MTE5884 - Advanced photovoltaics and energy storage - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 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 Neil Cameron


Professor Christopher McNeill

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)








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%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

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