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Mehran Rafiee

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.

Plasmonic coupling between luminescent species and metal nanoparticles (MNPs) are 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).

A 3D Monte Carlo Ray Tracing (MCRT) algorithm is developed to model LSC and LDS devices with different luminescent materials. Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) numerical method is used to design and develop a model to investigate the optical properties of MNPs. Then, both MCRT and FDTD achievements are combined to develop a novel comprehensive program to model composite nanostructures of pLSC and pLDS PV devices. Optimised results will be then used to develop and fabricate a static PV building integrated pLSC and pLDS components.

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 research is funded through the European Research Council grant entitled PEDAL: Plasmonic enhancement of advanced luminescent solar devices.


Project Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Sarah McCormack