Solar Power – How It Works

This class has passed
This class has passed

What’s it all about?

IDEA 1: Human energy use is following an exponential increase that will soon be impossible to cater for.
IDEA 2: Every hour enough sun falls on the Earth to power humanity for 1 year.

The solution is obvious. Right?

This class will teach you some of the basic physics of photovoltaics, different available technologies, challenges associated with their production and give you the tools to engage thoughtfully on this important debate.

What will we cover?

  • The energy issue/crisis/kerfuffle that is affecting the world.
  • Basic (hopefully-not-scary-version) physics of photovoltaics.
  • The various types of solar power available and their advantages and disadvantages (including props to play with)
  • Discussion on production limitations of current solar technologies and outlook for the future.

Who will be teaching?

Michael Brown studied undergraduate Physics at the University of Bath, taking a year out to work in a silicon Solar research and production facility before beginning a doctorate in excitonic Solar Cells at the University of Oxford. During this time, he invented and patented a new type of Solar Cell. He is now a fellow at the University of Melbourne, researching the feasibility of printing rolls of solar cells (ala newspapers). In his spare time, he pretends he isn’t a physicist so that people will talk to him.