EME 812
Utility Solar Power and Concentration




This lesson contains materials describing the main principles of photovoltaic conversion of light. You will learn what properties of PV materials determine the performance of the solar cells, and how that performance is measured. You should be able to look at the performance curve and say if it is good or not, if you deal with a single cell or a module. We will also see what happens to the parameters of the PV actions on system scale-up. Different types of PV materials and systems will be discussed here, and recent innovations and trends to improve solar cell efficiency will be reviewed.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • understand and explain the principle of photovoltaic effect;
  • analyze the photovoltaic cell performance data;
  • discuss innovative ideas and recent trend in PV development.


Duffie, J.A. and Beckman, W.A., Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes, 4th Ed., John Wiley and Sons, 2013. Parts of Chapters 2 and 7. Please refer to particular sections of the lesson for more specific assignment.

Honsberg, C and Bowden, S., Photovoltaic Education Network, Accessed: May 2020.

Kalogirou, S.A., Solar Energy Engineering. Processes and Systems. Elsevier, 2009, Chapter 9. Photovoltaic Systems, pp. 483-486.