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Introduction to Solar Power

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

The course examines the role of solar as a viable energy source for our future. It will involve discussions on energy demand and the potential of solar energy, finally focussing on low-cost solar cells with hands-on experience to make dye-sensitised solar cells.  

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous knowledge of the subject is assumed.

Content of Course

1. An introduction to energy demand. Importance of renewable sources of energy to address our future energy challenges. The potential of solar energy and different ways of tapping solar energy.

2. Different generations of solar cells – with focus on low-cost alternatives. Quiz/Discussion: Part I.

3. Dye-sensitised Solar Cells: An introduction.

4. Make your own dye-sensitised solar cells: A hands-on experience. Part I – Extracting dyes from berries and preparing the photoelectrode.

5. Perovskite Solar Cells – Emergence of new era in solar photovoltaics. Introduction to the recent developments in this field of low-cost solar cells. Quiz/Discussion: Part II.

6. Make your own Dye-sensitised Solar Cells: A hands-on experience. Part II – Assemble the dye-sensitised solar cell with the counter electrode and electrolyte provided.

7. Conclusions.

Teaching method(s)

The course will be delivered through illustrative presentations combined with discussions and a hands-on experience on making dye-sensitised solar cells. Students will be encouraged to be actively involved in group exercises and puzzles to check their understanding.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course the students will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of renewable energy (particularly solar energy) in addressing our future energy demands;

  • Appreciate the impact of state-of-art low-cost solar cells in the market and in research;

  • Make their own dye-sensitised solar cells using dyes extracted from berries.


Core Readings

This is a short one-day course and no previous reading is necessary. Class handouts will consist of a copy of the presentations.



If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.