Photovoltaic Solar Energy ConversionFree
About this course
This course deals with the renewable energy systems which directly exploit the solar radiation received by the earth viz. solar photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal technologies. The course describes the fundamental mechanisms of solar energy conversion on solar cells, including the principles, manufacturing technologies, efficiencies, advantages and limitations of various PV cells.The optical and thermal parameters for solar thermal technologies are also considered with the basic heat transfer and thermodynamics principles that apply and the approaches for generating electrical power. The exploitation of these renewable energy systems in both large scale power plants and in the urban, built infrastructure is considered.Topics include:Solar resource and solar radiation (the sun, solar radiation, solar spectral distribution, solar constant, solar insolation and position of the sun w.r.t surfaces on earth, solar time, AM 1.5 and irradiance, measurement of terrestrial solar radiation etc.).Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.Photoelectric effect and concept of photons. Interaction of light with matter (absorptivity, reflectivity, transmittivity, emissivity etc). Principles of operation of PV cells; Manufacturing technologies of crystalline and thin film PV cells. Heat transfer and principles of solar thermal systems. Introduction to Solar collectors, Passive and active solar thermal systems, Solar drying, Solar distillation, solar cookers. The concepts of stand-alone and bulk solar thermal power generation systems.
Types of solar cell/Generations of solar cells. First generation solar cells (crystalline Si, GaAs, Polycrystalline silicon solar cells). Second generation solar cells (Thin film solar cells – amorphous Si, microcrystalline Si, CdTe, CuInSe2, Cu(InGa)Se2, Cu2ZnSnS4). Third generation solar cells (Nanocrystalline-based solar cells, polymer-based solar cells, dye-sensitised solar cells, concentrator solar cells, Tandem solar cells). Fourth generation solar cells (Hybrid or organic-inorganic solar cells). Next generation solar cells (Graded bandgap solar cells, Perovskite-based solar cells, Quantum dot solar cells, intermediate band solar cells, solar cells with up & down conversion, nano-structured solar cells e.g. with carbon nanotubes, grapheme etc.). Differences between solar cells, modules and panels (sizes and Efficiencies). Application of solar cell/modules/panels. Very low power application (such as in wrist watches, mobile phone, small torchlight etc, radios etc). Medium power application (such as in solar-operated cars, Street lighting, water pumping, household appliances etc). High Power and very high-power applications (as in stand-alone and grid-tied solar power plants). PV Economics: Cost of production, Cost of PV energy/Payback time, Feed-in tariff, Levelized cost etc.