Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Introduction to solar cells

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

65,254 already enrolled

Course

Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Suraj Manikandan

Instructor: Suraj Manikandan

4.8

(2,444 reviews)

Beginner level
No prior experience required
23 hours to complete
3 weeks at 7 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

Details to know

Shareable certificate

Add to your LinkedIn profile

Assessments

45 quizzes

See how employees at top companies are mastering in-demand skills

Placeholder
Placeholder

Earn a career certificate

Add this credential to your LinkedIn profile, resume, or CV

Share it on social media and in your performance review

Placeholder

There are 11 modules in this course

In this introduction module I would like to introduce you to the course its content and teaching style. I hope you will enjoy the way we have designed the course.

What's included

1 reading

The first topic in an introduction course on solar cells is naturally a historical overview. In this module you will briefly get introduced to the history and early development of solar cells. We will also start to do some calculations of efficiency and energy output of solar cells.

What's included

2 videos5 readings5 quizzes1 discussion prompt

The most important question one can ask must be: "Why is solar energy is an important topic and why should we develop solar energy?". This module does not claim to answer that question fully, but we will summarize the strong case for renewable energy.

What's included

3 videos5 readings4 quizzes2 discussion prompts

How much power can a solar cell produce and how can we measure it? This question is the starting point for this module and we will go through the terminology, talk about light sources, and even measure a solar cell ourselves.

What's included

5 videos4 readings4 quizzes1 discussion prompt

In this module we will introduce an equivalent circuit of a solar cell and use it to explain key concepts including short circuit current, open circuit voltage, parasitic resistances, and more. We will also talk about connected solar cells, and their behavior in shaded conditions.

What's included

2 videos5 readings4 quizzes1 discussion prompt

In this module we will attack the topic: How do solar cells work? This module will be more theory heavy than other parts of the course, but don't worry. We will focus on the key concepts that are necessary to understand how solar cells work, and skip the math.

What's included

3 videos6 readings6 quizzes1 discussion prompt

With a knowledge of the working principles of solar cells, we are now ready to apply this knowledge to understand why there are limits to the efficiency of solar cells. We will also briefly look into loss mechanisms that limit the practical efficiency.

What's included

2 videos4 readings4 quizzes1 discussion prompt

Silicon solar cells are by far the most prevalent solar cell technology. In this module we will talk about why silicon is so abundant. We will also learn how silicon solar cells are made, what differentiates multi and monocrystalline silicon, and much more.

What's included

5 videos7 readings4 quizzes1 discussion prompt

Moving beyond silicon solar cells, the next important development is thin film solar cells. In thin film solar cells, we see a potential solution to the major problem associated with silicon solar cells: namely energy payback time.

What's included

4 videos5 readings5 quizzes1 discussion prompt

We will now turn to an example of a third generation solar cell technology: namely polymer solar cells. Polymer solar cells promise to solve all the problems we see with other technologies. They are cheap and fast to produce, they are non-toxic and use non-scarce materials, and they exhibit the lowest energy payback time of any technology. In this module we will learn about pros and cons of this interesting technology.

What's included

6 videos8 readings5 quizzes1 discussion prompt

In our final module of this course we will look into a selection of solar cell technologies and spend some time comparing all the different solar cell technologies.

What's included

2 videos5 readings4 quizzes1 discussion prompt

Instructor

Instructor ratings
4.7 (591 ratings)
Suraj Manikandan
Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
2 Courses128,463 learners

Offered by

Recommended if you're interested in Environmental Science and Sustainability

Why people choose Coursera for their career

Felipe M.
Learner since 2018
"To be able to take courses at my own pace and rhythm has been an amazing experience. I can learn whenever it fits my schedule and mood."
Jennifer J.
Learner since 2020
"I directly applied the concepts and skills I learned from my courses to an exciting new project at work."
Larry W.
Learner since 2021
"When I need courses on topics that my university doesn't offer, Coursera is one of the best places to go."
Chaitanya A.
"Learning isn't just about being better at your job: it's so much more than that. Coursera allows me to learn without limits."

Learner reviews

Showing 3 of 2444

4.8

2,444 reviews

  • 5 stars

    80.98%

  • 4 stars

    17.05%

  • 3 stars

    1.59%

  • 2 stars

    0.20%

  • 1 star

    0.16%

AP
5

Reviewed on Dec 11, 2017

LR
4

Reviewed on Mar 29, 2021

JA
5

Reviewed on Feb 23, 2018

Placeholder

Open new doors with Coursera Plus

Unlimited access to 7,000+ world-class courses, hands-on projects, and job-ready certificate programs - all included in your subscription

Advance your career with an online degree

Earn a degree from world-class universities - 100% online

Join over 3,400 global companies that choose Coursera for Business

Upskill your employees to excel in the digital economy

Frequently asked questions