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Photovoltaics and Solar Thermal Technology - ELE00095H

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Mahmoud Dhimish
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module introduces the facts governing the nature, availability and characteristics of the solar resources and the fundamental concepts of photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal conversion. The conversion technologies are examined critically in terms of design, efficiency, manufacturing options and costs. Students will be exposed to advanced knowledge of PV from current research into cell materials to the design, implementation, and performance assessment of complete PV systems.

Professional requirements

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Additional information


Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • To understand the principles of operation, generation capacity, design, and operational issues of photovoltaics (PV) systems.

  • To understand the principles of solar thermal technologies' operation, design, and operational issues.

  • To evaluate the operation of PV and solar thermal energy systems using data analytical and statistical techniques.

  • To demonstrate state-of-the-art industrial case studies relating to PV and solar thermal energy systems.

  • To reinforce learning through laboratory investigations.

Graduate skills aims:

  • To understand the wide variety of current options available for PV installations and solar thermal energy systems.

  • Measure solar energy generator output power and efficiency.

  • To instil professional laboratory working practice.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Describe the working mechanisms of PV and solar thermal energy systems.

  • Build PV power generation model in MATLAB/Simulink.

  • Describe factors affecting the efficiency of PV and solar thermal energy systems.

  • Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of different PV technologies.

  • Identify and explore tools to analyse PV and solar energy systems data.

Graduate skills learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • State basic technical concepts concisely and accurately.

  • Compare and contrast different technologies.

  • Plan and manage their time in a laboratory setting.

Module content

Professional Practice embedded into this module:

  • Health and Safety

  • Laboratory Practice

  • Written communication skills

  • Personal and Group Skills

  • Design for Manufacturability (understanding of tolerances, material limitations)

  • Engineering standards and Regulation


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Photovoltaics and Solar Thermal Technology
2 hours 70
N/A 30

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Photovoltaics and Solar Thermal Technology
2 hours 70
N/A 30

Module feedback

The school aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme.

Feedback Statement:

(i) Formative Feedback

1. Regular labs allow you to engage with the MATLAB/Simulink model and receive verbal help and feedback on your Simulink modelling.

2. After-class learning materials (webpage, YouTube linkage) on the module Wiki page help you to gain feedback on your understanding of the key module material covered in the lectures.

3. 11 workshops are arranged to help you to develop your application of PV systems design and prepare you for the closed-book examination.

4. Emails to the Module Coordinator with questions/comments will be answered as soon as possible.

5. A draft version of your assignment can be submitted to the module coordinator before the end of term, who will confirm whether this is all in the correct format, along with some general written feedback comments, and a series of recommendations for improvement.

(ii) Summative Feedback

You will receive a customised feedback sheet, showing the mark breakdown in each of the key areas being assessed along with personalised feedback and suggestions for improvement. The comments explain how well you have met the learning objectives, and also give you feedback about the things you could improve in future assignments).

Indicative reading

  1. Jenkins, N., & Ekanayake, J. (2017). Renewable energy engineering. Cambridge University Press.

  2. Reinders, A., Verlinden, P., Van Sark, W., & Freundlich, A. (2017). Photovoltaic solar energy: from fundamentals to applications. John Wiley & Sons.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.