Nav: Home

New technology will enable properties to share solar energy

June 14, 2017

IN the UK alone, some 1.5 million homes are equipped with solar panels, and it has been estimated that by 2020 the figure could soar to 10 million, with the prospect of lower energy bills for consumers and massive reductions in CO2 emissions. Now, a University of Huddersfield researcher is developing new technologies that could enable clusters of houses to share their solar energy, rather than simply exporting surplus electricity to the national grid. Also, new systems for fault detection will enable householders to monitor and maintain the efficiency of their panels.

Prize-winning PhD student Mahmoud Dhimish is spearheading the project, supervised by lecturers with expertise in high performance computing, engineering and electrical supply. The research is aided by a solar panel, or photovoltaic (PV) system that has been installed at the University by its School of Computing and Engineering.

"Currently, individual consumers generate electricity from their PV installations and if they are unable to use it, they export it to the network. PV outputs vary unpredictably - as do the electricity demands of each consumer - so supply and demand is difficult to match," said Mahmoud Dhimish.

Therefore, his doctoral research - which has already led to a sequence of articles and presentations - is investigating the possibility of reducing the need to export unused energy to the grid by making use of "demand diversity" among adjacent dwellings.

A form of energy storage shared by the connected houses and the use of the 'Internet of Things' to monitor and manage their electricity demands will form part of the solution.

A major dimension of Mahmoud's work is the development of a new algorithm that will enable the rapid detection of faults in PV installations. He has carried out pioneering work on the impact of micro-cracks in the performance of solar panels, using the facilities of the University of Huddersfield's High Performance Computing Research Group to carry out his analysis.

The research could lead to the development of monitoring units operated directly by households or remotely via the Cloud.

Outputs describing the work have included the recent article Fault detection algorithm for grid-connected photovoltaic plants, in the journal Solar Energy. It is co-authored by Mahmoud Dhimish and his PhD supervisor Dr Violeta Homes, who is Subject Area Leader for Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Huddersfield, where she leads the HPC Research Group.

Also supervising are Dr Bruce Mehrdadi, who is MSc Engineering Programme Leader, and lecturer Mark Dales, whose career has included 30 years in the electricity supply industry, and who took charge of the installation of the School of Computing and Engineering's own solar panels.

Mahmoud Dhimish - who is Jordanian-Russian - earned awards that included a Chancellor's Prize for his University of Huddersfield MSc in Electronic and Communication Engineering. He was immediately awarded a scholarship for his PhD research in renewable energy system. He has further co-authored articles awaiting publication and has also lectured on the subject to undergraduates.
-end-


University of Huddersfield

Related Solar Energy Articles:

Physicists develop approach to increase performance of solar energy
Experimental condensed matter physicists in the Department of Physics at the University of Oklahoma have developed an approach to circumvent a major loss process that currently limits the efficiency of commercial solar cells.
Lasers etch a 'perfect' solar energy absorber
In Light: Science and Applications, University of Rochester researchers demonstrate how laser etching of metallic surfaces creates the ''perfect solar energy absorber.'' This not only enhances energy absorption from sunlight, but also reduces heat dissipation at other wavelengths.
Mapping the energy transport mechanism of chalcogenide perovskite for solar energy use
Researchers from Lehigh University have, for the first time, revealed first-hand knowledge about the fundamental energy carrier properties of chalcogenide perovskite CaZrSe3, important for potential solar energy use.
New hybrid device can both capture and store solar energy
Researchers have reported a new device that can both efficiently capture solar energy and store it until it is needed, offering promise for applications ranging from power generation to distillation and desalination.
Materials that can revolutionize how light is harnessed for solar energy
Columbia scientists designed organic molecules capable of generating two excitons per photon of light, a process called singlet fission.
Solar energy becomes biofuel without solar cells
Soon we will be able to replace fossil fuels with a carbon-neutral product created from solar energy, carbon dioxide and water.
20 overlooked benefits of distributed solar energy
A study released today provides the most complete list yet of the advantages of solar energy -- from carbon sequestration to improvements for pollinator habitat.
Window film could even out the indoor temperature using solar energy
A window film with a specially designed molecule could be capable of taking the edge off the worst midday heat and instead distributing it evenly from morning to evening.
Danish researchers create worldwide solar energy model
For any future sustainable energy system, it is crucial to know the performance of photovoltaic (solar cell) systems at local, regional and global levels.
Novel thermoelectric nanoantenna design for use in solar energy harvesting
In an article published in the SPIE Journal of Nanophotonics (JNP), researchers from a collaboration of three labs in Mexico demonstrate an innovative nanodevice for harvesting solar energy.
More Solar Energy News and Solar Energy Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.