Syllabus for Solar Energy - Technology and Systems

Solenergi - teknik och system


  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1TE028
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Technology A1N, Energy Technology A1N, Renewable Electricity Production A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2011-03-07
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2023-02-07
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2023
  • Entry requirements:

    120 credits in science/engineering including Modern Physics, Quantum Physics, continuation course or Quantum Physics F. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

  • Responsible department: Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course the student shall be able to:

  • explain the technical and physical principles of solar cells and solar collectors, and calculate performance under different conditions,
  • explain different solar energy techniques and motivate their structure and composition based on physical principles,
  • measure and evaluate different solar energy technologies through knowledge of the physical function of the devices,
  • calculate the required size of solar cell systems and solar collectors from a given power need by using appropriate software,
  • critically compare different solar energy systems and evaluate the factors that have an impact on economic performance on different solar energy systems in Sweden and other countries, as well as describe trends in industry and the market,
  • communicate technological, environmental and socio-economic issues around solar energy in a concise and an accessible way to a target group with basic technical skills.


The course covers six thematic areas:

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 function and characteristics. 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. Examples of CSP-systems globally.

Solar thermal: Thermodynamic description of solar collectors. Optical properties of solar collectors and technologies for fabrication. Solar thermal systems for different applications in Sweden and abroad. Storage of solar generated heat.

Hybrid systems: Combinations of solar thermal and solar cell systems. Overview of different applications. District heating with solar thermal components.

Active solar energy in systems: How large scale deployment of active solar energy is possible in Sweden and globally. Buying and selling heat and electric energy. Grid aspects of large scale deployment of solar cells as well as environmental and socioeconomic aspects.


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


Written test at the end of the course, participation in lab exercises and computer simulation sessions (8.5 credits). Active participation in project work, oral presentation of the projekt in English and seminars (1.5 credits).

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 can not be included in the same degree as 1TE206, Solar Energy - Technology and Systems, or 1TE678 Solar Energy Technologies for Electricity Production or 1TE713 Solar Thermal Technologies.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2023

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

Reading materials handed out during the course.

  • Mertens, Konrad Photovoltaics : fundamentals, technology and practice

    Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2014.

    Find in the library