Design and integration

Photovoltaics Design and integration

Design and integration

Curriculum 2

Photovoltaic power plant design requires specific solutions depending on the application and on the integration to perform into new or existing contexts. The PhD candidate will study the aspects related to design of large plants, from those ones concerning the modules and their installation, grounding, electrical interconnection and architecture, up to the electronics aspects and the whole balance of system. System level aspects will be studied, in relation to the global performance and efficiency as well as to the lifetime, operation and maintenance. Electrical architectural aspects will be analyzed in order to ensure the best performance, both in terms of power, in specific operating conditions, as well as in terms of energy. System level design for plants including other renewable energy sources, e.g. exploiting wind energy, and storage devices based on different technologies, as well as power-to-gas systems will be the subject of investigation from the students.

Design issues that are specific for innovative photovoltaic applications will also be studied. In this class fall, for instance, photovoltaic building integration, agrivoltaics, floating installations and mobility applications.

Cells technologies ensuring the best adaptation to buildings and electronics aimed at improving the electrical power production in the mismatched conditions that are typical of photovoltaic technology integration in such a context will be the subject of in-depth analyses.

The improved land exploitation by integrating photovoltaic generators with existing or new crops and farms represents an opportunity for reducing the agricultural carbon footprint and improving biodiversity. Such an application gives rise to significant issues requiring a multidisciplinary background, e.g. for balancing the effects of the electrical energy production with the specific crops productivity, as well as specific design competences and photovoltaic technologies.

PhD students’ interest will also be focused on the photovoltaic integration into the landscape by exploiting natural or artificial lakes. These installations avoid to reduce the land availability for other purposes, but require to face technical issues concerning operation and maintenance, reliability and lifetime that will be the subjects of didactical and research efforts.

The photovoltaic integration into vehicles, ships and, more in general, in the mobility sector, gives rise to solve specific problems. The PhD candidate will afford issues related to the integration into the hybrid or plugin energy system of the vehicle, at the same time by complying with aspects related to aerodynamics, aesthetics, and overall efficiency. Technological problems related to the photovoltaic productivity and modules lifetime in harsh conditions, which characterize many mobility applications and requiring transversal competences in materials engineering, physics and chemistry at least, will also be afforded.