Photo-voltaic solar panels provide a very attractive solution for future clean energy provision on site. Today's panels provide a relatively high efficiency under optimal conditions and when just fabricated. However, when the surface level air flow, ambient temperature, radiation angle, and radiation concentration conditions are varying, also the Energy-yield efficiency fluctuates quite heavily. Moreover, light intensity variation and highly varying wind effects play a significant role in the thermal processes. The range of these effects heavily depends on the context in which these panels are used and on the type of technology used. We will mainly focus on cristalline silicon flat-plate modules using the most cost-effective solar cells.
In this thesis, we want to measure the above effects on PV modules installed on a building rooftop. We will compare a number of module topologies. We want to measure the I-V curves where both thermal and wind effects will be included, using a set of detailed monitors distributed across the modules. This will contribute heavily to the understanding of the energy-yield efficiency over the entire life time of the future solar system. That will result in a large practical impact of the work in this thesis.
Desirable background: Matlab and/or Labview experience. This thesis involves a large amount of practical engineering work with the hardware installations and the complex measurement equipment, and we prefer students who like that type of hands-on work.
Promotors: Prof. Francky Catthoor (IMEC-Leuven, K.U.Leuven) and Prof. Jan Cappelle (K.U.Leuven, Gent campus)
Daily coordinators: Bert Herteleer (K.U.Leuven, Gent campus), Gofran Chowdhury (IMEC-Leuven, Energyville, K.U.Leuven)
Type of project: Thesis
Duration: minimum 6 months, possibly extensible up to 9 months (full-time - location: K.U.Leuven/ KAHOSL univ campus in Gent, Belgium)
Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology; Master of Science; Master of Engineering Science
Required background: Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering; Energy; Mechanical Engineering; Physics
Imec allowance will be provided for students studying at a non-Belgian university.