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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Fundamentals of Photovoltaics (Fall 2013)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via MIT OpenCourseWare


Course Features
  • Video lectures
  • Captions/transcript
  • Tutorial - video
  • Lecture notes
  • Projects and examples
  • Assignments: problem sets with solutions
  • Assignments: problem sets (no solutions)
Course Description

Fundamentals of photoelectric conversion: charge excitation, conduction, separation, and collection. Lectures cover commercial and emerging photovoltaic technologies and cross-cutting themes, including conversion efficiencies, loss mechanisms, characterization, manufacturing, systems, reliability, life-cycle analysis, risk analysis, and technology evolution in the context of markets, policies, society, and environment.

This course is one of many OCW Energy Courses, and it is an elective subject in MIT's undergraduate Energy Studies Minor. This Institute–wide program complements the deep expertise obtained in any major with a broad understanding of the interlinked realms of science, technology, and social sciences as they relate to energy and associated environmental challenges.


Tutorial: Texturing.
Tutorial: Doping.
Tutorial: Photoconductivity.
Tutorial: Solar Cell Operation.
1. Introduction.
2. The Solar Resource.
3. Light Absorption and Optical Losses.
4. Charge Excitation.
5. Charge Separation, Part I: Diode.
6. Charge Separation, Part II: Diode Under Illumination.
8. Toward a 1D Device Model, Part II: Material Fundamentals.
7. Toward a 1D Device Model, Part I: Device Fundamentals.
9. Charge Extraction.
10. Wafer Silicon-Based Solar Cells, Part I.
11. Wafer Silicon-Based Solar Cells, Part II.
12. Thin Films: Material Choices & Manufacturing, Part I.
13. Thin Films: Material Choices & Manufacturing, Part II.
14. PV Efficiency: Measurement and Theoretical Limits.
15. Advanced Concepts.
16. Solar Cell Characterization.
17. Modules, Systems, and Reliability.
18. Cost, Price, Markets, & Support Mechanisms, Part I.
19. Cost, Price, Markets, & Support Mechanisms, Part II.
20. R&D Investment & Innovation in PV.
Student Project Presentations - Part 1.
Student Project Presentations - Part 2.

Taught by

Prof. Tonio Buonassisi


4.8 rating, based on 13 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Fundamentals of Photovoltaics (Fall 2013)

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  • Profile image for Abdelrizk Said
    Abdelrizk Said
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  • Noman Habib
    This class was excellent--where have you been all my life? The instructor was incredibly knowledgeable and articulate. This was the first time I have taken a class in a remote format, and I was delighted with it and look forward to coming back for more classes in the future. I loved the fact that even though I was in a class with other people, the actual physical space was private and quiet and very conducive to learning
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  • Profile image for 5004 INDHUMATHI V
    Wonderful session in importantance of photovoltaic knowledge sessions of Fundamentals of Photovoltaics (Fall 2013)

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Hariharan Anilkumar
    Very Good it was very helpful and could gain a lot of knowledge based upon this topic. This course would be very helpful in future for engineering students who are very keen on this particular subject
  • Mohammed Salman Yatimi
    متعة العلم في بحر المعلومات المكتسبة ومازلت متشوق للتعلم اكثر وفهم بعض المفاهيم التي قد اجدها في مثل هذه الدورات
  • Vignesh M
    This Course is Helpful to me.I am electrical engineer student so this Photovoltaic Based course is very useful for solar renewable energy sources for my subject related
  • Profile image for Abdul Hanan
    Abdul Hanan
    I have learned valuable content that will help up skill my knowledge in solar photovoltaic systems.Its good to know we can have access to such learning online
  • Rohit Waghmare
    This is wonderful online training and lean new ghing in this lesson I will curriculum this to group to lean electrical engineering related course
  • Profile image for Gowsalya Gowsalya
    Gowsalya Gowsalya

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  • Profile image for Thamin Ansari A
    Thamin Ansari A
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  • Profile image for Vinothkumar. M
    Vinothkumar. M
    It's to be useful, and I would gain some knowledge about that, project presentation I have get some ideas, so it to be helpful to my course

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