Optics for Energy Fall 2013


  • All grades have been posted. Have a great winter break!
  • Please complete the online course survey here (use your unid & CIS password to login). You should have received an email notification.
  • Final assignment videos:
  • Resources for filing patents at the U: Invention portal. Instructions.
  • Quiz from Fall 2012 (PDF).
  • Instructions on obtaining free 1-year license for Light-tools (ray-tracing software) is here ((PDF)). We also have one license in my laboratory for use.
  • Details of the “Green Revolution” exhibit at the Leonardo are here. This has useful information on resource recycling.
  • Solar water purification system in Mexico built by MIT students. See here for more info.
  • Interesting news article about cost-effectiveness of solar-cell manufacturing in the US here.

Objectives: In this class, we will study the exciting intersection of optics and the engineering challenges associated with generation, distribution and utilization of energy with the specific goal of generating novel ideas and  business plans for commercialization. Technically, we will cover the basics of non-imaging optics, which will allow us to apply these basics to the design of solar concentrators and other light collectors. We will also study the science and engineering of sunlight measurement, strategies of light management for solar cells, design of solar cookers, solar hot-water systems, day-lighting, resource recycling, etc.

Grading: There will be one mid-term quiz comprising 30% of the grade. The rest of the grade will be based upon team projects. There will be 4 team presentations (each constituting 10% of the grade). Finally, each team must complete an application to the CU Cleantech New Business Challenge, which will constitute 30% of the grade.

Class meets in WEB 1460 Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:25pm-1:45pm.

Office Hours will be Wednesdays 1:30pm-2:30pm in MEB 2256.

Textbook: Notes and other resources will be provided.

Tenative Schedule:

08/27 Overview of course. Lecture Notes (PDF).  Solar Cooker Basics.

08/29 Introduction to project topics. Lecture Notes (PDF).. Water pasteurization Basics. Solar-water desalination: MIT Review, Wiki. Solar refrigeration: Scientific American, Wiki. Daylighting Wiki, Hybrid systems: Renewable Energy World. Daylighting.

09/03 Solar Radiation: The basics. Lecture Notes (PDF)Resources on basic principles.

09/05 Basic Thermodynamics. Lecture Notes (PDF). Wiki on heat engines. Basic Thermodynamics from Khan Academy here.

09/10 Introduction to geometrical optics. Lecture Notes (PDF). Waves & Optics from Khan Academy here.

09/12  Introduction to geometrical optics (contd.) 

09/17  Optical design for recycling. Lecture Notes (PDF) Article from OPN here

09/19  Fermat’s Principle & Lagrangian Optics. Lecture Notes (PDF). Basic introduction to vector geometry from Khan Academy is here. Review basic calculus here.

09/24  [Assignment 1: Literature review presentations]

09/26  Light tools optical design software tutorial. Overview of light-tools (PDF). Building a lighting model (PDF). Illumination tools (PDF).

10/01  Radiometry, Photometry. Lecture Notes (PDF). Basic video explanation here.

10/03  Mid-term

10/08  No class

10/10  Technology Commercialization (Guest lecture: James Thomson, TVC UofU). Lecture slides (PDF).

10/15, 10/17 Fall Break

10/22 Fundamental concepts of non-imaging optics. Lecture Notes (PDF). Mid-term (PDF).

10/24 Fundamental concepts of non-imaging optics (contd.). 

10/29 [Assignment 2: Team idea presentations]

10/31 Statistical Ray Optics. Lecture notes (PDF). Paper (PDF).

11/05 Review of solar cells (Guest lecture: Liz Lund (Scarpulla Lab) Lecture notes (PDF)

11/07 Organic Photovoltaics (Guest lecture: Dr. Ye Zhang) Lecture notes (PDF)

11/12 Light trapping  (Guest lecture: Dr. James Nagel). Light-trapping lecture notes (PDF). Light-extraction lecture notes (PDF).

11/14 No class. Please meet with group to finalize assignments.

11/19 Anti-reflection coatings (PDF)

11/21 Spectrum-splitting (PDF)

11/26 [Assignment 3: Build-out / analysis presentations]

11/28 Thanksgiving break

12/03 Luminescent concentrators. Lecture notes (PDF)

12/05 Measurement of photovoltaics. Lecture notes (PDF).

12/10 Concentrated Photovoltaics. Lecture notes (PDF). Note on final presentation & assignment (PDF)

12/12 [Assignment 4: Business Plan / Commercialization presentations]

[Final Assignment: CU Cleantech New Business Challenge Application due on Friday, Dec. 13]

1 Response to Optics for Energy Fall 2013

  1. Pingback: Optics for Energy class this Fall | nanoptics

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