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Cours scientifiques - PHY661B : Photovoltaic Technologies in Industry (PV Ind)

Domaine > Physique.


This course makes the link between the fundamental physics of photovoltaic devices and the practical reality of selling PV-generated kWh.
It is composed of two parts: (1) an intensive laboratory component (24 hours spent in a research lab) giving students the opportunity to fabricate and test photovoltaic devices in a research environment, and (2) three lectures given by our industrial partners from Total, concerning the PV industry.

Objectifs pédagogiques

After taking this course, the student should be able to:

  • Laboratory Component:
  • Demonstrate experimental familiarity with critical elements of photovoltaic device fabrication or advanced material/device characterization
  • Describe their own laboratory research result in the field of photovoltaics
  • Apply their knowledge of the experimental design and methods particular to PV to defend or moderate their results.
  • Identify, use and weight the physical parameters in a photovoltaic system and critical output metrics


  • Industrial Lecture Component
  • Describe the industrial steps to produce photovoltaic modules
  • Identify usage of photovoltaics in appropriate applications
  • Have a global vision of the photovoltaics market, value chain and main players
  • Quantitatively evaluate PV system costs and PV electricity costs
  • Take into account safety
  • Carry scientific messages on the environmental impact of photovoltaics 

30 heures en présentiel
réparties en:
  • Travaux pratiques : 24
  • Séminaire : 6

effectifs minimal / maximal:


Diplôme(s) concerné(s)

Parcours de rattachement

domaines Saclay

ODD 7 Energie propre et d’un coût abordable, ODD 9 Industrie, Innovation et Infrastructure.

Pour les étudiants du diplôme MScT-Energy Environment : Science Technology & Management

Theoretical course on photovoltaics (Physics and Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices or equivalent)

Format des notes

Numérique sur 20

Littérale/grade réduit

Pour les étudiants du diplôme M2 Énergie

Pour les étudiants du diplôme M1 Énergie

Pour les étudiants du diplôme MScT-Energy Environment : Science Technology & Management

Vos modalités d'acquisition :

Combination Laboratory work (24 hours) / Lecture (6 hours)

Evaluation: 25 page report, group presentation with questions, quiz on industrial lectures

Le rattrapage est autorisé
    L'UE est acquise si note finale transposée >= C
    • Crédits ECTS acquis : 4 ECTS

    La note obtenue rentre dans le calcul de votre GPA.

    Programme détaillé

    Introductory Lecture

    - Overview of laboratory options and specialization selection (2hrs)

    Laboratory Sessions

    24 hours total: 6 x 4 hours each, spent in laboratory

    Students focus on one of many topics concerning PV technologies (subjects change each year)

    • Standalone PV Systems (GEEPS)
    • Data Analysis for PV (SIRTA)
    • Advanced characterization techniques (GEEPS)
    • III-V materials and characterization (C2N)
    • Perovskite Solar Cells (LPICM)
    • Crystalline Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells (LPICM)
    • More with each year

    Industrial Lectures

     I: PV industry, market and economy

    The photovoltaic industry – an overview

    - Historical development of PV, Applications, Technology, Markets / economy

    Reminder of basics and metrics of PV

    - PV systems, efficiency and Watt peak, other physical parameters, Performance: cells to module, Sun and intermittency

    Snapshot of current industry and market

    - Market and trends, Actors : location, technology, structure

    - An idea of current costs and performances 

    Industrial production of PV

    - Production line, Silicon, Ingot, Wafer, Cells, Modules,
    - Thin films (TF-Si, CdTe, CIGS), III-V, OPV, DSC
    Production management, purchasing
    - Norms and certifications, Structure of costs in production, Financing / capitalization,

    Main actors

    Electricity production with PV projects

    -  PV system, Structure, type, space, Producible : management of losses, simulation, Watt peak to kWh to €, Project development

    -  Structure of costs, Levelized Cost of Electricty (LCOE), Economical schemes / Finances, Grid parity, FiT, Portfolio, Tax credit / subsidies, Self-consumption, Main actors 


    -  Industrial safety, Installation safety, Environmental impact of PV 

    Industrial Lecture II: Industrial R&D programs and innovation

    1. Introduction: Research & Development vs Innovation
    2. R&D as a segment of an industrial activity
      b. Innovation as a state of mind in a Company
      c. Disruptive innovation: ‘what (could) make great companies fail? 
    3. Research & Development in Solar PV: several ten years of progress in cell efficiency
    4. NREL compilation of hero (certified) cells:
      b. Outstanding industrial (and R&D) players: who drives performance up?
      c. Top ten research centers around the world 
    5. Different PV technologies addressing different markets: State-of-the-art / challenges / perspectives
    6. Crystalline Si: an old lady? (including purification/ingoting/wafering/cell conversion)
    7. mc-Si
    8. c-Si

    iii. Alternative technologies: ribbons, smart-cutting technologies... 

    1. Thin films:
    2. CdTe
    3. a-Si, pm-Si, μc-Si, pc-Si...

    iii. CI(G)S & CZTS

    1. Organic / hybrids
    2. Printed polymers: bilayer, bulk heterojunction
    3. Small molecules: evaporation or printing technologies? 

    iii. Dye sensitized structures

    1. III-V semiconductors:
    2. Single-junctions
    3. Multijunction
    4. The nano and quantum tool box: 
    5. Nano wires
    6. Quantum dots

    iii. Intermediate band structures

    1. Transverse activities: a ‘must’ to address the complete value chain:
    2. Modules and systems
    3. Reverse engineering
    4. Specific issues to PV industry as seen from R&D:
    5. Raw materials
      b. Time to market: from theoretical concept to lab device... to industry and market
    6. Industrial transfer: scale-up, control control control, stage-gate procedures
      d. R&D as a support to production 

    Environmental and EHS issues 


    Mots clés


    Méthodes pédagogiques

    research laboratory sessions (24 hrs)
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