Free Online Course on Solar Energy from Delft University ( Solar Thermal Magazine) – This second edition of the course Solar Energy teaches you to design a complete photovoltaic system. It introduces you to the technology that converts solar energy into electricity, heat and solar fuels with a main focus on electricity generation. Photovoltaic (PV) devices are presented as advanced semiconductor devices that deliver electricity directly from sunlight.
The emphasis is on understanding the working principle of a solar cell, fabrication of solar cells, PV module construction and the design of a PV system. You will understand the principles of the photovoltaic conversion (the conversion of light into electricity). We will explain the advantages, limitations and challenges of different solar cell technologies, such as crystalline silicon solar cell technology, thin film solar cell technologies and the latest novel solar cell concepts as studied on lab-scale. The course will treat the specifications of solar modules and show you how to design a complete solar system for any particular application. The suitable semiconductor materials, device physics, and fabrication technologies for solar cells are presented. The guidelines for design of a complete solar cell system for household application are explained. Alternative storage approaches through solar fuels or conversion of solar energy into heat will be discussed.
The cost aspects, market development, and the application areas of solar cells are presented.
After completion of the course, you will be able to:
- explain the various concepts to convert solar energy in to electricity, heat and solar fuels
- explain the physical working principles of photovoltaic conversion in solar cells
- recognize and describe the various solar cell technologies, their current status and future technological challenges
- analyse the performance of solar cells and modules
- design a complete photovoltaic system for any particular application on paper
The first edition of the Solar Energy course has been awarded the Open MOOC for OpenCourseWare Excellence 2014.
The class will consist of a collection of eight to twelve minute lecture videos, exercises, assignments and exams. Specified assignments and the three exams will determine the final grade. The new textbook on “Solar Energy, basics, technology and systems” from the Delft University of Technology will be available for the students on-line and free of charge.
Your course staff will encourage and challenge you to learn from, and interact with, your fellow students by helping each other and sharing ideas and best practices, in the course forum. We were happy to see the incredible number of interesting student videos on solar energy systems from all over the world in the previous edition of this course.
Here is the link to the course. Delft Solar
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.