This week, Coursera gives us a very interesting engineering course called “Organic Solar Cells – Theory and Practice“.
From the course info page:
The goal of the course is to give students awareness of the largest alternative form of energy and how organic / polymer solar cells can harvest this energy. The course provides an insight into the theory behind organic solar cells and describes the three main research areas within the field i.e. materials, stability and processing.
As you would expect, there is a lot of research going into the field of solar cells. Scientists are trying to come up with cheaper and more efficient ways of capturing the sun’s energy and turning it into energy we can use. Organic solar cells is a promising new branch in this field.
We are all familiar with the traditional solar cell. Often rigid and encased in glass, it uses a material such as silicon to generate electricity from the sun’s heat. The organic photo cell (polymer cell) is flexible, very cheap to produce, and uses a layer of organic compounds to generate electricity. Organic solar cells have a relatively lower efficiency than the hard, silicon-based technology, but are much cheaper to produce. In fact, a solar cell can be created for pennies.
If learning about this technology interests you, and it’s certainly the leading edge of solar cell research, than sign up for this course. Available for free on the Coursera platform.