Photovoltaic Fundamentals, 6 PDH
(Photovoltaic Fundamentals)

Photovoltaic Fundamentals, 6 PDH

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Photovoltaic Fundamentals

Course Highlights 

The use of photovoltaic systems for converting sunlight into electricity has been expanding rapidly. This course includes an overview of progress in the field; basic information about the photovoltaic effect; discussion of several different types of solar cells (including single-crystal silicon, semi-crystalline & polycrystalline silicon, thin-film solar cells, gallium arsenide PV cells, and multifunction devices); and information about modules, arrays and systems of solar PV cells.

This course is intended for energy, mechanical, electrical, chemical, construction, civil, and industrial engineers. Someone who completes this course will gain knowledge about the photovoltaic effect, a variety of types of PV cells, and procedures for putting cells together into modules, arrays and systems.

In this course, you need to review the material in the course content file, "Fundamentals of Photovoltaics," which is a publication produced under the Solar Technical Information Program at the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Upon completing your review of the course material, you need to take a multiple choice quiz consisting of thirty (30) questions to earn 6 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document. 80% correct is required for a quiz passing grade.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the student will

  • Be familiar with the photovoltaic effect and how it can be used to convert sunlight into electricity
  • Be familiar with an atomic description of silicon
  • Know how light absorption creates charge carriers
  • Know how doping is used to create n-type silicon
  • Know how doping is used to create p-type silicon
  • Know the relationship between energy band gap level and type of solar radiation absorbed
  • Be familiar with the components of single cell silicon cells
  • Be familiar with the processes used to produce single crystal silicon cells
  • Be familiar with the components of semi-crystalline and polycrystalline silicon cells
  • Be familiar with the processes used to produce semi-crystalline and polycrystalline cells
  • Be familiar with the components of thin-film solar cells
  • Be familiar with the processes used to produce thin-film solar cells
  • Be familiar with Gallium Arsenide solar cells and how they are produced
  • Be familiar with multi-junction devices and how they are produced
  • Be familiar with the method of producing PV modules from single crystal silicon cells
  • Be familiar with the method of producing PV modules for thin-film solar cells
  • Be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of flat-plate collectors as compared with concentrating solar collectors
  • Know the components of a solar PV system that are part of the "balance of systems"

Preview Course Material: 
Photovoltaic Fundamentals

Course Author Profile: Harlan Bengson, Ph, PE