KD7050 - Photovoltaic System Technology

What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will learn about the principles of photovoltaic (PV) system, design, operation and application. This will include consideration of the system components and the design and configuration of the solar array, together with examples of stand-alone, grid-connected and space applications. The module will also help you to appreciate the issues relating to the implementation of photovoltaic systems.

The topics within the module syllabus include:
• PV arrays and system components
• Grid connected PV systems, including large scale and building integrated systems
• Stand-alone PV systems and applications
• Concentrator PV systems
• PV arrays for satellite power supply
• Monitoring and performance analysis
• Operation and maintenance, system lifetime, standards and regulations

How will I learn on this module?

You will meet the material via a combination of lectures and seminars, including some class-based design exercises. You will also undertake an individual design project, in which you will develop a system design for a defined customer, considering both technical and non-technical issues to achieve the best design compromise and utilising specialist software for the design of photovoltaic systems.

The module is assessed by an examination (60%) which investigates your knowledge and understanding of the principles of PV systems. The design project mentioned above will determine your ability to apply your knowledge to a real life application. Feedback on the examination is provided individually and also generically so you can see where the cohort has a stronger or weaker answer to particular examination questions than the one you gave. Feedback on the assignment is also provided individually, with particular emphasis on constructive advice to enhance your skills in system design and the presentation of technical material. Formative feedback is provided in lectures and seminars with regard to the development of your understanding of the module content.

The knowledge and skills that you will acquire in this module significantly enhance employability, particularly in the field of renewable energy.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

In addition to the lectures and seminars, you are able to make direct contact with the module team, usually via email in the first instance, where further support is required. This allows the arrangement of ad-hoc individual or group discussions to address specific problems. You will also be regularly referred to supporting resources including relevant texts and multimedia relevant to the module. References to these resources will be made available through the e-learning portal and in lectures and seminars. Individual advice is provided at the beginning of your design project in terms of selection of the application and other critical issues.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Assess the system requirements for both grid-connected and stand-alone applications of PV systems
• Critically evaluate the performance of a PV system in contrast to a theoretical model of such a system, calculating yields and efficiencies
• Analyse the main system losses and compare methods for minimising these for various system designs

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Design and develop a PV system evaluating complex and contradictory customer needs in relation to an application

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Undertake an individual project including definition of goals and time management

How will I be assessed?

1. Examination (60%) – KU1, KU2, KU3
2. Written assignment and presentation (40%) – KU3, ISA1, PVA1

1. In-course seminars and discussions – KU1, KU2, KU3, ISA1

Formative feedback will be provided via class discussions. Individual written feedback will be provided on both aspects of the summative assessment.





Module abstract

Photovoltaic systems convert solar energy directly into electricity for a wide range of applications and are of growing importance to our energy supply systems around the world. In this module, you will learn the principles of system design, applications and performance. As part of the assessment of this module, you will get the opportunity to complete an individual design project, allowing you to apply your knowledge to a specific application and utilize the latest specialist software for system simulation. Northumbria has an internationally recognized research group in photovoltaics, allowing the latest research developments in design and implementation to be included in the class discussions. You will gain critical and investigative skills that can be applied to a wide range of electrical systems in your future career.

Course info

UCAS Code H602

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of face to face and online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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