Research & development - Genk | More than two weeks ago
Solar modules are operated in a wide variety of applications ranging from the gigawatt-scale photovoltaic (PV) power plants under hot desert climates to offshore systems floating at the sea. Operational solar modules can, therefore, be exposed to various environmental stress factors. At the interface between the modules and their environment, the protective glass superstrates of the modules absorb most of the impact of these factors. As a result, the factors inevitably change the physical properties of the glass layers. Changes especially in the optical properties are relevant for the electrical performance of the modules. The optics of solar glass are commonly engineered to maximise light transmission by means of anti-reflective coatings. Module performance is, hence, likely to degrade with time as the optical properties of the coated glass layers deviate from the optimum due to the environmental stress.
Due to the rich variety of PV operating conditions, the possible ageing mechanisms in the glass superstrates of solar modules can be diverse. Furthermore, there is currently no dominant design for the coating material. The understanding of the various ageing mechanisms at different ambient conditions and with different coating types is important for 1) the feasibility assessment of PV projects and 2) coating design. The literature on the topic is abundant. However, no extensive, interdisciplinary review and synthesis exist. The comprehensive knowledge of the empirical and analytical work done to date would enable the design of an “ideal” experiment to empirically evaluate proposed models and to identify gaps in the state of the art.
The main objective of the project is to design a field experiment to evaluate the models proposed for predicting the ageing of the glass superstrates of solar modules. The design should be based on a comprehensive, interdisciplinary understanding of the state of the art in the empirical and analytical prior work done on the topic. The following specific research questions are proposed:
Preliminary project plan
Type of project: Thesis
Duration: 9 months
Required degree: Master of Engineering Science, Master of Engineering Technology
Required background: Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering, Energy
Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Arttu Tuomiranta (Arttu.Tuomiranta@imec.be)
Only for self-supporting students.