Photovoltaic Energy: Materials and Applications


Motivated by the present energetic and environmental challenges that our society currently faces, this curricular unit intends to deepen the knowledge of the students in the working principles, technologies, fabrication and characterization processes related with solar energy transformation and exploitation, with emphasis in the systems currently used in the:

1) conversion of solar to electrical energy, by means of photovoltaic (PV) devices;

2) storage of energy, including, batteries, fuel cells, supercapacitors, among others, in view of practical applications.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Hugo Manuel Brito Águas


Weekly - 4

Total - 76

Teaching language



Available soon


- R. Martins, H. Aguas, E. Fortunado, "Energia Fotovoltaica: Materiais e Aplicações", Nova Editorial, 2020.

A. Luque and S. Hegedus, "Handbook of Photovoltaic Science and Engineering", 2010, Wiley.

- K. Mertens, “Photovoltaics: Fundamentals, Technology and Practice”, 2014, Wiley.

- M. D Archer, M. A Green, “Clean Electricity From Photovoltaics”, 2015, Imperial College Press.

- Enrich, Righini, "Solar Cells and Light Management", Elsevier, 2020.

- M. BaraK, P. Perecrinus, "Electrochemical Power sources, primary and secondary batteries", 1980;

- D. Linden, "Handbook of batteries and fuel cells", McGraw-Hill, 1984

Teaching method

The lectures are conducted using powerpoint presentation, including didactic materials and multimedia (videos, applets, etc). The laboratory work includes an application component through exercises, practical computation modelling, and experimental work performed in group. 

Evaluation method

Evaluation methods:

Average of 2 Tests / Exam → 60% weight (no minimum grade)

Report on PV characterization → 15% weight

Report on Photonic-enhanced PV simulation → 10% weight

Report on PV dimensioning → 15% weight

Minimum final grade to pass = 9.5

Subject matter

- Introduction to current energy consumption and production problematic, and low carbon transition, with focus in solar energy usage. Environmental, economic and social challenges associated to the energetic needs;

- Materials and technologies for solar to electrical energy conversion: working principles of solar cells, production and characterization methods, materials that can be used and their advantages/disadvantages;

- Materials and technologies for energy storage: electrochemical operation principles of batteries and fuel cells, supercapacitors and other energy storage systems, production and characterization methods, materials used and their advantages/disadvantages;

- Novel concepts to improve the efficiency and/or applicability of photovoltaic systems, via light management with photonic strategies, or even through nano-structuring materials at quantum level.