Research & development - Genk | More than two weeks ago
Because Europe aims to increase the share of renewable energy sources in electricity production, photovoltaic (PV) technology remains a major field of interest for energy engineers and researchers. While the return of investment provided by PV power plants has improved drastically thanks to more efficient PV cells and a decrease of their cost, their performance still decreases after several years of operation due to environmental stress factors such as wind-induced mechanical stress, soiling by dust, high voltage, materials degradation by UV and water ingress. In particular, potential-induced degradation which is due to migration of ions from outer-PV layers towards the solar cell is highly dependent on degradation of the layers by water ingress.
We have developed a state of the art physics-based simulation framework to compute power produced by photovoltaic (PV) plants. This framework models the complex and interlinked thermal, optical and electrical phenomena occurring in PV plants. This framework is also able to predict and simulate PV degradations. The goal of this master thesis is to extend this framework by coupling it to a model of water ingress in the different layers of a PV module and to study the corresponding impact on potential-induced degradation. Impact of weather and PV module operating conditions dynamically alter water ingress/ drying process leading to a non-linear evolution of the degradation. This insights in critical to guide early detection, mitigation measures on industrial PV plants. Propagation of water ingress will be modelled using either analytic models or finite elements method. The ideal candidate is interested in PV degradation modelling, knows the basics of python programming and is familiar with numerical methods, in particular with finite elements.
Type of project: Thesis
Duration: 9 months
Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Engineering Science
Required background: Energy, Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering, Electromechanical engineering
Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Arnaud Schils (Arnaud.Schils@imec.be)
Only for self-supporting students.