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Solar Energy


Capture the physics of energy harvest from our most plentiful and powerful source, the Sun.


While mankind has relied on fossil fuels for the last several hundred years, the ultimate source of most energy on Earth is the Sun. In this course we'll examine the methods of harvesting energy from sunlight, starting from fundamental physics principles.

First, we'll examine so-called concentrated solar power systems which harvest solar energy by heating objects to extreme temperatures and using the heat to drive conventional generators. Then, we'll develop the solid-state physics of the photovoltaic cell, wherein incoming photons lead to the energetic separation of loosely bound electrons in a semiconductor, driving an electrical current.

Later in the course, we'll look at practical engineering questions surrounding multi-junction cells, materials design, and considerations in servicing utility scale electrical grids.

What is this?
A collection of interactive quizzes that illuminate the fundamental physics and engineering of solar energy including the basic principles of photovoltaic cells, written by experts and guided by Brilliant.org's 10 Principles for Learning.

Who is this for?
This course is for people looking for a rigorous, fast paced development of solar energy principles starting from fundamental physics.

What's inside?
About 30 quizzes, containing over 250 carefully crafted guided problems and explanations. It will take approximately 30-40 hours to complete.


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