Solar Energy Technologies for Electricity Production

5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1TE678

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Energy Technology A1N, Renewable Electricity Production A1N, Technology A1N
Grading system
Pass with distinction, Pass with credit, Pass, Fail
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 27 January 2023
Responsible department
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Entry requirements

120 credits in science/engineering including Electromagnetism, Power Engineering, Energy System Physics/Modern Physics. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • explain the technical and physical principles of solar cells and calculate their performance under different conditions,
  • describe different solar cell technologies and explain their structure and design using the underlying theory,
  • perform measurements on solar cells and systems and relate the results to the underlying theory,
  • plan and dimension solar cell systems from a given power demand by using appropriate calculations and simulation software,
  • explain which factors affect the economic performance of solar cell systems in Sweden and other countries,
  • communicate technical and socioeconomic issues of solar energy in a concise and comprehensible way, in English.


Solar radiation: Properties of sunlight. Absorption by the atmosphere. Calculation of solar irradiance at surfaces.

Solar cells and modules: The function of solar cells from semiconductor physics. Different solar cell technologies and fabrication methods. Concepts for increasing efficiency based on loss analysis. Wavelength sensitivity. Series connection of solar cells to modules. Module construction and characteristics. Developments in design and industry. Shading of cells and modules.

Solar cell systems: System components and their functions. Calculating output and dimensioning of solar cell systems. Analysis and computer simulation of a solar cell system.

Concentrated sunlight and solar power (CSP): Properties of optical concentration systems. Solar cells in concentrated sunlight. Overview of the different components in a CSP system and their functions. 

Ekonomiska aspekter: Buying and selling solar electricity; factors that affect profitability in different cases (off-grid, prosumer, utility). Calculating profitability. Large scale application of solar energy in Sweden and worldwide.


Lectures and seminars. The seminars can be in the form of lessons or discussion sessions. Study visit. Laboratory exercises and computer simulations.


Written examination (3 credits). Oral presentation of group task, lab exercises and computer simulation sessions (2 credt).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Other directives

The course may not be included in the same degree as 1TE028 Solar Energy - Technology and Systems, or 1TE206 Solar Energy - Technology and Systems.