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/Job opportunities/Energy management for hybrid PV systems

Energy management for hybrid PV systems

PhD - Genk | More than two weeks ago

You will expand imec’s advanced and patented energy management framework towards hybrid PV systems and test your innovative solutions in real life conditions

As a leading research institute, imec has always been pushing the boundaries of PV cell and module technology development, resulting in increasing performance and reliability figures at decreasing cost. Owing to these developments, we are reaching the point where PV will become one of the cheapest and most abundant sources of clean energy. However, due to its intermittent and non-dispatchable nature, it will present problems in terms of system stability and grid congestions and will fundamentally challenge the conventional (central) way of operating a power system. Integrating and operating distributed PV in a system-efficient way will be the next big challenge to evolve to a (near) 100% renewable energy system. The solution lies in a more flexible and decentralized system, where local energy management will be key. Local energy management will be required at different levels: from single buildings, over districts to utility scale hybrid PV plants. The focus of the Ph.D. candidate will be on the latter.

Hybrid PV plants have the potential to become dispatchable assets thanks to the addition of cost-effective storage solutions. Very short-term and fine-grain forecasts (also known as nowcasting), able to capture ramp-rates caused by rapid changes in weather conditions due to cloud movement will be crucial for storage management and grid stability. The use of advanced forecasting techniques and proactive power plant control will allow to further boost the penetration potential of PV in next generation grid and power system architectures.

The Ph.D. candidate will expand imec’s advanced and patented multi-scale energy management framework, in order to optimize operation of local, hybrid PV systems equipped with renewable generators and storage. Modelling of system components, short-term forecasting of renewable generation and developing adequate control strategies considering different use cases, will represent an important part of the work of the Ph.D. candidate. On top of this, implementation of these developments into imec’s energy management framework, the design of experiments and the realization of prototypes will be part of the work as well. The candidate will have the unique opportunity to test the developed algorithms in real life conditions with our industrial partners and use the extensive Energyville and imec-Gent lab infrastructure.​​​​​ 


Location: This position will be at the Energyville Campus in Genk, where you will have direct access to state-of-the-art lab infrastructure and get the opportunity to collaborate with experts in solar energy, battery storage, power electronics and smart energy systems. You will also have the possibility to collaborate with experts on load modelling, forecasting and management from imec-Gent.

Required background: Electrical or software engineer with a strong background in modelling and simulation of energy systems in Matlab and/or Python.

Type of work: 40% modelling, 30% implementation of models and simulations, 30% experimental validation

Supervisors: Jef Poortmans, Francky Catthoor

Daily advisor: Joris Lemmens


The reference code for this position is 2021-077. Mention this reference code on your application form.

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