Charles Zhang ’13


Electrical Engineering

Project Title

Evaluation of the Electrical Characteristics of Thin-Film Solar Cells

During this summer, I collected and analyzed data from experiments on solar cells at United Solar Ovonic in Michigan. These experiments were performed to test properties of different solar cells such as how long certain cells would last under some extreme conditions, how much light is reflected and diffused from the back reflector, how high of an efficiency that can be obtained, and how thick some layers are. Along with collecting and analyzing data from ­experimentation, I fixed and optimized a program that would help ­determine the thickness of a certain layer using light, and I created a model that would ­determine the amount of light that is reflected from a back reflector with various inputs. I learned almost all the processes that go into making the solar cells as well as working at an industry setting. In addition, I learned how to program in Microsoft Visual Basic Applications and how to operate various machines and the processes that go behind them. Working with solar cells has persuaded me to pursue a career in the energy sector.

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate and Energy


United Solar Ovonic, LLC, Michigan


Sigurd Wagner, Professor of Electrical Engineering; Kevin Beernink, United Solar Ovonic, LLC