MTE6884 - Advanced photovoltaics and energy storage - 2018

0 points, SCA Band 2, 0.000 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Nick Birbilis


Associate Professor Christopher McNeill

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


This unit is available only to Engineering PhD students.


Materials and principles for energy production, storage and conversion will be covered in detail. Topics include Light harvesting materials, Solar power conversion efficiency, Interaction of light with matter, Commercial and emerging photovoltaic technologies, Concentrator PV, Electrochemical methods, Primary and secondary batteries, Supercapacitors, Photocatalysis, Water splitting and Fuels Cells.


At the successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

  1. Appreciate why the energy landscape is changing and the role materials will play in alternate energy technologies in the broad areas of energy production, storage and conversion.
  2. Apply the theory behind the operation of photovoltaic devices to predict and quantify the performance of solar cell materials.
  3. Appraise various energy storage technologies including batteries, capacitors, and hydrogen storage, and discuss the benefits and shortcomings of each.
  4. Assess novel electrochemical technologies including photo-(electro-catalysis), water splitting and fuel cells.
  5. Design experiments to assess the performance of energy storage and conversion devices.


Internal continuous assessment: 50%

Final examination (2 hours): 50%

Workload requirements

3 hours of lectures/tutorials, 1 hour of laboratory work and 9 hours of private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Materials science