This is an advanced course in the application of science and technology to the field of solar energy in general and photovoltaic and solar thermal energy systems in particular. The foundations of solar energy are described in detail to provide the student with the knowledge to evaluate and/or design complete solar thermal or photovoltaic energy systems. Topics range from the theoretical physical basics of solar radiation to the advanced design of both photovoltaic and solar thermal energy collectors. A major feature of the course is the understanding and design of semiconducting photovoltaic devices (solar cells). Solar cell topics include semiconductors, analysis of p-n junction, Shockley-Queisser limit, non-radiative recombination processes, antireflection coating, crystalline silicon solar cells, thin-film solar cells, and rechargeable batteries. Solar thermal energy topics include solar heat collectors, solar water heaters, solar power systems, sensible heat energy storage, phase transition thermal storage, etc. The course will also present optimizing building designs for a solar energy system.
An undergraduate degree in engineering, physics, or a related technical discipline.