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Development of micro concentrators for electric vehicles

   School of Engineering and the Built Environment (SEBE)

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  Dr F Sukki, Dr K Goh, Dr C H See  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The UK Government has stepped up their commitment to combat the climate change by announcing to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the country by 2030. This decision will change the landscape of the car industry – with a new wave of electric cars is expected to arrive in the country with many electric car charging stations will be deployed in various locations. It s important to ensure that the main souce of electricity to the grid and charging station is also generated from non-fossil fuel source, i.e. from renewables. solar photovoltaic (PV) which is one of the technologies that harness solar energy by converting the sunlight directly into electricity has shown a tremendous growth and has the capability to address the on-going energy requirement. Solar V can be deployed as the main source to provide electricity for these charging stations.

This research project is exploring the possibility of integrating the main body of the car with the PV technology to generate electricity – through the use of micro concentrators. This will allow the car to charge itself from solar power, and will also reduce the dependency on charging stations, especially if there are travelling to remote places that has lack the charging facility.

A micro concentrator is a micro device (mainly constructed from a low cost refractive material) that focuses the solar radiation from a large entrance aperture area into a smaller exit aperture where a solar cell is attached. This allows the system to generate a similar or higher electrical output than a conventional PV system, while at the same time using only a fraction of the PV material, hence reducing

the cost of the PV system.

The research will cover the overall aspect of the concentrator, both the technical and non-technical aspects. This approach has never been explored by the other researcher since they typically focuses on the technical aspect of the concentrator’s performance. By addressing these issues, it is predicted that the ‘best’ concentrator for car integration could be achieved with a huge potential to be

commercialised. To achieve this aim, the project could explore four components, which include: (i) to design and analyse the electrical and optical performance of the concentrator via simulation and experiments; (ii) to evaluate the illumination and heating properties of the concentrator and ways to utilised them to quantify the electricity and heating requirement of the car (iii) to carry out the cost and

life cycle analysis as well as to identify the way of integrating such concentrator into the car design, and (iv) to evaluate the prospect and challenges in the market and policies gap for implementing the technology as well as its impact on the economy and the general public.

Academic qualifications

A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in relevant discipline such Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Renewable Energy, or Materials Science. An MSc in a relevant subject is highly desirable with a good fundamental knowledge of opto-electronics and heat transfer.

English language requirement IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other,

equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:

· Experience of fundamental engineering, particularly in opto-electronics and heat transfer.

· Competent in programming language, e.g. MATLAB/Simulink.

· Knowledge of CFD is advantageous.

· Good written and oral communication skills

· Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project · Good time management Desirable attributes: Have a knowledge in ray-tracing software such as ZEMAX, APEX or COMSOL.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded position.


O. Korech, J. M. Gordon, E. A. Katz et al., “Dielectric microconcentrators for efficiency enhancement in concentrator solar cells”, Optics Letters, vol. 32, issue 19, pp. 2789-2791, 2007. A. Alamoudi, S. M. Saaduddin, A. B. Munir, F. Muhammad-Sukki, et al., “Using static concentrator technology to achieve global energy goal”, Sustainability, vol. 11,pp. 3056:1–22, 2019. D. Freier, F. Muhammad-Sukki, S. H. Abu-Bakar et al. “Annual prediction output of an RADTIRC-PV module,” Energies, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 544:1-20, 2018. S. H. Abu-Bakar, F. Muhammad-Sukki, D. Freier, et al. “Performance analysis of a solar window incorporating a novel rotationally asymmetrical concentrator,” Energy, vol. 99, pp. 181–192, 2016.
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