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Delft University of Technology aims to become global leader in Solar Energy education. The PVSSS completes our MSc Solar energy profile, the MOOC on Solar Energy, the Micro-master on Solar Energy Engineering, our new Professional Education courses and the PV educational lab for practical courses. All this is supported by a book on Solar Energy, published through UIT Cambridge.


As mankind population grows, providing with energy, water and food is among the ten top challenges for next 50 years. The share of electricity in the total energy mix will increase in future and this trend is particularly valid for cities and urban areas. Today electricity networks are mostly mono-directional with power flux being transported and distributed from a central power station (gas, coal, nuclear) to the end users. However, a significant transition in energy mix from the fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is recently ongoing. Such transition has a strong impact on electricity networks that must be re-designed to allow a high penetration of electricity generated from renewable sources, such as solar and wind energy. In these novel networks, often called Smart Grids, power flux flows in two directions, from and to the consumer, since the consumer can generate electricity and use it on site or feed it to the grid. This new electricity infrastructure will be implemented in present and future urban areas making them smart too. The main pillars of the future electricity infrastructure in cities will be (i) hybrid X-Integrated photovoltaic (XIPV) systems, (ii) energy storage, (iii) intelligent power control and (iv) market management.

The Electrical Sustainable Energy department possesses such expertise and the Photovoltaic Materials and Devices group focusses especially on XIPV. The notion of XIPV systems includes not only classical low environmental-impact built-added PV (BAPV), but also modern building integrated PV (BIPV), urban-integrated PV (UIPV), environment-integrated PV (EIPV) systems. In addition, systems that are incorporated both aesthetically and functionally in the place of installation such as Invisibly-Integrated PV (IIPV) and vehicle-integrated (VIPV) systems exemplify architectural and e-mobility efforts in harnessing solar energy. Finally, novel PV-powered applications such as infotainment spots, e-bike charging stations ans solar road can be flexibly-expandable modular systems, designed to exhibit both very high yearly energy autarky (self-consumption) and/or very high yearly energy yield.

The Photovoltaic Materials and devices group

The PVMD group, headed by prof. dr. Olindo Isabella, has a long history of research on thin-film silicon solar cells and advanced opto-electrical modelling of solar cells. In the last ten years, the activities have been extended to the fabrication of high efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells, smart modules and multi-functional building elements and to the integration of PV systems. In this respect, cutting-edge PV laboratory and monitoring system are available for indoor/outdoor evaluation and study of PV systems and individual components (modules, inverters, etc.). The PVMD group aims at a deeper understanding of solar cell and PV module physics using advanced characterization and modelling. This knowledge is then used for designing and fabricating advanced solar cells and custom PV modules with higher efficiencies taking module integration into consideration.