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Development of Productive Power for Off-grid Energy Systems

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  • Full or part time
    Dr R Blanchard
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Application details

Reference number: RBWS2019
Start date of studentship: 1 October 19
Closing date of advert: 16 August 19
Interview date: 2 September 19

Primary supervisor: Dr Richard Blanchard
Secondary supervisor: Dr Zhengyu Lin

Around 1 billion people do not have access to even the lowest tier of electricity access. 600 million are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. Working with Africa Power Limited the aim of this PhD is to develop low cost and efficient solutions, including solar home systems and productive power businesses, to contribute towards tackling this problem to improve wellbeing and livelihoods. This is the chance to take part in a project that will have real world impacts. You will work with the company and experts at CREST with opportunities for international fieldwork.

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
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Full Project Detail

The project ‘Development of Productive Power for Off-grid Energy System’s has been funded by Innovate UK under the Energy Catalyst 6 Programme. It is led by Africa Power Ltd with Loughborough university and other partners. As part of the commitment to the project APL are sponsoring this PhD along with Loughborough university. Research questions will focus on how to reduce costs, improve power efficiencies and also develop sustainable businesses. Objectives could include:
• Develop and design productive DC power business in a box (BinaB) systems
• Test technologies to improve COP, quality, energy efficiencies of components, devices and solar power systems
• Undertake long-term product life (and accelerated life) testing programmes, validation and compare laboratory with in-field data
• Develop sustainable business models ensuring gender inclusion
• Work with APL to field trial systems in African contexts, including remote monitoring and data collection
• Produce research outputs that continue the credible reputation of the research group

The PhD has a technical focus and will make use of the facilities at CREST for testing components and devices under development. However, it will also include multidisciplinary characteristics for economic and social analysis.

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A brief introduction to the research group can be found here:

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Electrical Engineering, Renewable Energy or Physics or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Renewable Energy, Industrial Design.

Contact details

Name: Dr Richard Blanchard
Email address: [Email Address Removed]
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 227190

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select ‘Mechanical, Electrical & Manufacturing Engineering’.

Please quote reference number: RBWS2019

Funding Notes

Funding for this PhD has been jointly provided by Africa Power Ltd and Loughborough University. The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, the studentship is only available to UK/EU students.

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