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Course Contents & Books Recommended


1. Non-conventional Energy as an Alternative including basics of

Solar Energy, Conditions for maximizing harnessing of Solar
2. Concepts & Developments pertaining to the Nanomaterials for
Photovoltaic Applications, Conventional Vs. Nanomaterials for PV
3. Photovoltaics : Principles, Design, Materials, Fabrication, Testing
& Comparative studies of state-of-the art Technologies


Nanostructured Materials for Solar Energy Conversion By Tetsuo Soga (Editor)


Solar Photovoltaics: Fundamentals, Technologies & Applications By C. S. Solanki


Solar Cell Device Physics By Stephan Fonash


Solar Energy Fundamentals By H. P. Garg

Course & Marks Breakup

Course Breakup
Theory : 3 Lectures Per week
Tutorials : Problems Concurrently

Marks Breakup
Mid-Semester : 30%
End-Semester : 50%
Attendance/Quiz : 20%

Weightage for Attendance & Regularity in Class : 10%



Global Energy Scenario

Impending Energy Crisis & Other Implications
State-of-the-art Status of Alternative Energy
An overview of the Solar Photovoltaics
Solar Cell Basics

Conventional Energy Resources

Conventional Energy : State of the art Status


Energy Resource Distribution & Availability

Energy Yield for different Sources

Energy Resource vis--vis Pollution

Cost Comparison of Different Sources of Energy



1839 Becquerel
Observed that there was a light dependant voltage
between two electrode immersed in an electrolyte.

1876 The same effect was demonstrated in

1941 First silicon based solar cell demonstrated
1954 Beginning of modern solar cell research.


Earths Radiative Balance


Distribution of Solar Energy


Photon Energy


The Electromagnetic Spectrum


Light & the Photovoltaic Effect

Certain semiconductor materials absorb certain
The shorter the wavelength the greater the energy
Ultraviolet light has more energy than infrared light

Crystalline silicon
Utilizes all the visible spectrum plus some infrared radiation

Heat vs. electrical energy

Light frequencies that is too high or too low for the
semiconductor to absorb turn into heat energy instead of
electrical energy

What Does a Solar Cell Do?

With no load ("open circuit"), the solar
cell produces its maximum voltage.


With no load ("short circuit"), the solar

cell produces its maximum current.


With a load (resistance R) the solar

cell produces power P=IV=V2/R:
0.0395*3.88=0.15 W
3.88*3.88/100=0.15 W


What Does a Solar Cell Do?

Sunlight shines on the solar panel

The solar panel converts sunlight to electrical energy.


What Does a Solar Cell Do?

This solar panel on this car can
be adjusted so it faces the sun.
The sun is in a different position
in the sky at different times of
the day and at different places.

Solar cells do not store solar energy.

When the solar panel is shaded, the
wheels will not turn!


Solar Panels
Electron knockout
Conventional solar panels are made of pairs of sheets of semiconducting silicon, doped with phosphorus
and boron atoms. Electrons in the phosphorus-doped (N-type) layer migrate across the boundary to occupy
holes left in the boron-doped (P-type) material, setting up a voltage across the boundary between the two
layers. When photons hit the silicon in a cell they knock electrons out of its crystal structure, generating a
current that is collected by a mesh of metal contacts.
The solar panels are constructed in a similar way, but they are made just 1 micrometre thick by depositing
polymorphous silicon at high pressures and temperatures. "Polymorphous silicon is as rigid as crystalline
silicon. But because it is less than a micrometre thick it is flexible," Kroesen says. Today's solar panels are
typically somewhere between 4 and 10 m illimetres thick.
The process of producing industrial films involves temperatures of up to 200C, which would melt a plastic
substrate. So instead of depositing the doped layers directly onto plastic they are first deposited onto
aluminium foil.
After the assembly has cooled, a plastic carrier layer is added underneath it and the aluminium is removed
and recycled. Contacts are then added, followed by a protective plastic layer on top, too. This sequence
lends itself to continuous production on rolls of plastic film.

Solar Cell Efficiency

Typical module efficiencies ~12%
Screen printed multi-crystalline solar cells

Efficiency range is 6-30%

6% for amorphous silicon-based PV cells
20% for best commercial cells
30% for multi-junction research cells

Typical power of 120W / m2

Mar/Sep equinox in full sun at equator

History of Cell Efficiency

M.A. Green, Very High Efficiency

Solar Cells-Science and Technology,
IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices,
Vol. 46, No. 10, pp. 1940-1947, (1999).

Notice: This trend is not like Moores Law.

Price per installed Watt is probably a better figure of merit to track.
Deregulation made power generated by solar or wind economically

Solar Panel Efficiency

~1 kW/m2 reaches the ground (sunny day)
~20% efficiency 200W/m2 electricity
Daylight & weather in northern latitudes
100 W/m2 in winter; 250 W/m2 in summer
Or 20 to 50 W/m2 from solar cells

Value of electricity generated at $0.08/kWh

$0.10 / m2 / day OR $83,000 km2 / day

Conditions for Solar Energy Entrapment & Limits


Solar PV Dependencies
Location, Location, Location !
Lower latitudes better than higher latitudes

Clear sunny skies better than cloudy skies
Temperature not important

Direction solar arrays face

South preferred, east and west acceptable

Absence of shade
Trees, Flatirons, etc.

Solar PV Design Key Factors

How much solar radiation does the system receive?

DC rating
How big is the system


Solar PV Design Module

Module Efficiency
How efficiently does the solar system convert solar
radiation into DC power
Best retail systems approaching 17%
Holy Grail of solar PV research

DC to AC derate factor
How efficient is the system converting DC to AC power


Solar PV Array Design

Array Flat Panel
Remains in a constant fixed position

Array tilt (equal to latitude best)

Increase solar radiation by 10-20% compared to 0% tilt
Sunnier locations benefit more

Array azimuth (180 best)

Directly south

Solar PV Array Tracking

Array 1-axis tracking

Tracks sun across the sky during each day

Stays at a constant tilt
Increase solar radiation by 25-30% compared to no tracking
Sunnier locations benefit more

Array 2-axis tracking

Tracks sun across the sky during each day

Adjusts tilt more in winter, less in summer
Increase solar radiation by 33-38%
Sunnier locations benefit more

Solar PV Components

Charge controller

Converts DC power from

solar array to AC for use in
your home

Connects the system

Used to store solarproduced electricity for
nighttime or emergency use
Mainly used for remote
sites that arent tied into the
electrical grid

Prevents batteries from

being over charged

Disconnect switches
Allows power from a PV
system to be turned off

Electrical meter
Measures electrical
production and use
Often runs backward if
system is attached to the
electrical grid

Total system cost = ~$8.00 / watt


Quantum Efficiency of a Solar Cell : SQ Limit

The Quantum Efficiency or Energy Conversion Efficiency of a solar cell is the
percentage of power converted directly obtained from sunlight to electrical energy under
"standard test conditions" (STC). The STC approximate solar noon at the spring and
autumn equinoxes
The root cause of a lower efficiency of solar cells (<<100%), lies in the inability of
the material components (i.e.; semiconductors) in being non responsive to the
entire spectrum of sunlight.
Considering Si as the component mateial for Solar Cell fabrication, photons with
energy less than silicon's band-gap pass through the cell and are not absorbed,
which wastes about 18% of incoming energy. The energy content of incident
photons above the band-gap is wasted & re-emitted as heat or light. This accounts
for an additional loss of about 49%.
So, about 67% of energy from the original sunlight is lost, or only 33% is usable for
electricity in an ideal solar cell.
This limit of efficiency on the performance delivery of a solar cell is referred to as the
theoretical limit predicted in 1961 by William Shockley and Hans Queisser. It is
known as Shockley Queisser (SQ) Efficiency Limit for single junction solar cell.
It bears a strong correlation with the band gap of the material components for
solar cell fabrication.

Benefits/Costs of Solar PV

Reduces pollution
Stabilizes electricity costs
Lessens dependence on fossil fuels
Increases self-reliance
Can size for small, on-site installations
Not grid dependent
Currently expensive $$$$$ - R & D Important

Uses for Solar Energy

It is fun to watch PG&Es
meter run backward.
Renewable power
Power for remote locations