The Impact of Short Timescale Variations in Operational Environment on the Output of PV Systems PhD

Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Entry requirements:
3 years
not available
Reference number:
Start date:
01 October 2018
Is funding available?
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
09 March 2018



in the UK for research quality

REF 2014


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In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

Solar photovoltaic (PV) device power output responds extremely quickly to changes in incident light levels (sub-millisecond) and rather more slowly to changes in temperature (seconds or minutes). However, almost all solar radiation data available for PV site analysis and system performance monitoring is provided as hourly averages. This has an observable distortion of the distribution of operating conditions, with implications for energy yield and system component failure ratings. This PhD project will investigate several aspects of temporal variation, from reanalysis of the solar resource, through non-linear PV system response, to impact on electricity grid injection and balancing of supply and demand at point of use.

The work will seek to extract more useful information from existing hourly averaged data stocks through a combination of solar irradiance modelling and back-propagation analysis of high time resolution measurement data from a small number of highly-instrumented locations. Modelling of instantaneous DC power output from PV modules will be undertaken at sub-hourly scales, to yield accurate quantification of peak stresses in the devices and peak current injection into power conditioning electronics (grid-tied inverters and battery charge controllers). The response of such power electronics will be assessed to predict influences on the output side, which may feed into AC injection or self-consumption studies.


Primary supervisor: Dr Tom Betts

Secondary supervisor: Dr Ian Cole

Find out more

For further project details email Dr Tom Betts or register your interest and ask us a question.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Maths, Electronic and Electrical Engineering or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Renewable Energy, Solar Photovoltaics, Statistics.

Applicants must meet the minimum English Language requirements, details available on the website.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Please note that these studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and/or the following 30 projects that have been prioritised for funding; advert ref: WS01 – WS30

If awarded, each 3 year studentship will provide a  tax-free stipend of £14,786 p.a ( provisional), plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,262 p.a). While we welcome applications from non EU nationals, please be advised that due to funding restrictions it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified by 30th April 2018.

How to apply

All applications should be made online.  Under programme name, select Electronic & Electrical Engineering 

Please quote reference number: WS12

Application details

Reference number:  WS12
Start date: 01 October 2018
Application deadline: 09 March 2018