Tom Betts is a Reader in the Applied Photovoltaics Research Group of the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology within the department’s Energy Division. His research areas include the development of indoor and outdoor PV module characterisation techniques and environmental modelling of factors influencing PV module efficiency under real operation.

Current research activities focus on the harmonisation of PV module characterisation at European level, long term durability of PV modules, monitoring of large scale grid-connected PV systems and the application of these themes to system lifetime energy yield prediction.

Dr Betts maintains the continuous, long term outdoor PV monitoring facility on the department roof, comprising a number of meteorological, module- and system-level measurement systems and has an interest in measurement uncertainty, data quality and exploratory statistical techniques for data mining from large databases.


  • Solar spectroradiometry
  • Calibration of photovoltaic reference cells and modules
  • Determination of PV device peak power and efficiency
  • Monitoring technologies for PV device field operation and energy yield
  • Modelling of solar radiation and PV device output
  • Indoor characterisation techniques for PV device optimisation

Dr Betts studied Physics at Imperial College, London and the Università degli Studi di Trento, Italy, graduating in 1999. He then moved to Loughborough to take the CREST MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology followed by an EPSRC-sponsored PhD in photovoltaic device field performance variation.

He was a research associate in the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology’s Applied Photovoltaics group from 2004 to 2010, working on European Commission, EPSRC and industry-funded projects on the characterisation of photovoltaic cells and modules and system-level condition monitoring. He was appointed Lecturer in Photovoltaic Performance in 2010.

Professional affiliations

Member of the Institute of Physics
Member of the UK Solar Energy Society

Current research projects

European Commission FP6: PV Performance
EPSRC: Fast Energy Rating for Photovoltaic Devices and Modules (FENRA)
EPSRC: Lower-cost Concentrating Photovoltaic Systems Using III-V Cells (III-V CPV)

Previous research projects

EPSRC: Solar City - An Electrical Energy Supply and Demand Planning Tool for the Urban Environment
European Commission FP6: PV Catapult

PhD students co-supervised

Martin Bliss (Development of a Fast Energy Rating Measurement System for PV Devices)
Jyotirmoy Roy (Assessment of Fast Energy Rating Methods for PV Modules)
Jiang Zhu (Modelling Life Time Energy Yield of PV Devices)


BEng Project (ELC025)
MEng Advanced Project (ELD030)
Physics Project (PHC388)


Lectures Solar Resource material on the REST MSc Solar 1 module (ELP033/ELP633/ELD533)
Typically supervises 1 to 3 students on the REST MSc Project module (ELP045/ELP645)