Control Strategies of Power Optimization for Smart Buildings

Sheffield Hallam University

Materials and Engineering Research Institute

Project Description

Buildings are taking 40% of the world energy to generate comfort and healthy environment to the inmates. However, upgrading buildings to address their energy efficiency using cutting edge technology is prime important. The UK’s buildings are responsible for 40% of carbon emission.

The building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are getting importance due to its advantages over the conventional solar systems. BIPV is likely to become an increasingly popular due to its materials saving with energy embeddedness, produce electricity at point of contact, improved thermal insulations, aesthetically pleasing features of the buildings and provide sufficient energy for the building usage.

Concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems are an expanding research topic with various applications and benefits. At present, most domestic photovoltaic (PV) technology is attached on top of roofs and facades as opposed to building integrated. CPV are an option for expanding the flexibility and variety of integrated PV design as well as achieving higher energy conversion efficiencies. Apart from Si solar cells, thin film CdTe cells are another alternative which allow flexibility in cell shape and size as well as very scalable productions. Here we present a low concentration photovoltaic for applications as a window where some light passes through for indoor daylighting and some is concentrated to a silicon or CdTe solar cell for electricity generation (figure 1). One restraint for renewable energy is the intermittency of the power supply, hence a power control unit will be designed to manage the power output and performance. With building integrated photovoltaic technology, the fixed position of the technology is a limitation. PC-Rig is hence to truly optimise building integrated solar window would automatically open the window for optimum solar orientation and gain. Such a control set up would allow for overrides in the case of high winds, rain and to be closed to optimise instead the use of heating or AC within the building.

4 years full time, 7 years part time.

Funding Information

This is a self-funded project.

Application Process

Application deadline: applicants accepted all year round with enrolments during September, February (January on website) and May.

For information about how to apply, entry requirements, tuition fees and other costs please visit View Website

Supplementary Information

The Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) is a dynamic interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to addressing industrial problems through the application of fundamental science and engineering. For information about MERI please visit here.

To apply for this PhD, please email walid.issa@shu.ac.uk.

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