The IEEE PVSC 38 tutorials and workshops will be held on Sunday June 3 at the Austin Convention Center. Separate registration is required for each event. You may only select one morning and one afternoon event. Simply log into your online registration account and edit your registration to add any of the tutorials or the PM workshop listed below.

Please note the following times for the Tutorials and Workshop:

AM Tutorials: 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
PM Tutorials: 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
PM Workshop: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Morning Tutorials

  • AM1. Photovoltaics 101/201
  • AM2. Thin Film Solar Cells
  • AM3. Power Electronics Balance-of-System Requirements for Non-Planar Photovoltaic Systems
  • AM4. High Efficiency Multi-junction Cell Technology- Cell, Module, and System Measurements
  • AM5. Rating PV Power and Energy - Cell, Module, and System Measurements

Afternoon Tutorials

  • PM1. Reliability: From PV Cell to Module to System
  • PM2. Silicon Solar Cell Technology
  • PM3. Costing and Analysis of photovoltaics cells and systems
  • PM4. Novel PV Approaches - Organics, Third Wave and Beyond

Afternoon Workshop

  • WS1. Utility Grid Stability Studies and Operation for the Successful Integration of Inverter Based Resources

Select a tutorial/workshop below for additional information:

AM1. Photovoltaics 101/201

  • Instructor: Dr. Angus Rockett, University of Illinois

  • Synopsis - An introductory tutorial in photovoltaic principles and devices. Basic semiconductor physics will be covered, with an emphasis on semiconductor junctions. The basic current-voltage relationship for a solar cell will be derived. Performance optimization and various loss mechanisms for the general solar cell will be discussed. The course is designed for those with a background in physics, chemistry, and/or engineering, but not yet having a strong background in semiconductor devices.

  • AM2. Thin Film Solar Cells

  • Instructors: Dr. Tim Anderson (Univeristy of Florida)) and Brian McCandless and Steve Hegadus

  • Synopsis - The tutorial will provide a background of the present state of thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar cell technologies and markets within the context of expected national and global future energy requirements. The technologies discussed will be those in present worldwide production, focusing on amorphous Silicon (a-Si), Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide (CIGS), and Cadmium Telluride (CdTe). For each technology, discussion will include historical development, present advantages and limitation, and possible future directions for improved devices and modules. A very condensed discussion of PV device physics will be provided to establish an appreciation of material parameters that are important to related device operation. The tutorial will also discuss advancements in related technologies that may be critical for accelerating deployment of thin-film PV products. Examples of this include development of thin-film PV specific glass and device-specific transparent conducting oxides and buffer layers.

  • AM3. Power Electronics Balance-of-System Requirements for Non-Planar Photovoltaic Systems

  • Instructor: Dr. Robert Balog, Univerity of Texas A&M

  • Synopsis - to present design considerations for photovoltaic systems Installed in or on non-planar surfaces and their associate power conditioning architectures. The tutorial begins with a review of traditional planar PV systems, cell electrical models, and thermal models to predict the operating temperature of the module. The tutorial then explores the power electronics needed to interface the PV to the ac utility system. The electrical models previously developed are used to illustrate the phenomenon of maximum power point tracking (MPPT) and explore the operation of series-connected strings of PV cells and modules under partial shading conditions. The second part of the tutorial introduced emerging applications of non-planar PV.

    Detailed analysis is presented for estimating the available electrical power and electrical energy harvest potential for PV systems installed on arbitrarily non-planar curved surface. By way of example, it will be shown that a) conventional "string" PV architectures in which PV modules are connected in series/parallel to a central DC-AC inverter and b) module integrated micro-inverters are not optimal for PV systems installed on curved or irregular surfaces. Several new approaches are then reviewed for extracting maximum power along with possible interconnection of module-integrated converters with PV cells. The concept of a "smart PV pixel" is presented and designs

  • AM4. High Efficiency Multi-junction Cell Technology

  • Instructors: Dr. Vijit Sabnis, Solar Junction and Dr. Geoff Kinsey, Amonix

  • Synopsis - This tutorial will cover the physics of high-efficiency multijunction solar cells and provide a summary of state-of-the art technological approaches. The principles of multijunction solar cell operation and design tradeoffs for integration into high-concentration CPV systems will be discussed along with an overview of cell manufacturing and performance testing. A survey of technologies under development for achieving cell efficiencies exceeding 40% will be presented.

  • Additionally, will provide an overview of the state of the art and future prospects for high-concentration CPV systems. The design considerations that lead to a given system configuration will be outlined, including choice of concentration level, system size, refractive vs. reflective optical elements, thermal management tradeoffs, and system lifetime. A survey of deployed system designs will be presented, as well as analysis of field data of solar power plants deployed by Amonix to date.

  • AM5. Rating PV Power and Energy: Cell, Module, and System Measurements

  • Instructor: Keith Emery, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

  • Synopsis - The tutorial will cover the state-of-the-art in theory, standards, procedures, and hardware used to determine the power and energy of PV cells, modules and systems. The measurement theory for evaluating the PV power for flat-plate or concentrating single- or multi-junction PV is discussed. Applicable ASTM, IEC and ISO standards are described along with a discussion on the plethora of sources of uncertainty in the measurements. Merits and limitations of the standards and current practices in predicting the PV delivered are described.

  • PM1. Reliability: From PV Cell to Module to System

  • Instructor: Dr. Ramesh Dhere, FSEC

  • Synopsis - Photovoltaic module reliability and durability course provides attendees with a basic working knowledge of photovoltaic (PV) module reliability and durability. It presents history of PV module field failures and describes the utilization of field experience to develop more reliable modules and accelerated stress tests for more rapid evaluation of module performance. Then it introduces the concept of qualification testing outlining its usefulness and limitations. Typical module configurations are presented along with a discussion of the criteria utilized for component selection within these configurations. A number of examples based on commercial module construction are used to illustrate these points. Finally the long-term reliability, degradation rates and lifetime for the present day commercial modules are discussed.

  • PM2. Silicon Solar Cell Technology

  • Instructor: Dr. Ron Sinton, Sinton Instruments

  • Synopsis - This tutorial will look at various aspects of crystalline silicon technologies, from the silicon bricks and ingots through sawing, solar cell production, cell test, and module test. The interactions between the various stages from feedstock to the module testing will be discussed. An emphasis will be placed on device physics as well as test and measurement strategies that are used to optimize the cell and module design and provide real-time feedback for process control at each stage of production.

  • PM3. Costing and Analysis of photovoltaics cells and systems

  • Instructor: Alan Goodrich and Ted James (NREL)

  • Synopsis - The industry's predicable rate of cost reduction, captured by the historic module-price learning curve has been disrupted in recent years by the unavoidable supply-demand imbalances that characterize a nascent but burgeoning industry. In 2008, polysilicon feedstock prices reached a crescendo - driven by too little supply; today, module prices have fallen, by some accounts below costs - driven by a global oversupply situation. It is very difficult to predict what the future holds for the solar PV supply chain, given the full range of macroeconomic, policy, and technology-cost factors involved. From a research perspective, the cost of making decisions based on temporary market noise can be quite high. What is the real cost goal for a new technology that is five or more years from commercial production? As the market matures, the volatile swings that emblematic today should dampen to a 'steady state' - a minimum sustainable price.

    In this tutorial, NREL presents a cost analysis methodology that enables researchers to relate technology features to costs, and provides an objective perspective on tomorrow's cost goals. Case studies, including information from NREL's technology road maps for c-Si, CIGS, and CdTe are presented. A fourth case study demonstrates how to go about building up a reliable cost estimate for a lab scale technology, for which commercial equipment and volumetric-raw material sources may not exist.

  • PM4. Novel PV Approaches - Solution-processable photovoltaics and next-generation solar photoconversion mechanisms

  • Instructors: Dr. Andrew Fergusen, Dr. Joey Luther (NREL), Dr. Sean Shaheen (University of Denver)

  • Synopsis - The drive toward low cost solar energy conversion has spurred research into photovoltaic (PV) technologies that are fabricated largely from chemical solutions, offering the possibility of high speed, roll-to-roll deposition of materials. Two active-layer technologies with immense potential in this respect are organic photovoltaic (OPV) and semiconductor quantum dot (QD) solar cells. The field of organic photovoltaics (OPV) has grown in the last several decades from being a laboratory novelty, with unique and interesting science but little commercial relevance, to the point now of niche consumer products entering the market. Steady growth around the world in the last few years has resulted in certifed AM1.5 efficiencies exceeding 8% at numerous laboratories and record efficiencies now exceeding 10%. Likewise, recent developments in semiconductor QD solar cells have seen signficant improvements in the performance of laboratory-scale devices, culminating in certifed AM1.5 efficiencies exceeding 5% and the first observation of an external quantum efficiency greater than 100%, due to photocurrent resulting from multiple exciton generation, in a working PV device.

    This course aims to provide an overview of the current state of OPV and semiconductor QD solar cells, including materials design and development, mechanisms of device physics, and recent findings on charge generation, recombination, and transport. Basic models for the operation of the devices and thermodynamic pathways to higher efficiencies will be analyzed. Progress in understanding and mitigating material and device degradation pathways will be discussed, as will processing methods and issues for high throughput manufacturing.

    Importantly, these devices include some of the first true demonstrations of 3rd generation photovoltaic principles, and special attention will be paid to these topics in the course. An overview will be provided of (i) multiple exciton generation (MEG) in semiconductor QDs and the molecular analogue singlet fission (SF), (ii) triplet-triplet annihilation-assisted photon upconversion (UC), and (iii) quantum coherent pathways in multichromophoric systems. The course will include discussions of the photophysical mechanisms, factors affecting the efficiencies of these processes, and the issues associated with exploiting these novel processes for solar energy conversion.

  • WS1. Utility Grid Stability Studies and Operation for the Successful Integration of Inverter Based Resources

  • Instructors: Hala N. Ballouz and Billy Yancey, Electric Power Engineers, Inc

  • Panelists: John Adams, ERCOT, Janos Rajda, SMA America LLC, Mahesh Morjaria, First Solar, and Dr. Fabian Uriarte, Pecan Street Inc.

    Synopsis - Over the past couple of years the capacity of photovoltaic (PV) power systems installed within the U.S. has increased by approximately 115%. Even though a large portion of these installations occur at the residential level on the distribution network, the bulk of the capacity is in the utility scale PV installations. This increase in PV capacity has created concerns regarding the operation and stability of both the distribution and transmission networks. This includes but is not limited to voltage oscillations at weak points of interconnection, sub-synchronous control interaction (SSCI) and harmonic resonance. It is believed that all of these issues can be solved or predicted during resource integration studies by using more detailed inverter models that accurately represent what will be installed in the field.

    This workshop plans to address these issues by assembling experts in this area from inverter manufacturing, reliability transmission councils, industry, and academia. The group will address the inverter steady state and dynamic models, and the critical settings that may affect grid stability. This will build a framework for future studies and possible research collaboration with manufacturers and industry to produce the models and settings necessary to perform more accurate system integration studies.