Online course Solar Energy


In September 2013 TU Delft will start the MOOC Solar Energy. It is a free online education course that will teach you to design a complete photovoltaic system. Solar energy is like wind energy an important source of sustainable and renewable energy. Therefore learning more about technology that converts solar energy into electricity, heat and solar fuels might be a good investment.  Photovoltaic (PV) devices are presented in this course 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). You will learn about 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.

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
  • analyze the performance of solar cells and modules
  • design a complete photovoltaic system for any particular application on paper

To celebrate this first MOOC on Solar Energy the best student of the course will be invited to the Delft University of Technology for a Delft Solar course of one week, to get hands-on lab experience with all the concepts taught in this Solar Energy course.

The course will be taught by Arno Smets. His research work is focused on processing of thin silicon films, innovative materials and new concepts for photovoltaic applications. At Delft University he is lecturer of the new BSc-courses like 'Sustainable Energy', 'Solar Cells' and MSc-courses like 'PhotoVoltaic Technology' and 'PV lab Course'.

P.S. To register for a MOOC when working with a Windows operating system, please use internet browsers Internet Explorer 9, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. 

Watch the course video 'Solar Energy'


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