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Advanced Solar Energy

Semester 2

Building on Solar Energy Conversion, this module aims to cover in considerable depth (a) the semiconductor physics and technology involved in the design and manufacture of state-of-the-art photovoltaic devices, (b) the design of photovoltaic components and systems, (c) advanced solar energy applications. This will enable students to design simple PV systems, incorporating power
tracking, and solar thermal systems. The module will also enable students to gain an understanding of the technology and economics of the manufacturing processes associated with the production of PV cells. One of the highlights of the course will be the design and analysis of a PV system by students via a software-based laboratory.


1. Physics and design of PV devices
2. Manufacturing and application
3. Advanced solar thermal
4. Solar cooling
5. Solar cooling
6. PV technology
7. Applications

  • Coursework: 50%
    • Laboratory Assignment 20%
    • Term Paper 10%
    • Mid-semester Exam 20%
  • Final Exam: 50%
    • Three hour final exam
Learning Objectives: 

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Apply advanced solar thermal principles to passive solar design.
2. Utilise the heat transfer characteristics for flat plate collectors to determine the heat absorbed by solar thermal systems.
3. Utilise solar radiation data and the heat transfer characteristics of walls and glazing to determine the heat gain in different rooms.
4. Explain the detailed underlying semiconductor physics of solar PV systems
5. Estimate conversion efficiencies of new PV materials, based on the underlying semiconductor physics.
6. Estimate the cooling load requirement for the design of solar assisted/based air-conditioned or refrigerated spaces
7. Discuss the various cooling cycles, identify appropriate system
components and apply appropriate scientific principles and
methodology to solar (or solar assisted) cooling
8. Evaluate and discuss the economics of solar energy systems
9. Predict the future direction of solar technologies
10. Perform precise wind tunnel-based measurements of an operating wind turbine and write a technical report discussing the resulting performance characteristics in a detailed and concise manner.

Course Code: 
3 Credits
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