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Course Offerings

Course Details

Fall 2013-2014
ELE 431 / MAE 431 / ENV 431 / EGR 431 / ENE 431 (QR)   na, npdf

Solar Energy Conversion

Sigurd Wagner

Principles and design of solar energy conversion systems. Quantity and availability of solar energy. Physics and chemistry of solar energy conversion: solar optics, optical excitation, capture of excited energy, and transport of excitations or electronic charge. Conversion methods: thermal, wind,photoelectric, photoelectrochemical, photosynthetic, biomass. Solar energy systems: low and high temperature conversion, photovoltaics. Storage of solar energy. Advanced conversion techniques. Conversion efficiency, systems cost, and lifecycle cost.

Sample reading list:
David JC MacKay (online), Sustainable energy without the hot air
Volker Quaschning, Regenerative Energiesysteme, 7th ed.
Volker Quaschning, Understanding renewable energy systems
D. Yogi Goswami, Frank Kreith, Jan F. Kreider, Principles of Solar Engineering, 2nd ed.
Martin. A. Green, Solar cells
Christiana Honsberg and Stuart Bowden (online),

Reading/Writing assignments:
Eight assignments coupled to take-home or lab experiments. Final project report. Weekly reading of 35 pages.

Mid Term Exam - 15%
Final Exam - 35%
Papers - 20%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%
Problem set(s) - 20%

Other Requirements:
Open to Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students Only.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Completed freshman science or engineering courses (MAT 104, PHY 104, CHM 207). Open to others by permission of instructor..

Other information:
Knowledge of linear algebra and ordinary differential equations is essential. This course fulfills a requirement for the Sustainable Energy Certificate Program.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
21367 L01 10:00 am - 10:50 am M W F   Engineering Quad D-Wing   D221   Enrolled:15 Limit:65
P01 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm F   Computer Science Building   102   Enrolled:0 Limit:20