Course Title: Photovoltaic Systems

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Photovoltaic Systems

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021

Course Coordinator: Prof. Yasuhiro Tachibana

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6127

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora East Campus

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will provide you with an in-depth knowledge on theory, and working principles of conventional and emerging solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The applications of such technologies in current and future sustainable energy systems, fundamentals of solar radiation and geometry, and materials used for photovoltaic cells will also be covered in this course. The state-of-the-art information provided by this course will enable you to conduct sustainability assessments on such systems by considering economic, environmental, and social criteria. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following program learning outcomes of the Master of Engineering: 

1. Needs, Context and Systems 

  • Describe, investigate and analyse complex engineering systems and associated issues (using systems thinking and modelling techniques)
  • Exposit legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental interests, values, requirements and expectations of key stakeholders

2. Problem Solving and Design

  • Develop creative and innovative solutions to engineering problems

3. Analysis

  • Comprehend and apply advanced theory-based understanding of engineering fundamentals and specialist bodies of knowledge in the selected discipline area to predict the effect of engineering activities

4. Professional Practice

  • Demonstrate effective team membership and team leadership
  • Communicate in a variety of different ways to collaborate with other people, including accurate listening, reading and comprehension, taking into account the knowledge, expectations, requirements, interests, terminology and language of the intended audience

5. Research

  • Be aware of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
  • Acknowledge (clearly) your own contributions and the contributions from others and distinguish contributions you may have made as a result of discussions or collaboration with other people

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Apply an understanding of engineering fundamentals of different types of photovoltaic systems.
  2. Investigate and analyse energy services employing photovoltaic systems.
  3. Design solar cells employing knowledge of solar cell materials and working principles.
  4. Develop sustainable energy solutions employing photovoltaic technologies.
  5. Apply sustainable engineering values, including legal social, economic, ethical and environmental interests / impacts, to design of photovoltaic systems.
  6. Conduct research on photovoltaic systems.
  7. Advise on photovoltaic system proposals, designs, and/or R&D activities. 

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be studying in blended mode which entails taking part in a series of lectures, seminars, and workshops. The principal learning activities will be:

  • Participation in lectorials on fundamentals and practical aspects of photovoltaic systems. 
  • Contributions to class and online discussions on relative merits of the various solar photovoltaic technologies. 
  • Operating, measuring the performance, and investigating solar photovoltaic technologies in laboratories 
  • Solving problems relating to solar photovoltaic technologies 
  • Reporting on a photovoltaic system design project  
  • Presenting a photovoltaic system design project to class 

Providing constructive feedback on others’ designs 

Overview of Learning Resources

Guidance on learning resource materials will be available online through Canvas. These resources include prescribed textbooks, journal papers, and internet resources, as well as lecture notes and other material provided through Canvas and the RMIT website/library. 

Overview of Assessment

X This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

Assessment tasks 

Assessment Task 1: Assignments relating to the contents in the lectorials
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1,3,5,6

Assessment Task 2: Laboratory activities
Weighting 10%
This assessment task supports CLOs 3,5,6 

Assessment Task 3: Presentation
Weighting 15%
This assessment task supports CLO 1,2,4,5,7

Assessment 4: Project proposal / Report
Weighting 45% 
This assessment supports CLOs 1,2,4,5,7