Credits: 5

Schedule: 09.01.2020 - 06.04.2020

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Not lectured (2018-2019)

III - IV (2019-2020)

Lectured every other year.

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The goal is to understand the physics and technology of solar energy utilization, including thermal and electric applications, at a level adequate for needs found in practical or academic environments.

After the course, students will be able to

  • Estimate the available solar radiation based on physical, geographical and atmospheric factors
  • Explain the daily and seasonal variation of solar irradiance and how they affect the design of photovoltaic and solar thermal systems
  • Evaluate the effect of solar tracking and concentration on the amount of collected radiation
  • Explain the working principle of photovoltaic cells and solar thermal collectors (below ‘devices’) in terms of the underlying physical phenomena and device structure
  • Name the most important performance loss mechanisms, and explain how they depend on the materials and structural properties of the devices
  • Describe and analyze the performance characteristics and energy conversion efficiency of the devices through a physical model, and use it to interpret experimental results
  • Design and size photovoltaic and solar thermal systems with or without local energy storage
  • Use central tools of solar energy engineering, such as solar angle calculations, meteorological irradiance databases, solar collector performance models, current-voltage models of photovoltaic cells, optical and thermal models, etc., which solar energy utilization is often based on.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Physical foundations and practical applications of solar energy. Solar radiation and its attenuation, radiation components, measuring and assessing solar radiation solar angles, tracking systems, interactions with materials, wavelength selective materials, solar thermal collector, HWB equation, photovoltaic effect, solar cell, equivalent circuit, concentrated solar radiation, CSP plants, solar energy systems and their components, assessing performance.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Exercises, homework, and two mid-term exams. The mid-term exams may be replaced with a final exam.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

42 h contact teaching, 88 h self-study

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Duffie, Beckman: Solar Thermal Engineering Processes. Selected E-books and online materials on photovoltaics. Lecture notes and other supporting material.

Substitutes for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Replaces the course Tfy-56.4323 Solar Energy Engineering.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Registration via WebOodi.

Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Docent Janne Halme, Prof. Peter Lund
2 graduate students as course assistants

A short "Master Class"-course on "Planning and simulation of a photovoltaic system with a software tool" (PHYS-E0581 Independent assignment, 1-2 cr) on solar energy applications and planning will be organized after this course during period V in which the basics from PHYS-E6570 will be applied to real-case conditions. More information on this course will be given separately.


Registration and further information