Anita  Ortega

Anita Ortega

Ph.D. Student

Designs and Characterization of Largescale Building Integrated PLSC and PLDS device

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:

  • 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.
  • Investigate balance of systems options for building integrated devices to enable compatibility with building demand side energy management.

Issues surrounding upscale of PLSC and PLDS devices will be analyzed (such as reabsorption). Large 1m x 1m plates are not envisaged however designs in small section will be more appropriate to reduce losses in the PLSC device. The technique used in the small-scale fabrication requires redesign for the upscaling of the building scale device. The manufacturing process of large LSC devices will be undertaken in sections with smaller LSCs being connected in series into a large building integrated component. Upscaling of the PLDS layer will be carefully examined to produce consistent layers. For PLDS, the size limitation is not present, as solar radiation is not travelling to the edge but through the layer.

Project Supervisor(s): Prof. Sarah McCormack