227-0615-00L  Simulation of Photovoltaic Devices - From Materials to Modules

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersU. Aeberhard
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


227-0615-00 GSimulation of Photovoltaic Devices - From Materials to Modules2 hrs
Thu14:15-16:00LEE C 104 »
U. Aeberhard

Catalogue data

AbstractThe lecture provides an introduction to the theoretical foundations and numerical approaches for the simulation of photovoltaic power conversion, from the microscopic description of component materials to macroscopic continuum modelling of solar cells and network simulation or effective models for performance prediction of entire solar modules and large scale photovoltaic systems.
ObjectiveGet an overview over the current status of photovoltaic technology. Understand the physics of photovoltaic energy conversion and solar cell device operation. Know how to obtain and assess by simulation the key material properties and device parameters. Be able to use standard device simulation tools to predict the performance of solar cells and modules.
ContentPhotovoltaic technology: history and overview; The solar spectrum; Thermodynamics of solar energy conversion; Detailed balance models and efficiency limit; Microscopic rates of charge carrier generation and recombination; Optical simulation of solar cells; Models for charge transport in semiconductor devices; High-efficiency wafer-based (silicon) photovoltaics; Thin film photovoltaics based on disordered materials (amorphous silicon, organic PV); High-efficiency thin film photovoltaics (CIGS, CdTe, metal-halide perovskites); PV beyond the single junction detailed balance (Shockley-Queisser) limit; Simulation of photovoltaic modules; Energy yield and performance modelling for PV systems; Quantum simulation of nanostructure-based solar cell devices (bonus lecture)
Literature- P. Würfel &U. Würfel, „Physics of Solar Cells – From Basic Principles to Advanced Concepts“, Wiley-VCH, 2005.
- J. Nelson, „Physics of Solar Cells“, Imperial College Press, 2003.
- M. A. Green, „Solar cells: operating principles, technology, and system applications“, Prentice Hall, 1982.
- B. K. Ridley, "Quantum Processes in Semiconductors", Oxford Science Publications, 1993.
- P.T. Landsberg, "Recombination in semiconductors", Cambridge University Pr., 1991.
- C. Hamaguchi, "Basic Semiconductor Physics", Springer, Berlin, 2001.
Prerequisites / NoticeUndergraduate physics (including basic quantum mechanics), mathematics, semiconductor devices, optics. Knowledge of some scripting language (e.g. python) is of advantage.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersU. Aeberhard
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationoral 30 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationCompulsory continuous performance assessment task (must be passed on its own, assessed pass/fail):
The students have to prepare and give a short presentation based on a recent paper about a topic of the lecture (teams of up to 3 students possible). The students need to hand in the exercises and show proof of reasonable effort in 2/3 of the problems.
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

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Offered in

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