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Solar Energy Courses Advanced Studies

Solar Energy Courses at the University of Delaware

There are three classes covering solar cells and/or solar electric systems at UD, two are taught in the Electrical and Computer Engineering, and one in Materials Science and Engineering.

ELEG 620 Photovoltaic Devices and Manufacturing

This course will take the solar resource, together with the photovoltaic effect, through to modern photovoltaic (PV) modules. Solar cell operation at the device level will be covered in detail. The various PV technologies (flat plate, thin film, concentrators, multi-junction, thermal PV) will be briefly surveyed, however design, performance and processing of silicon devices will be emphasized since it dominates the PV industry . Manufacturing practices for silicon-based devices will be covered. A survey of the modern PV business environment will be covered as well.

ELEG 628 Solar Energy Technology and Applications

Introduces solar cell technology, applications, and systems. Presents critical issues in photovoltaic (PV) research, manufacturing, cost and performance. Teaches how to calculate the output of any solar module for different locations and orientations. Compares Si wafer and thin film solar technology. Presents current status of manufacturing options, application trends. Analyzes off-grid, residential, building integrated, distributed and centralized PV power systems. Discusses utility scale concentrating solar thermal electric systems as contrast to PV.

MSEG467/667 Solar Energy

Considers the basics of solar energy utilization. Discusses solar radiation, optical absorption in solids. Emphasis on photovoltaic devices, including both inorganic and organic based systems, as well as hybrid solar cells, followed passive and active usage such as solar thermal power. Discusses photosynthetic route to fuel production.

In addition, UD offers students the option of taking a concentration in renewable energy technology in addition to their major. Some of the above classes are included in the concentration package.

Sustainable Energy Technology Concentration

Developing new energy sources that have minimal environmental impact is one of the greatest challenges of our society. Wind energy, biofuels, solar energy, and fuel cells are examples of topical areas included in this concentration. Students have the opportunity to study modern technologies for, and recent advances in energy production, energy storage and energy use. Quantitative approaches are emphasized and include assessments of the economic and local and global environmental impact of alternative energy sources.

Finally, note that the IEC does not directly accept graduate students nor do we award degrees. Prespective graduate students who want to pursue research in PV at the IEC must apply to and be accepted in one of the academic departments, typically within the College of Engineering (i.e. Chemical, Electrical, Materials Science) or College of Arts and Science (i.e. Physics). You should mention in your application that you are interested in pursuing solar cell research at the IEC. Once accepted by the department, your ability to work with researchers at the IEC will depend on availability of funding and the approval of IEC staff.