Welcome to Solar Energy Engineering

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Online Courses

High-quality online courses. Premium education presented by University of Freiburg and Fraunhofer ISE. Highly esteemed scientific lecturers.

The courses are delivered as e-lectures, reading material, in online meetings, using example problems in exercise sheets. At the end of the semester there is the possibility to travel to Freiburg, Germany, for three to five days for the voluntary Campus Phase which includes exams, meeting fellow students and lecturers and much more.

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CAS-Certified

Course Catalogue

In this section you find the individual courses giving you the basics about solar cells as well as an insight in the most recent and innovative concepts.

Our courses are CAS-certified (Certificate of Advanced Studies) which ensures a high level for our content.

course1

CAS 1: Solar Cells and Photovoltaics Systems

Solar cells and photovoltaic systems are high-tech devices, which directly convert sunlight into electricity. The underlying scientific principles of these devices have been researched for decades with even more to come. This module condenses the expertise gained over the years to enable a substantial scientific understanding of photovoltaic energy conversion.

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Participants gain an overview of the overall system of photovoltaic energy conversion and a detailed scientific foundation of the underlying principles of solar cells. Experienced engineers will be qualified to design and optimize photovoltaic systems and newcomers will be able to understand and enter the photovoltaics sector. Participants will be proficient in explaining the physical and engineering principles, analyzing and assessing new solar cell concepts as well as latest trends in photovoltaics based on the fundamental principles.

Module Content

Solar Cells

The course "Solar Cells" provides profound insight into the physics, technology and design of solar cells. By understanding physical mechanisms, limitations and design rules the student is able to understand all different types of solar cells like silicon, thin-film, organic or dye solar cells and so on. This helps students to develop, design and optimize photovoltaic devices with respect to efficiency, cost and lifetime.

Photovoltaic Systems

The course “Photovoltaic Systems” deals with basically everything around the solar cell once it is implemented in any kind of photovoltaic application. The student is able to design and optimize photovoltaic systems based on their understanding of the environment and its influence on photovoltaic energy conversion. They are also able to describe and design photovoltaic systems for optimized energy production, transport and storage.

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Dr. Würfel

Dr. Uli Würfel

Head of the department Dye and Organic Solar Cells at the Fraunhofer ISE.

Dr. Stalter

Dr. Olivier Stalter

Director, Division Power Electronics, Grids and Intelligent Systems at the Fraunhofer ISE.

  • Solar Cells and Photovoltaic Systems
  • Starting date: mid-October each year
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Credits: 10 ECTS (~ 5-8 hours workload per week)
  • Prerequisites:
    • Bachelor in Engineering, Physics or any related field
    • Solid understanding of surface physics and semiconductor physics, basics in electrical engineering.
  • Application deadline: October 1st each year
  • Course fee: 2500 €

course2

CAS 2: Solar Thermal Energy Technology

This module gives a wide overview on solar thermal systems and their main components. Starting with basic issues of physical processes and design options for non-concentrating and concentrating solar thermal collectors, systems engineering based on these technolgies will be presented. Here the complex systems for different applications ranging from solar water heating to process heat for industry to solar thermal power production will be described.

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The key research areas cover the optical properties and heat transport for solar thermal concentrator technology.

Module Content

Fundamentals of Solar Thermal Collectors

Especially Linear Fresnel collectors and solar tower heliostat fields are discussed. Aspects like hybridization of CSP with PV or the impact of different high-temperature storage options are considered.

Solar Thermal Systems Engineering

An important topic is the energy efficiency and integration of solar thermal heat in industrial processes.

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Dr. Platzer

Prof. Dr. Werner Platzer

Head of the department Dye and Organic Solar Cells at the Fraunhofer ISE.

  • Solar Thermal Energy Technology
  • Starting date: mid-October each year
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Credits: 10 ECTS (~ 3-4 hours workload per week)
  • Prerequisites:
    • Bachelor in Engineering, Physics or any related field
    • Solid mathematical skills, understanding of heat transfer and thermodynamics.
  • Application deadline: October 1st each year
  • Course fee: 2500 €

course3

CAS 3: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics

This module covers the whole value chain of silicon solar cells starting from quartz and finishes with the complete module. Students will learn how silicon is produced from quartz and how this silicon is purified, crystallized and cut into wafers. Based on this knowledge, students will be able to develop new and optimized processing sequences and design concepts for silicon solar cells.

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Finally, students will learn how modules are produced from silicon solar cells and which aspects are particularly important to ensure a long module lifetime. The module contains a laboratory course “Solar Cell Processing” in Fraunhofer ISE labs in Freiburg during the final Campus Phase.

Module Content

Feedstock and Crystallization

This course gives an overview of the most relevant production techniques of crystalline silicon wafers for solar cells. Starting from quartz, purification strategies, crystallization and wafering techniques are presented and discussed.

Silicon Solar Cells – Structure and Analysis

This course will focus on the fabrication and analysis of crystalline silicon solar cells. The structure of standard industrial silicon solar cells and a rough overview of the production sequence will be discussed.

Solar Cell Production Technology

This course provides thorough understanding of current technical and economical implications. It is essential to understand the influence of processing techniques like e.g. diffusion, wet chemical processing, chemical vapor deposition, printing and laser techniques relevant for crystalline silicon solar cells as well as the associated costs.

Silicon Module Technology and Reliability

This course covers the basic processes of module production with a focus on cell interconnection and encapsulation. Students will also learn about the comprehensive requirements for outdoor operation and respective module qualification testing procedures.

Hands-on Solar Cell Processing - Laboratory Course

This seminar will teach the students how to conduct and protocol process optimization steps in a production environment. They are skilled to understand the underlying principles of the most relevant production techniques for solar cell fabrication. They are able to develop and execute complex experimental designs, interpret and present the results.

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Dr. Glunz

Prof. Dr. Stefan Glunz

Head of the department Photovoltaic and Research at the Fraunhofer ISE.

Dr. Preu

Dr. Ralf Preu

Head of department Photovoltaic and Production Technology at the Fraunhofer ISE.

Dr. Rentsch

Dr. Jochen Rentsch

Director of the department Production Technology Surfaces at the Fraunhofer ISE.

Dr. Schubert

Dr. Martin Schubert

Head of Department Characterization and Simulation, Division Solar Cells - Development and Characterization at the Fraunhofer ISE.

Dr. Wirth

Dr. Harry Wirth

Head of the department Photovoltaic Modules and Power Stations at the Fraunhofer ISE.

  • Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics
  • Starting date: mid-April each year
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Credits: 10 ECTS (~ 5-8 hours workload per week)
  • Prerequisites:
    • Bachelor in Engineering, Physics or any related field
    • Fundamental understanding of the physical principals of solar cells.
  • Application deadline: April 1st each year
  • Course fee: 2500 €

course4

CAS CM: Solar Cell Characterization and Modelling

Understanding prototype solar cells is key to further development. This module provides practical as well as theoretical insights into common characterization techniques used for solar cell characterization. The module also provides an advanced understanding of multi-dimensional effects in solar cell and material characterization.

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Students will also learn how a simulation package for solar cell simulation works, by providing an insight into the numerical techniques to discretize the governing equations to describe solar cells. The module contains a laboratory course “Measurement Instrumentation” in Fraunhofer ISE labs in Freiburg during the final Campus Phase.

Module Content

Material and Solar Cell Characterization

This course gives an overview over the most important characterization tools used in material and solar cell characterization. Students gain the knowledge required for correct selection and use of the methods and have an understanding of the limits of different methods.

Hands-on Measurement Instrumentation

In this lab-course the students get the chance to use the main characterization techniques of solar cells. The main measurement systems as well as typical applications are used by the students in this course.

Numerical Simulation of Solar Cells

This course covers the governing equations that describe charge transport in solar cells. Students will learn the meaning of: the primary solution variables, derived quantities and main results of a solution of the governing equations. The students will also learn the difference between locally distributed models and time-dependent models; on application examples for solar cell design and analysis and PV system simulation.

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Dr. Schubert

Dr. Martin Schubert

Head of Department Characterization and Simulation, Division Solar Cells - Development and Characterization at the Fraunhofer ISE.

Dr. Schumacher

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schumacher

Head of Department Electrochemical Cells & Energy Systems at ZHAW School of Engineering.

  • Solar Cell Characterisation and Modelling
  • Starting date: mid-October each year
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Credits: 10 ECTS (~ 5-8 hours workload per week)
  • Prerequisites:
    • Bachelor in Engineering, Physics or any related field
    • Understanding of the principals of solar cells, ability to interpret measurement data and graphs. Affinity for computer programming and mathematics.
  • Application deadline: October 1st each year
  • Course fee: 2500 €

course5

CAS PG: Photovoltaics and the Renewable Electricity Grid

Decentralized electricity generation and fluctuating availability pose a challenge on grid stability. This module provides comprehensive understanding of interaction between PV systems and the power grid. It is about control aspects of PV Systems and the integration of a huge amount of PV energy in the electricity grid. Furthermore, this module gives a wide overview on smart grids and renewable energy systems.

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Starting with basic issues of energy and efficiency, grid technology will be discussed to balance complex systems with available storage components.

Module Content

Selected Semiconductor Devices - Seminar

The devices introduced in this seminar are not only used in photovoltaics but usually have applications in nearly all fields of electronics. Additionally, devices complementary to solar cells, such as light emitting diodes are covered.

Grid Integration and Control of PV Systems

This course gives an overview on interactions between PV systems and the power grid. The high share of renewable energies and the decentralized generation and consumption of electricity requires new control strategies.

Technologies for Renewable Energy Conversion - Seminar

This seminar focuses on the integration of different renewable energy systems into the electricity grid and the optimization of the combination of different renewable energy conversion techniques with respect to power demand satisfaction, operating security and safety and economic issues.

Smart Grids & Energy Autonomous Communities

This course gives a wide overview on smart grid energy systems. Starting with basic issues around energy and efficiency, grid technology will be discussed to balance complex systems with available storage components.

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Dr. Wittwer

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christof Wittwer

Smart Grid Technologies at the Fraunhofer ISE.

Dr. Schlegl

Dr. Thomas Schlegl

Energy System Analysis at the Fraunhofer ISE.

Dr. Hausmann

Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Wille-Haussmann

Storage Technologies at the Fraunhofer ISE.

Dr. Höhn

Dr. Oliver Höhn

Project manager, Team Microstructured Surfaces, Division Solar Cells - Development and Characterization at the Fraunhofer ISE.

  • Photovoltaics and the Renewable Electricity Grid
  • Starting date: mid-April each year
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Credits: 10 ECTS (~ 5-8 hours workload per week)
  • Prerequisites:
    • Bachelor in Engineering, Physics or any related field
    • General understanding of PV systems, good knowledge in electrical engineering.
  • Application deadline: April 1st each year
  • Course fee: 2500 €

course6

CAS ST: Advanced Solar Cell Technologies

This module provides comprehensive fundamental understanding of the basics for Si-based, CIGS, and CdTe thin-film solar cells, modules, and module production. With this knowledge students will be able to understand the different types of thin-film solar cells, their role in the PV market and the specific applications in which thin-film solar cells excel. They will also be able to assess present and future novel photovoltaic concepts.

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Participants gain a wide overview about existing concepts to overcome the thermodynamic limit for single junction solar cells, the so-called third generation photovoltaics. New techniques in solar cell production which originate from the related fields of microsystems engineering and nanoscience will be introduced. The processes introduced are likely to concern photovoltaic engineers in an upcoming 10-year period.

Module Content

Inorganic Thin-Film Solar Cells

This course provides an extensive overview on inorganic thin-film solar cells: physics, materials, growth, production and characterization. With this information the student will be able to understand the different types of thin-film solar cells, their role in the PV market and the specific applications where thin-film solar cells excel.

III-V Solar Cells and Concentrator Systems

This course gives a broad overview on the field of high concentration photovoltaics. This involves the approach of multi-junction solar cells and issues related to the operation of solar cells under concentrated light.

New Concepts for Photovoltaic Energy Conversion

This course gives an overview on the different kinds of new types of solar cells and shows how they differ from conventional solar cells made from inorganic semiconductors. The advantages and the weak points in these emerging technologies will be analyzed.

Advanced Solar Cell Processing - Seminar

This seminar gives an overview on the new techniques in solar cell production which often come from the related fields of microsystems engineering and the nanosciences. The processes introduced in this seminar are likely to concern the PV engineer in an upcoming 10 year period.

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Dr. Würfel

Dr. Uli Würfel

Head of the department Dye and Organic Solar Cells at the Fraunhofer ISE.

Dr. Heinrich

Martin Heinrich Ph.D.

Module Design at the Fraunhofer ISE.

Dr. Siefer

Dr. Gerald Siefer

III-V Cell- and module characterisation at the Fraunhofer ISE.

  • Advanced Solar Cell Technologies
  • Starting date: mid-October each year
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Credits: 10 ECTS (~ 5-8 hours workload per week)
  • Prerequisites:
    • Bachelor in Engineering, Physics or any related field
    • Good understanding of the physical principles of solar cells and semiconductors.
  • Application deadline: October 1st each year
  • Course fee: 2500 €

... do you want more?

Why not combine the full knowledge of all the different courses! Our successful Master program gives you the possibility to get a full-range solar energy engineer with a real german Master of Science degree (M.Sc.). The upper course-program is part of the curriculum of the full program. Just contact the program coordinator to check your possibilities. This program is presented you by the University of Freiburg and the Fraunhofer ISE.

Go to SEE Master Program. image device showing website of Solar Energy Engineering Master Program

What our students think

You can work fulltime while studying in this program. The support team is really supportive wether it was for our university studies or for our personal things.

Hassan

The campus phases are really nice to meet the professors and the fellow students, you can have informal discussions and the full packed program has also many social aspects with a dinner and a company visit for example.

Maarten

I recommend the program because it is a good opportunity to start a new career in the PV sector.

Roberto

It is very interactive and well organized. You can get in touch with a lot of people that are quiet experienced and have a lot of knowledge about this field. So this is the best course you could choose.

Chithira

This program is one oft he best programms in the field. It is not like the others because it goes into the deepest details of the manufacturing process, the characterization and technology and it enrichtes your knowledge towards the future scenarios of the energy worldwide.

Hamza

I can study wherever and wherever I like. The campus phase gives an additional highlight. It gives you the chance to meet your fellow students and the lecturers. If you want to go in depth into solar this program is the right choice.

Christina

Apply and Contact Us!

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Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Solar Energy Engineering
Georges-Köhler-Allee 10
79110 Freiburg
Germany


Phone: +49 761 203-7213


Email: contact(at)studysolar.uni-freiburg.de