Available Projects




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All prospective students must register their interest before being invited to apply for a CDT-PV project.

Lifetime Energy Yield of Photovoltaic Modules

Photovoltaics devices must deliver energy for a long time in the field. However, ageing rates of up to 3% per year are common. This ageing rate is the dominant influence on energy yield of the PV systems and thus cost of energy. Our aim is to predict the life-time, degradation rate or life-time energy yield of modules based on accelerated tests. This project will focus on the physics of failure and link this understanding to life-time energy yield of devices. Advanced test protocols will enable prediction of degradation patterns (e.g. exponential decay, linear, two-stage with activation) and model the impact on energy yield. The project will link stress factors to ageing rate and pattern, manufacturing and material properties of commercial technologies establish dynamic tests linked to physics of failure and investigate a location specific ageing prediction. Also, the stress levels at different climatic zones will be modelled, focussing on photo-chemical, thermal stress and environmentally induced degradation pathways, A new test rig will be developed to carry out dynamic multi-stress tests. These tests will make it possible to calculate the life-time energy yield for selected material, manufacturing and environmental system. The project focusses on ‘today’s’ technology, i.e. silicon cells based glass-EVA-backsheet laminates, but the processes could also be applied to other technologies such.as perovskite cells once we allow for differences in the physics of failure. To be eligible for this studentship, you will have or be predicted a first or upper second-class degree in physics, chemistry, electronic engineering, materials science or a related discipline. This studentship is only available to UK/EU applicants. For more information on eligibility please refer to www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/. For further information on the project and how to apply, please email R.Gottschalg@lboro.ac.uk.

Project attachment

For more information on what to expect as a CDT-PV student then please see our CDT-PV Handbook.