silicon
5.1 TF Silicon Properties
5.2 Major Challenges
5.3 TF Silicon Processing
5.4 State of the Art TF Silicon Devices


Week 6. Chalcogenides & III-V Technologies
6.1 Chalcogenides - CIGS
6.2 Chalcogenides - CdTe
6.3 III-V - Material and Devices
6.4 III-V - Special Applications

Week 7. Organic Photovoltaics
7.1 OPV Basics
7.2 OPV Technologies
7.3 Perovskites

Part 5. Comparing and Combining Technologies

Week 8. Comparing & Combining Technologies
8.1 Comparing PV Technologies
8.2 Hybrid PV Devices
8.3 Hybrid PV Systems