spring 2016
FYS-3028 Solar energy and energy storage - 10 ECTS

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the spring semester and 1 December for the autumn semester.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

The course is available as a singular course. The course is also available to exchange students and free-movers.

The course will only be taught if there is a sufficient number of students. Are you interested in following the course, please contact the student advisor as soon as possible

Admission requirements

Admission requirements are a Bachelor's degree in physics or similar education, including specialization in physics worth the equivalent of not less than 80 ECTS credits.

Local admission, application code 9371 - singular courses at Master's level.

Course overlap

If you pass the examination in this course, you will get an reduction in credits (as stated below), if you previously have passed the following courses:

FYS-8028 Solar energy and energy storage 8 stp

Course content

The course will teach the student technologies that convert solar energy into electricity and heat with a main focus on electricity generation. The student will learn how various materials harvest solar energy on a nanoscale all the way to how to design complete solar energy systems and importantly, how the energy can be stored. The course includes compulsory experimental and simulation lab work on central solar energy and energy storage aspects.

Solar energy density, availability, time and angle dependency and spectral characteristics will be shown as well as absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation from different materials. Photovoltaic (PV) devices are presented as advanced semiconductor devices that deliver electricity directly from sunlight. The emphasis is on understanding the working principle of a solar cell, fabrication of solar cells, PV module construction and the design of a PV system. The student will understand the principles of the photovoltaic conversion, the conversion of light into electricity. The student will learn about the advantages, limitations and challenges of existing solar cell technologies as well as the latest novel solar cell concepts found in R&D labs. Suitable semiconductor materials, device physics, and fabrication and measurement techniques of solar cells are presented. The course will show the student how to design a complete solar system for any particular application.

For intermittent energy sources like solar energy to be widespread, successful and game changing it is crucial to have good energy storage possibilities. These storages do need to have large capacities as well as having a very fast response time. Existing and future energy storage approaches of intermittent energy will be thoroughly discussed and presented.  Lastly, cost aspects, market development and application areas of solar cells and solar thermal collectors will be presented.

Recommended prerequisites

FYS-2000 Quantum mechanics, MAT-2200 Differential Equations, MAT-2201 Numerical Methods

Objectives of the course

Knowledge - The student will be able to:

  • in depth understand the various concepts to convert solar energy in to electricity and heat
  • explain the physical working principles of photovoltaic conversion in solar cells
  • recognize and describe the various solar cell technologies, their current status and future technological challenges
  • understand the challenges of intermittent energy and how to feasibly store the energy

Skills - The student will be able to:

  • analyze the performance of solar cells and modules
  • on paper design complete photovoltaic systems including energy storage capacities
  • obtain knowledge about the research and development progress of solar energy applications and how to critically assess new scientific findings within the area

General expertise - The student will be able to:

  • express a good communication skill in scientific writing
  • incorporate current events and new scientific information into a critical thinking
  • communicate solar energy theories, problem descriptions and solutions

Teaching methods

Lectures: 40 hours
Exercises: 24 hours


Portfolio assessment of up to 3 assignments counting about 30 % and a final 4 hour written examination counting about 70 %. All modules in the portfolio are assessed as a whole and one combined grade is given.

Assessment scale: Letter grades A-F.

Re-sit examination (section 22):
There is no access to a re-sit examination in this course.

Postponed examination (sections 17 and 21):
Students with valid grounds for absence will be offered a postponed examination. Postponed assignments are arranged during the semester if possible, otherwise early in the following semester. Postponed final examination is held early in the following semester.

See indicated sections in "Regulations for examinations at the UiT" for more information.

Coursework requirements
Access to the final examination requires submission of up to 3 assignments.

Recommended reading/syllabus





ISBN: 978-81-203-5111-0

In addition we will use the website:http://www.pveducation.org/pvcdrom


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  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: FYS-3028
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet