Education in the Field of Photovoltaics at the Czech Technical University in Prague

V. Benda

Department of Electrotechnology, Faculty of Electrical Engineering
Czech Technical University in Prague
Technicka 2, 166 27 Praha 6, CZECH REPUBLIC
E-mail: benda@fel. cvut. cz

Abstract

Photovoltaics has been recognised as a renewable energy technology that has the potential to contribute significantly to future energy supply. The demand for specialists in photovoltaics is expected to increase considerably anticipated in the relatively near future. Education and training are needed for specialists in this field, in order to establish an infrastructure and to meet the requirements of the market.

At the Czech Technical University in Prague, a course in Photovoltaic Systems, dealing with PV system technology (28 hours of lectures, 28 hours of exercises) forms a part of the master study programme in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. A course of similar length on Photovoltaic Systems has been included in the master study programme in Intelligent Buildings. This paper provides information about the course structure.

Keywords: photovoltaic system, solar cells, education

1. Introduction

In recent years, photovoltaics has received a great deal of attention and funding as a renewable technology that has the potential to contribute significantly to future energy supply. It is the task of scientists, engineers and businessmen to develop this technology into cost-efficient applications, and it is the task of educators to prepare not only specialists who will develop photovoltaics but also members of the general public to be aware of the issues involved in this field.

Impressive progress has been made in PV technology over the past twenty years. This is evident from the lower costs, the rising efficiency and the great improvements in system reliability and yield. Yearly growth rates in the period from 2000 to 2007 were on an average more than 40%, and in 2007 PV industrial production grew by almost 60%. In 2007 the production level reached 4.2 GWp. Photovoltaics is one of the most dynamically growing industries at the present time [1].

The most of PV systems has been installed in Europe due to introduction of a feed-in tariff for on-grid systems (starting in 2000 in Germany). In 2000 was also stated the target 3 GWp for cumulative photovoltaic system capacity installed in the European Union by 2010. The real growth rate is much higher than the planned rate, and 3 GWp have been reached before the end of 2007. A level of 6 GWp may be reached by 2010 [2].

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Figure.1. The growth of the world PV cell production

The growth of photovoltaics is connected with an increased demand for specialists. In Europe, several tens of thousands of new jobs are likely to be created in the field of photovoltaics in the next five years

[2] . It is not only the photovoltaics industry that will require people to be educated in photovoltaics. It will also be necessary to ensure that the general public knows about the nature, application and dissemination of photovoltaic systems.

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