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ELEC4405 Photovoltaics and its Application to Power Systems

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit covers the basics and provides students with the information and knowledge to understand, design, and recognize high-performance PV systems. It emphasizes the importance of each step of the design process and proper decision-making. This unit is to provide students with basic information needed to understand the principles of PV systems operation, to identify appropriate applications and to undertake simple PV system designs. The unit offers information on solar radiations, efficiency, intermittency and storage solutions for PV systems. We also discuss different types of PV systems, such as CdTe, CIGS, SI, and organic PV systems, as well as economic and social aspects of PV systems.
Students are able to (1) analyse PV cell operating characteristics and equivalent circuits; (2) apply technical knowledge, appropriate tools and problem-solving skills to achieve a desired PV solution to satisfy user requirements; (3) evaluate PV and semiconductor models; (4) design basic PV cell systems; (5) evaluate the effects of shading on series and parallel connected cells; and (6) apply optical techniques to increase PV system energy yield.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-class assessment; (2) group project; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Wen Lei
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Renewable and Future Energy
Advisable prior study:
ENSC3021 Circuits and Electronics
Contact hours
lectures: 36 hours; practical classes: 12 hours; labs: 9 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.