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phy642 - Renewable Energy Technologies I for Engineering Physics (Complete module description)
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Module label Renewable Energy Technologies I for Engineering Physics
Module code phy642
Credit points 6.0 KP
Workload 180 h
Attendance: 56 hrs, Self study: 124 hrs
Faculty/Institute Institute of Physics
Used in course of study
  • Master's Programme Engineering Physics (Master) > Schwerpunkt: Renewable Energies
Contact person
Module responsibility
Authorized examiners
Entry requirements
Skills to be acquired in this module
After successful completion of the module students should be able to:
critically evaluate and compare relevant Renewable Energy conversion processes and technologies: photovoltaics, fuel cells and storage critically appraise various electrochemical storage processes
and the respective storage techniques analyse various system components and their interconnections
within a complex Renewable Energy supply system.
Module contents
This module will give an overview over a selection of the major renewable energy technologies and some possibilities of their storage. The focus is on the scientific principles of components and the technical description of the components.
Further detailed system analysis will be presented in other modules.
Physics of PV:
  • Basic and most important properties of solar radiation related to photovoltaics
  • PV cells basics: Fundamental physical processes in photovoltaic materials
  • Characterisation and basic modelling of solar cells Component Description:
  • PV generator
  • Charge controller
  • Inverter
  • Balance of system components

System Description
  • Grid Connected System
  • Stand Alone System

Fuel Cells and Energy Storage (Lecture - 90 h workload)
  • Fundamentals of electrochemistry and thermodynamics, energy and environmental balances
  • Basics of hydrogen production - starting materials, processes, efficiencies, environmental impacts
  • Basics of fuel cells function, materials, construction, systems, applications
  • Fundamental setup of most common battery types
  • Fundamental chemical reactions in these batteries
  • Operational characteristics, weir processes and service lives of these batteries
Reader's advisory
  • Green, Martin A., 1981: Solar cells : operating principles, technology and system applications, Prentice Hall,
  • Green, M.A., 2007: Third Generation Photovoltaics, Advanced Solar Energy Conversion, Springer Series in Photonics,
  • Markvart, Tom and Castaner, Luis, 2003: Practical Handbook of Photovoltaics, Fundamentals and Applications, Elsevier Science,
  • Nelson, Jenny, 2003: The Physics of Solar Cells (Properties of Semiconductor Materials), Imperial College Press,
  • Stuart R. Wenham, Martin A. Green, Muriel E. Watt and Richard Corkish (Edit.), 2007: Applied Photovoltaics, Earthscan Publications Ltd.,
  • Twidell, John and Weir, Toni, 2005: Renewable Energy Resources Taylor and Francis.
Fuel Cells and Energy Storage
  • Larminie/Dicks: Fuel Cells Systems Explained, 2000, (Wiley, 2000, ISBN 0-471-49026-1),
  • EG and G Services, Parsons Inc.: Fuel Cell Handbook, (DE-AM26-99FT40575, 7th Edition, 2005; www.,
  • G. Hoogers (Ed.): Fuel Cell Technology Handbook, (CRC Press, Boca Raton/London, 2003, ISBN 0-8493-0877-1),
  • C.-J. Winter/J. Nitsch: Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier (Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg/N.Y., 1985, ISBN 0-387- 18896-7/3-540-18896-7),
  • O'Hayre/Cha/Colella/Prinz: Fuel Cell Fundamentals, (Wiley, 2009, 2nd ed., IBSN 978-0-470-25843-9),
  • C.H. Hamann, A. Hammett, W. Vielstich, Electrochemistry, 2nd Ed. Wiley, Weinheim 2007,
  • D. Pletcher, A First Course in Electrode Processes. The Electrochemical Consultancy, 1991,
  • A.J. Bard, L.R. Faulkner, Electrochemical Methods, Fundamentals and Applications. 2. Ed., Wiley, 2001,
  • M. Winter, R.J. Brodd; What are Batteries, Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors? in Chem. Rev. 2004, Vol. 104, pp. 4245-4269,
  • A.J. Bard, G. Inzelt, F. Scholz (Eds.) Electrochemical Dictionary. 2. Au . Springer, Berlin 2012 (Available as an eBook, very good explanation in English), Page 7 of 39,
  • Fischer, W. (1996). Stationary lead-acid batteries - an introductory handbook. Brilon, Germany: Hoppecke.
Language of instruction English
Duration (semesters) 1 Semester
Module frequency Wintersemester
Module capacity unlimited
Modullevel MM (Mastermodul / Master module)
Modulart Wahlpflicht / Elective
Lern-/Lehrform / Type of program each lecture: 2 hrs/week
Vorkenntnisse / Previous knowledge
Examination Time of examination Type of examination
Final exam of module
written exam
Course type Lecture
SWS 4.00
Frequency SuSe or WiSe
Workload attendance 56 h