87307 - Thermal and Photovoltaic Applications of the Solar Energy T

Academic Year 2021/2022

Course contents


Solar Radiation. Spectral distribution of extraterrestrial radiation. Direction of beam radiation. Extraterrestrial radiation on a horizontal and tilted surface. Atmosferic attenuation of solar radiation. Beam and diffuse component of radiation.

Solar engineering of thermal processes. Basic flat-plate energy balance equation. Collector characterizations. Collector test: Efficiency and thermal loss coefficients. Energy storage. Solar fraction calculation. Solar concentration systems. Solar cooling. Application of solar absorption air conditioning.


Photovoltaic Systems. Cell, module, panel, string, subarray, and array. Photovoltaic output characteristics. Maximum power point tracking. Classification of photovoltaic power systems. Power converters for photovoltaic systems. Battery storage. Standalone systems. Grid-connected systems. Protections. Examples.


For the exam preparation, the notes taken in class and the material provided by the teachers on the website https://iol.unibo.it are sufficient.

In addition to the material available in https://iol.unibo.it, in order to achieve a deeper knowledge of some topics or for self-study the following book is suggested:

J.A. Duffie, W.A. Beckman - Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes - Fourth Edition - Wiley 2013

G. Comini, S. Savino - La captazione dell'energia solare -International Centre for Mechanical Sciences CISM 2013

Teaching methods

The main teaching method consists of lectures on theory and practical applications presented in classroom by the teacher at the blackboard, with the aid of slides and a video projector for some images.

Assessment methods

The exam consists of a single written test, with a single mark. The test contains both theory and application questions aimed at assessing the candidate's knowledge and operational ability in relation to the key concepts illustrated during the entire course (module 1 and module 2). The achievement by the student of a complete knowledge of the course content and of its application to the solution of engineering problems, along with the use of the specific technical language, are assessed with marks of excellence. The mnemonic knowledge of the matter, with limited synthesis and analysis capabilities, and difficulties in the application to case studies lead to discrete evaluations. Learning gaps, inability to apply and / or inappropriate language justify negative assessments or low marks.

Teaching tools

Blackboard, transparencies and projector.

Office hours

See the website of Paolo Valdiserri

See the website of Alberto Borghetti


Affordable and clean energy Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.