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Self-sustained surface cleaning of solar energy systems (Ref : RENU20/EE/MPEE/BARRIOZ)

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr V Barrioz
    Prof G McHale
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU)is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities, for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training. The start date is 1st October 2020.

The world is progressively transitioning to a distributed and renewable energy generation to overcome manmade climate change. One of the successful technologies is through the use of solar energy whether for direct conversion into electricity (photovoltaic) or thermal energy to enable storing with energy vectors such as water, oil or hydrogen. Regions of the world with high (>2,100 kWh/m2) annual global irradiation (e.g. Africa and Middle East), with great potential for having a boom in clean growth of energy generation and relating economy, are unfortunately arid climate with little rainfall where contaminants can quickly accumulate on surfaces and reduce the performance of deployed system of any scale. In these conditions, manual maintenance with “water and brush” are not a viable option from both economical and environmental viewpoints. Furthermore, building integrated PV applications in these regions, with cleaned glazing, can generate electricity combined with efficient reduction of heat within the building envelope, reducing the load on air conditioning units. The aim of this project is to develop an automated self-sustain, low energy cleaning system to enable continuous operation of solar energy systems. The project will be interdisciplinary in nature and will encompass areas such as environmental testing, CFD modelling, fabricating architectures using transparent earth abundant and low cost materials and designing the delivery of fluid and automation for continuous operation.

This project is supervised by Dr Vincent Barrioz. For informal queries, please contact him at [Email Address Removed].

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 1st Class (Hons) or 2:1; or a Masters (preference for Merit or above) in an appropriate subject area.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

The application closing date is January 31st and interviews will take place in February.

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RENU20/.....) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship covers full Home fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rates (for 2019/20, this was £15,009 pa). Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

Please note that the scholarship award is set at the Home/EU level of fees. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. Note that up to 5 offers of a PhD place will be made for the ReNU CDT projects advertised by Northumbria University.

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