Skip to main content

DelftX: Solar Energy: Photovoltaic (PV) Technologies

Explore the main PV technologies in the current market, to gain in-depth knowledge on the design and processing methods of solar cells.

Solar Energy: Photovoltaic (PV) Technologies
11 weeks
10–11 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

There is one session available:

25,078 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Feb 28
Ends Sep 30

About this course

Skip About this course

The technologies used to produce solar cells and photovoltaic modules are advancing to deliver highly efficient and flexible solar panels. In this course you will explore the main PV technologies in the current market. You will gain in-depth knowledge about crystalline silicon based solar cells (90% market share) as well as other emerging technologies including CdTe, CIGS and Perovskites. This courseprovides answers to the questions: How are solar cells made from raw materials? Which technologies have the potential to be the major players for different applications in the future?

This course is part of the Solar Energy Engineering MicroMasters Program designed to cover all physics and engineering aspects of photovoltaics: photovoltaic energy conversion, technologies and systems.

Earn a Microcredential

After finishing this course, and passing the related exam, you are eligible to receive one microcredential. A microcredential is a digital certificate that allows learners to demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired after successfully completing a small unit of education. It describes the learning outcomes, educational level and scope of the course or program – and adds a quality mark, as it is bound to a recognized quality framework. For more information, please read the FAQ below.

At a glance

  • Institution: DelftX
  • Subject: Engineering
  • Level: Advanced
  • Prerequisites:

    Bachelor's degree in Science or Engineering and/or the successful completion of PV1x (or firm grasp of its content).

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated programs:
  • Associated skills:Emerging Technologies, Physics, Energy Conversion, Market Share, Solar Cells, Photovoltaics, Public Key Certificates

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Design concepts and fabrication processes of various photovoltaic technologies,
  • In-depth knowledge on the entire crystalline silicon solar cell landscape including,
    • Market-leading polycrystalline based cells
    • High efficiency/cutting edge monocrystalline based solar cells
  • Application of thin film solar cells, like CIGS, CdTe, thin-film silicon, Perovskites,
  • Concentrated PV and space applications for III/V semiconductor based solar cells.

Audit learners can develop their skills and knowledge in relation to the above learning objectives by having access to the video lectures, a limited number of practice exercises and discussion forum.

Verified learners are offered a number of study tools to demonstrate they have mastered the learning objectives. They will have access to all exercises: practice, graded and exam questions.

Part 1. Crystalline silicon

Week 1. Introduction & Crystalline Silicon I
1.2 Introduction to Silicon
1.3 Silicon Processing

Week 2. Crystalline Silicon II
2.1 c-Si Solar Cell Design
2.2 Advanced cell design
2.3 From cell to module

Part 2. Solar Cell Characterization

Week 3. Solar cell characterization
3.1 J-V Measurement
3.2 EQE Measurement
3.3 Reflectance - Transmittance Measurement
3.4 Lifetime Measurement


Part 3. Thin Film Processing

Week 4. Thin Film Processing
4.1 Thin Film Design
4.2 Thin Film Deposition

Part 4. Thin Film Technologies

Week 5. Thin Film Silicon
5.1 TF Silicon Properties
5.2 Major Challenges
5.3 TF Silicon Processing
5.4 State of the Art TF Silicon Devices


Week 6. Chalcogenides & III-V Technologies
6.1 Chalcogenides - CIGS
6.2 Chalcogenides - CdTe
6.3 III-V - Material and Devices
6.4 III-V - Special Applications

Week 7. Organic Photovoltaics
7.1 OPV Basics
7.2 OPV Technologies
7.3 Perovskites

Part 5. Comparing and Combining Technologies

Week 8. Comparing & Combining Technologies
8.1 Comparing PV Technologies
8.2 Hybrid PV Devices
8.3 Hybrid PV Systems


Learner testimonials

Skip Learner testimonials

"TU Delft 's Solar Energy Engineering MicroMasters program is great to get a grasp of the overall science of solar energy. It provides context to the current industry trends, and at the same time gives you the tools you need to know where the industry will be in the next decade." --Bertram, The Netherlands

Frequently Asked Questions

Skip Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Microcredential
A Microcredential (hereafter: "MC") is a digital certificate that allows learners to demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired after successfully completing a small unit of education. It describes the learning outcomes, educational level and scope of the course or program – and adds a quality mark, as it is bound to a recognized quality framework.

You will receive your MC as a digital certificate (called "Edubadge"), offered by the Dutch institution SURF. The certificates are publicly available (via an URL), can be easily shared, and can be instantly verified by other educational institutions or employers.

MCs are only used for courses or programs that comply with the Dutch national quality framework for microcredentials. MCs were recently launched in The Netherlands, with the aim to be recognized as accreditation-worthy education, specifically for continuing education programs. MCs do not have an expiration date and are managed online by the learners themselves (through the Edubadge platform of Surf).

Even if you do not live in The Netherlands, you will benefit from this MC since it will give an additional quality mark to the certificates issued by

Note that the MCs do not replace the certificates issued by edX, and can be obtained in addition. Moreover, there is no MC for the full Micromasters program, only per course (for the full program you will still receive the certificate issued by edX.)

Q: How to obtain the MC?
A learner qualifies for a MC per course after successfully completing a course and the exam associated with this course (for example, after completing PV1 course and PV1 exam you are eligible for one MC).

To obtain your Microcredential you will need to create an EduID and connect to the Edubadges platform. After that you can access your “Edubadges backpack” in which you can store and manage your Microcredentials. For more information please visit this page:

More information about obtaining the MCs will be given during the course.

Q: What do MC mean for my personal data?
Please note TU Delft uses personal data in issuing Microcredentials. Learners need to create a “backpack” on which is managed by SURF to be able to claim and manage their Microcredentials. To learn more about how TU Delft uses your personal data in relation to Microcredentials read the privacy statement that can be found in the course platform.

More about this course

Skip More about this course

The course materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) 4.0 International License.

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

This course is part of Solar Energy Engineering MicroMasters Program

Learn more 
Expert instruction
5 graduate-level courses
Progress at your own speed
1 year 1 month
9 - 10 hours per week

Interested in this course for your business or team?

Train your employees in the most in-demand topics, with edX For Business.