PhD in Engineering: Solar energy storage systems

Key facts

Application deadline 31 August 2017
Start date October 2017
Duration 4 years
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships 1

Solar PV and energy storage systems have been widely recognised as one of most effective ways to address energy and environmental issues. Several power electronic converters are required to manage the power flow from solar PV panels to energy storage and power grid. As a result, such converters can determine the overall performance, e.g., efficiency and power density, of the solar energy storage system.

Numerous control methods, topologies, and modulation strategies have been recently proposed to improve power density, efficiency, reliability, and costs of the converters. However, two major challenges remain as critical obstacles to further advance these. The first challenge is the bulky electrolytic capacitors used to reduce voltage ripples, which are the most vulnerable components in the converters. They can cause about 30% of failures, and occupy 83% of the volume in a small power converter. The second challenge is the inefficient and bulky isolation transformers used to isolate leakage currents. Such transformers can account for about 3% of system power losses, over 60% of weight, and over 50% of volume in a 6 kW PV inverter.

In this project, we aim to develop a 5 kW highly efficient, reliable and small-sized converter system for solar PV energy storage systems through 1) advanced design of power topologies to remove isolation transformers and electrolytic capacitors; 2) design of high-frequency inductors to reduce system size and weight; 3) control system design to improve system dynamics; 4) simulation and experimental verification of the developed power converters. With the commitment from Solar Ready Solutions, routes to commercialization of the developed converters will be included as a part of this project.

Supervisor: Dr W. Ming

Contact

Postgraduate Research Admissions, School of Engineering

Funding details

Tuition fee support Full overseas fees
Maintenance stipend Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum
Additional funding offered Includes enhancement equivalent to at least £2000 per annum.

Eligibility criteria

Residency Open to all students of any nationality without restrictions (UK/EU and International)
Academic criteria

Candidates should hold or expect to obtain a First Class degree or a good 2:1 and/or an appropriate Master’s level qualification (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area.

Contact

Postgraduate Research Admissions, School of Engineering

Consideration is automatic upon application for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (start date of October 2017).

In the funding section of your application, please select 'I will be applying for a scholarship / grant' and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from the School. In the research proposal section, include the project description contained here.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Contact

Postgraduate Research Admissions, School of Engineering

Master's Excellence Scholarships

Master's Excellence Scholarships

Scholarships available worth £3,000 each for UK/EU students starting a master’s degree in September 2017.

Eligible research programmes