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EPSRC Supported EngD: ZERO CARBON – Solar forecasting and future sustainable power systems (fully-funded PhD studentships)


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Sunday 31 March 2024
Reference:  ENG1702

The contribution of PV energy to the electricity generation mix continues to grow. Installed capacity in the UK in 2020 was 13.4 GW and is expected to increase to 40 GW by 2030. Accelerating the adoption of solar energy will present significant challenges to the electricity transmission and distribution system, as solar power is not dispatchable and therefore its incorporation as a major element of the generation mix requires the accurate prediction of solar energy production.

To tackle this issue, the newly established Prediction and Optimisation of Solar Energy Systems Lab (POSES lab) at the University of Nottingham (supported by the University of Nottingham, EPSRC and industry) will provide a multi-disciplinary approach to training researchers in new technologies that can significantly improve the incorporation of solar farms into future sustainable power systems. You will join a large group of postgraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering, working on many aspects of solar energy and zero carbon technologies. The team of potential PhD supervisors spans five departments at University of Nottingham including Architecture and Built Environment, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Social Sciences. 

The PhD programme offers fully funded, four-year PhD studentships which will start in the 2023 academic year on one of the following themes:

Theme 1: To significantly improve the prediction accuracy for intra-hour solar forecasting. 

Theme 2: To significantly improve the modelling of PV systems. 

Theme 3: To improve the coordinated use of different energy sources to enhance electricity system management, using enhanced PV energy prediction. 

Theme 4: To understand what shapes community acceptance of large-scale solar farms.

The PhD programme offers:

  • Training in the theory for solar energy technologies, experimental measurement and evaluation techniques, tools for modelling and predicting PV generation.
  • Opportunities for industrial secondments to gain an insight into industrial challenges in this area and develop industry related skills 
  • Opportunities for secondments with overseas research laboratories. For example, you may participate in the Joint Nottingham and Adelaide PhD Programme. 
  • Cutting-edge research where you will develop interdisciplinary skills

Funding amount:      The studentship covers tuition fees and provides a tax-free stipend of £18,622pa for home students. 

Hours: Full Time

We are looking for:

Graduates with a strong degree (first or high upper second) in maths, physics, computer science, electrical and electronic engineering, mechanical engineering or social science disciplines looking for a challenging research project in an interdisciplinary environment. 

How to apply:

Applicants are welcome to contact Professor Yupeng (Jack) Wu or Professor Mark Sumner directly for more information about the projects.

Applicants will need to email their CV, personal statement, and one page research proposal (which outlines the background, research aim and method) to Professor Yupeng (Jack) Wu. Please ensure you state in your email that you are applying for a ZERO CARBON PhD. 

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