Solar Cells

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2020/21
Vakcode WBCH018-05
Vaknaam Solar Cells
Niveau(s) bachelor
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I b

Uitgebreide vaknaam Solar Cells
Leerdoelen At the end of the course, the student is able to:
1. put the need for and use of PV into the broader context of energy sources;
2. explain the difference direct/indirect band gap and how this relates to absorption; basics processes in inorganic semiconductors.
3. use semiconductor physics to calculate and explain the properties of pn junctions
4. describe the most important types of inorganic solar cells and how they operate; in detail: pn junction (Si), how to make Si solar cells, other types in less detail;
5. explain fundamental and practical limits to PV efficiencies in terms of thermodynamics, optics, & PV physics, and describe how third generation solar cell concepts are meant to overcome these limits;
6. identify the difference between organic and inorganic PV materials and describe the workings of organic solar cells and discuss various types of production technology,
7. explain how PV cells can be used to form modules and systems, including a discussion on how this affects financial and energetic costs (e.g. EPBT, LCA)
8. discuss the chemistry and synthesis of PV materials in general, and the purification of silicon (in its different forms: crystalline, multi-crystalline and amorphous) in detail.
Omschrijving In this first course on photovoltaics within the university of Groningen, many aspects of solar cells will be dealt with. First, a broad introduction is provided regarding energy, energy scenarios, the possible role of solar energy and photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. We continue with the fundamental physics of solar cells and materials. In the second half of the course, we discuss PV systems as well as advanced technologies and third generation PV concepts. There will be special emphasis on molecular (organic, plastic) PV in relation to the ongoing research on this topic within the University of Groningen. One third of the course comprises writing a report and presenting a poster at a plenary poster session about a specific subject in the realm of opportunities and limitations of PV in the (future) landscape of energy use and supply.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Hoorcollege (LC), Practisch werk (PRC), Werkcollege (T)
(Total hours of lectures: 16 hours, turorials: 18 hours, projects: 56 hours, self study: 50 hours.)
Toetsvorm Presentatie (P), Schriftelijk tentamen (WE), Verslag (R)
Vaksoort bachelor
Coördinator prof. dr. L.J.A. Koster
Docent(en) prof. dr. J.C. Hummelen ,prof. dr. L.J.A. Koster ,dr. S.C. Veenstra
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Handouts: The Physics of Solar Cells, chapters 7 and 8 Jenny Nelson
Handouts: a series of other pdf files, also available through the Nestor website of the course. various
Handouts: a series of more pdf files, available through Nestor. This series is optional, not mandatory various
Handouts: The Physics of solar cells, chapter 10 (part) Jenny Nelson
Handouts: Applied Photovoltaics, chapter 5 M.A. Green et al
Handouts: Solar cell materials n.a.
Handouts: Third-generation photovoltaics Gavin Conibeer
Entreevoorwaarden The course unit assumes prior knowledge acquired from Structure of Matter 2 (BSc Physics) or Solid State Physics 1(C) (BSc Physics) or Physical Properties of Materials I (BSc Chemistry). Knowledge of the course unit Molecules: structure, reactivity and function (BSc Chemistry & BSc Chemical Technology) is desirable.
Opmerkingen This course is primarily intended for chemistry and physics students, though some students from other programmes might be able to pass it as well.

The framework of the written exam consists of a number of essay questions. These questions require the student to explain different aspects of the learning objectives.

The students prepare a written report in a team of 3. The subject can be chosen from a list. The students are given a detailed instruction concerning the form, the size, content, and referencing.

The teams make a A0 size poster. During a 6-7h poster presentation session, all teams present their own poster and attend and grade all other posters. The grading is mixed with the teacher grading.

Pass mark:
The minimum average grade of 2 written exams (WE1, WE2, each with min. grade 4,50) is a 5,50. The final grade: WE1 and WE2, 1 written report (WR) and a presentation & poster (PP). Formula = (2*WE1 +2*W2+WR+PP)/6.The lecturers will round the final grade to 0,5 point precision, except the grade 5,5 (not given). The ECTS for the course are only given after the final grade is sufficient (minimum = 6).

Presence during the poster session is mandatory. Consequence for completely missing without prior permission: the grade for presentation & poster = 0

This course was registered last year with course code CHPHV-08
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
BSc Applied Physics 3 semester I b keuzegroep
BSc Chemistry  (Core programme ) 3 semester I b keuze
BSc Courses for Exchange Students: Chemistry - Chemical Engineering - semester I b
BSc Physics  (Track: Energy and Environmental Physics) 3 semester I b verplicht
MSc Courses for Exchange Students: Chemistry - Chemical Engineering - semester I b