Module version of SS 2017
There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.
Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.
|available module versions|
|SS 2020||SS 2019||SS 2018||SS 2017||SS 2014|
PH2160 is a semester module in English or German language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.
This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.
- Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
- Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
- Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
- Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.
|Total workload||Contact hours||Credits (ECTS)|
|300 h||75 h||10 CP|
Responsible coordinator of the module PH2160 in the version of SS 2017 was Martin Stutzmann.
Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions
This lecture provides an up-to-date introduction to the physical laws and limitations governing the use of renewable energy sources in our modern society. In addition, the current state-of-the-art of the different forms of renewable energy in terms of conversion efficiencies, energy densities, time-dependent global and local availability and energy storage is presented in a quantitative manner.
Part 1 of the lecture (about 50%) deals with classical (mainly mechanical and thermal) forms of renewable energy. After a general discussion of different forms of energy and energy conservation, the system "earth-sun" as the origin of all forms of renewable energy is discussed in detail, in order to understand the underlying astrophysical boundary conditions. This is followed by an in-depth analysis of wave and tidal energy, wind energy, as well as geothermal and solar thermal energy.
Part 2 of the lecture then deals with with forms of renewable energy which require a specific understanding of electronic and optoelectronic processes in molecules and solids: photosynthesis and biomass, photovoltaics, and thermoelectric energy conversion. Basic electronic processes as well as relevant materials and device structures will be described.
After regular participation in the lecture the student should be able to
- understand the different forms of renewable energy, their origin and their specific boundary conditions in terms of availability, energy density and storage capability
- describe the fundamental physical concepts limiting the technical use of renewable energy sources and the efficient conversion into other forms of energy
- provide a qualitative description of technical means to efficiently harvest different renewable energy sources, including a realistic understanding of typical efficiencies and overall contributions to a future energy scenario
- realistically evaluate and judge the potential economical and environmental impact of different forms of renewable energy on a global scale.
For part 1: Basic classical physics (classical mechanics, experimental physics, electrodynamics)
For part 2: Quantum mechanics and electronic properties of solids.
Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature
Courses and Schedule
|VO||4||Renewable Energy||Sharp, I.||
Tue, 16:00–18:00, PH HS2
Mon, 14:00–16:00, PH HS2
Learning and Teaching Methods
lecture, beamer presentation, board work
1) Handwritten lecture notes based on tablet-PC presentation in pdf and onenote format
2) Additional handout material (diagrams, original articles etc.) in pdf format
Both will be available for continuous download on a password-protected web page.
No specific course literature is required. Some general recommendations for specialized books will be made at the beginning of the lecture.
Description of exams and course work
In a written exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.
In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as an oral exam. In this case the time duration is 40 minutes.
The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.