Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

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Professor Ralph Gottschalg

Professor of Applied Photovoltaics
Dipl.-Phys, MSc, PhD, CPhys, FHEA, MInsP

Tel: +44 (0)1509 635310

Location: MBG GJ14, Garendon Wing, Holywell Park

Professor Gottschalg has an interest in Applied Photovoltaics. He mainly works on research projects. Teaching is focussed on photovoltaics on undergraduate and master level. He is supervising projects within his research area to support the departmental teaching.

His key interests are performance relevant effects on photovoltaic (PV) devices, modules and system. Work ranges from modelling detailed device physics to the monitoring and quality control of installed systems. Research interests cover automation of measurement processes, meteorology and metrology.


  • Modelling of photovoltaic device structures
  • modules and systems
  • Characterisation of photovoltaic devices and modules
  • Condition monitoring of photovoltaic systems
  • Automation of photovoltaics related measurements
  • Photovoltaic modules related metrology
  • Meteorology

Ralph was born and educated in Karlsruhe, Germany where he obtained a Diplom in Physics from the University Karlsruhe, Germany. This was followed by a MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology at Loughborough University. Ralph worked as a research engineer in the energy department of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovations Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany, before joining CREST in 1996 to do a PhD on environmental effects on the performance of photovoltaic devices. In October 2004, he was awarded an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship. Ralph is leading the Applied Photovoltaics research group within CREST since 2001.

Research projects are:

  1. Development of fully LED Based Solar Simulator (10/2009-09/2012)
    The project will deliver a medium area measurement system for advanced solar cells with an integrated energy rating feature.
  2. Lower-cost Concentrating Photovoltaic Systems using III-V cells ('III-V CPV') (01/2009-12/2010)
    The project is on the application of third generation solar cells to photovoltaic modules. The APV group will be responsible for evaluating and modelling the energy yield as well as developing a prediction methodology of PV durability
  3. Large scale industrial photovoltaic system monitoring, evaluation and optimisation (11/2007 - 10/2010)
    IKEA is sponsoring a major scientific monitoring campaign to understand the reported yield difference in different photovoltaic materials. APV was chosen to design the measurement campaign which will be the worlds most comprehensive data collection and will allow the energy yield modelling to be enhanced greatly as the dataset is of outstanding quality. Scientific models of meteorology and semiconductor physics are being developed.
  4. FENRA - Fast energy rating for photovoltaic devices and module (04/2007-03/2010)
    The work is the development of an indoor measurement procedure to predict the annual energy yield of different solar devices. The core of the project is the development of a small area LED based measurement machine and the associated calculation methodology.
  5. A Science base on photovoltaics performance for increased market transparency and customer confidence (PERFORMANCE) (01/2006-12/2009)
    The project is an Integrated Project funded through the sixth framework programme. It covers photovoltaic performance, from power measurements to life time assessment. CREST has a cross-cutting role, with contributions to all work packages, leading the modelling component of the project
  6. PV Athlet (01/2006-12/2009)
    The project is the major project on thin film photovltaics. The APV group is working as sub-contractor to the Forschungszentrum Juelich on characterising micromorph PV modules.

Supervised PhD topics:

  • Foteini Plyta: Large area LED solar simulator
  • Ian Cole: Energy prediction for concentrator PV
  • Ira Sara: Energy rating of PV modules
  • Michal Krawcynski: Condition monitoring of photovoltaic systems
  • Brian Goss: Optimised planning tools for building integrated PV systems
  • Martin Bliss: Development of an LED based solar simulator for energy rating purposes
  • Jiang Zhu: Modelling ageing of photovoltaic devices
  • Jyotirmoy Roy: Fast energy rating of photovoltaic modules
  • Pongpan Vorasayan: Spatially distributed electrical properties of photovoltaic modules
  • Christos Monokroussos: Electro-optical modelling of amorphous silicon solar cells under realistic operating conditions
  • Ketut Astawa (2009): Effects of operating temperature and device loading on amorphous silicon modules
  • Sheryl R. Williams (2009): Energy rating of photovoltaic devices with focus on angle of incidence effects
  • Matthias Strobel (2008): Performance of High-Efficiency PV Systems in a Maritime Climate
  • Thomas R. Betts (2004): Investigation of Photovoltaic Device Operation under Varying Spectral Conditions

Teaching is focussed on the PV contributions in CREST MSc courses and REST lectures.

View all Professor Gottschalg’s publications in the central publications database

Modelling and Simulation (including virtual/synthetic environments), Optics, Renewable Energy Systems, Solar Energy Engineering