PhD Researcher in Renewable Energies and Power Electronics
Dept. of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering
Large-scale advanced luminescent solar devices for building integration
Keywords: renewable energies; photovoltaic; luminescent solar devices; plasmonic; micro-inverters.
Buildings play a significant role in the global energy balance. Typically they account for 20-30% of the total primary energy requirement of industrialized countries, 40% in the EU. Applying photovoltaic (PV) panels to buildings is an important application for wider PV deployment and to achieving our 20% Renewable Energy EU target by 2020. With the proposed research, a disruptive PV technology is described where record increases in efficiency are achieved and costs reduced. In Europe about 50% of the solar radiation is diffuse.
This research project will concentrate both direct and diffuse solar radiation in a static building component delivering not only breakthroughs in solar device efficiencies but also the development of unique building integrated components.
Plasmonic coupling between luminescent species (i.e. quantum dots, organic dyes), and metal nanoparticles (MNPs) are to be investigated for their application to concentrate the solar radiation with a plasmonically enhanced luminescent solar concentrator (PLSC) and to down shift the short wavelengths light where the PV cells are most efficient with plasmonically enhanced downshifting thin-films (PLDS). The main objectives of this project are upscaled to develop (i) a building scale PLSC system and (ii) PV panel with a PLDS layer previously optimised.
Facade engineering aspects will be considered as well as the utilisation of the power output from the plasmonically enhanced devices. Optimised balance of system components such as microinverters will be used and building integrated prototypes developed. This involved:
- The use of Monte Carlo Ray-trace modelling to establish prototype geometry of optimum plasmonically enhanced devices.
- A range of commercial PV panels will be modelled for use in both optimum PLSC and PLDS devices.
- Develop the first static building integrated PLSC component capable of achieving a concentration factor of 3 or more in diffuse solar radiation.
- Develop the first static building integrated PLDS layer on a commercial PV module capable of achieving an increase in PV efficiency.
- Fully electrical characterisation of building integrated plasmonically enhanced devices.
- Investigate balance of systems options for building integrated devices to enable compatibility with building demand side energy management.
Project Supervisor: Associate Prof. Sarah McCormack