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Advanced luminescence imaging techniques for solar cell and module characterization and diagnostics (KAPLANIEU19SF)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Diagnostics in solar cells and modules are very important from the manufacturing stages as a means for quality control to the monitoring of the power production of a photovoltaic system operating in the field to ensure durability, prognose failures and improve system lifetime. Non-destructive testing techniques have been widely used for diagnostic purposes with solar cells and modules. Further to light and dark I-V characterisation, Infrared imaging methods and Luminescence imaging techniques including Photoluminescence and Electroluminescence, have been used to identify manufacturing micro-defects and photovoltaic degradation effects for fault diagnosis and the prediction of power loss in the defected modules [1-5].

This PhD project will investigate the degradation causes and mechanisms and their impact on the solar cell and module electrical parameters and performance. This will involve the development of advanced luminescence imaging techniques for the quantitative analysis and spatially resolved characterisation of solar cells and modules, covering both indoor and outdoor tests. Challenges linked to luminescence imaging during outdoor PV operation for fault diagnosis and quantitative prediction of PV performance will be further addressed synergistically with the use of other infrared imaging methods and characterisation techniques.

Applicants must have a 1st or 2.1 (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in Physics, Electrical/ Electronic, Mechanical, Energy or Chemical Engineering or related discipline. An MSc degree in a related subject area is desirable but not necessary. Experience in a computer programming language is essential, previous experience in image processing, background knowledge in semiconductors, electronics and experimental work with solar cells/ modules are desirable.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:
The type of programme: PhD
The start date of the project: October 2019
The mode of study: Full time
Entry requirements: Acceptable first degree in Physics, Electrical/Electronic, Mechanical, Energy or Chemical Engineering or related discipline and minimum entry requirements is 2:1.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


1] Sanchez-Friera P., Piliougine M., Pelaez J. et al. (2011). Analysis of degradation mechanisms of crystalline silicon PV modules after 12 years of operation in Southern Europe. Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 19:658-666.
[2] Kaplani E. (2012). Detection of degradation effects in field-aged c-Si solar cells through IR thermography and digital image processing, International Journal of Photoenergy 2012,, 1-11.
[3]Kasemann M., Grote D., Walter B. et al. (2008). Luminescence imaging for the detection of shunts on silicon solar cells. Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 16:297-305.
[4] Breitenstein O., Bauer J., Bothe K. (2011). Can luminescence imaging replace lock-in thermography on solar cells? IEEE Journal of Phototovltaics 1(2):159-167.
[5] Kropp T., Schubert M., Werner J.H. (2018). Quantitative prediction of power loss for damaged photovoltaic modules using electroluminescence. Energies 11, 1172, 1-14.

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