Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Photovoltaics Course Approved for Fall 2008!

I just received the delightful news that we've received the green light for a semester-long PV course in the Fall of ’08, entitled “Fundamentals of Photovoltaics”! I'm REALLY looking forward to teaching this course, and interacting on a more regular basis with our brilliant students interested in PV. The course is listed as "graduate level" because of the dense content, but MIT’s way has traditionally been to extend enrollment to motivated undergraduates, and I expect this to be no different.

As it now stands, this course is envisioned to cover three areas: (1) Fundamentals of PV devices and systems, (2) Overview of commercial and pre-commercial PV technologies, and (3) Cross-cutting themes in PV (efficiency loss mechanisms, systems, reliability, cost, price, manufacturability, markets, and subsidies...). The course is designed to include a few sessions in the lab to experience PV technology first hand (probably in our group’s own lab in the basement of building 35, unless we get a communal PV equipment laboratory by then), exposure to PV modeling software, a field trip, and an exciting class project.

Additional details: The subject will be introduced as an H-Level Graduate subject under the number 2.626 to be first offered in Fall 2008 and (at present) on alternate years after that.

Special thanks to the folks who helped shape this course by providing feedback and suggestions, including (but not limited to) Ryan Boas, Jim Bredt, Nol Browne, Dave Danielson, Daniel Enderton, Adnan Esmail, Eerik Hantsoo, Dave Levy, Adam Lorenz, Jon Mapel, MR, colleagues in ME, and folks in TLL, OEIT, ACCC, ESL, and many others. There’s still an opportunity to shape it further, particularly if you have a vested interest in taking this course. Feel free to send me a note with your expectations and what/how you’d like to learn in PV, and I’ll do my best to reply over the holidays (buonassisi AT mitdotedu).

Because of preparation for this course and Dave's recent graduation, I am sorry to say that (Dr.) Dave Danielson and I will not be co-teaching the IAP PV course this January. However, I'm sure the energy club will be posting its newest listing of "IAP Energy Courses" soon... Once they’re posted, might someone kindly add a “comment” to this post with the link? Many thanks, and Happy Holidays!


Steve Yang, P.E. said...

This looks like a very good course.
I wonder if the class material maybe
made available on the web?--for all to benefit from it.
I understand MIT and others have made courses available, free to the public.

Daniel said...

This course is exactly what our universities need to promote more of Americas initiative in implementing Green Infrastructure into our communities. To learn more go to

Daniel said...

This course is exactly what our universities need to promote more of Americas initiative in implementing Green Infrastructure into our communities. To learn more go to

Tonio Buonassisi said...

Yes, the intention is to have the course material be available online, via MIT Open Courseware.

lakshmi said...

is the course available in OCW?

conrad said...

I would like to learn more about cost-effective methods of solar such as building your own panel from cells, technology behind screen printing doped paint and creating the npn junction that allows for the flow of electrons. Basically a course that frees the "motivated" from needing external sources to implement "green" solar :)
Thanks MIT,

conrad said...

PV Cell creation using screen printing of doped npn junction, the benefits of building your own pv systems, cost-effective implementation of pv systems, and battery a/h ratings with REAL calculations for accurate system design using that dudes formula I can't remember:( to name a few.

Thanks MIT,


lakshmi said...

Hi.... can i know from when, the course material would be availble in MIT OCW?

David Tran said...

Thanks Dr. Tonio Buonassisi. This would be a very useful course.

Just wondering when it is available online and do we have a video session for this course?


Tran Duc Vi

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vance said...

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