Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Applied photovoltaics

Overall Course Objectives

The course Applied Photovoltaics is a laboratory course that provides hands on experience in photovoltaic (PV) module fabrication and characterization. The student will be presented with the theory behind the most commonly used PV characterization methods in PV research and industry. Hands on characterization of PV devices and PV power electronic converters will be performed in the lab and in the field, including measurements of the device’s electrical, thermal, and optical characteristics. Furthermore, the student will perform three different PV imaging techniques and will be able to differentiate each technique with its distinctive advantages when analyzing PV failures. Some of these characterizations and imaging techniques will be performed on a mini PV module that is designed and built by the students themselves. Moreover, the student will also be acquainted with techniques for measuring the solar resource, shading at the site and analyzing PV-plant performance data.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe in detail the steps required to manufacture crystalline silicon PV modules
  • Design and fabricate a PV module
  • Explain the effect the irradiance have on the I-V curves of PV devices
  • Explain the effect the temperature have on the I-V curves of PV devices
  • Explain the effect that the incident angle of sunlight has on transmission and reflection
  • Describe the principles behind thermography, electroluminescence and photoluminescence imaging and describe the unique advantages that each technique has when diagnosing PV failures
  • Characterize and describe the efficiency parameters and test procedures of a PV power converter
  • Analyze field performance of a PV system

Course Content

The course will present the theory behind the most commonly used PV characterization and imaging methods. The course will also provide lectures that describe in detail how crystalline silicon modules are fabricated. These lectures will be followed by lab exercises where all students will perform various electrical, thermal and optical PV characterization techniques, and also build their own mini-module. The course will conclude with group work on laboratory assignments, and the students will present their results in an oral presentation, and participate in an informal “create the best module competition”.

Recommended prerequisites

34552, Photovoltaic systems

Teaching Method

Lectures, exercises in the field and in the lab, and group project work.



Sergiu Spataru, Sune Thorsteinsson, Gisele Alves dos Reis Benatto, Markus Babin, Daniel Alvarez Mira, Rodrigo Del Prado Santamaria, Martin Bartholomäus

Limited number of seats

Minimum: 5, Maximum: 25.

Please be aware that this course has a minimum requirement for the number of participants needed, in order for it to be held. If these requirements are not met, then the course will not be held. Furthermore, there is a limited number of seats available. If there are too many applicants, a pool will be created for the remainder of the qualified applicants, and they will be selected at random. You will be informed 8 days before the start of the course, whether you have been allocated a spot.

See course in the course database.





3 weeks




DTU Risø Campus

Course code 34553
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 23
Semester end Week 26
Days Mon-fri 8:00-17:00

7.500,00 DKK

Please note that this course has participants limitation. Read more