Description of field of research:

There were over 38 Gt of CO2-eq last year emitted where most of the contribution was coming from burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. The world needs cleaner, greener and more renewable energy to mitigate climate change and to meet global electricity demand, which continues to increase at 3%/year globally. The photovoltaic (PV) technology is the most promising technology for the climate change solution, which is also known to be sustainable technology. The PV industry has achieved a cum


Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering

Research areas

Photovoltaics, Solar Cells, Sustainability

The research environment will primarily be in the office and working on the lifecycle assessment software such as OpenLCA. Other work also involves measuring and comparing the three dominant industrial PV cells in labs, mainly passivated emitter rear contact (PERC), tunnelling oxide passivating contact (TOPCon) and silicon heterojunction (SHJ) cells. Other software like python may be used to quantify the projected demand and the sustainability based on material reserve and annual supply.

The expected outcome is that the student will be able to use the OpenLCA software and possible research outputs in sustainability aspects of upcoming trend technology of silicon heterojunction (SHJ) cells, which include environmental impact, material demand and economic cost. The maximum scale of SHJ technology is also going to be assessed using different materials.

  1. Zhang, Y., Kim, M., Wang, L., Verlinden, P., & Hallam, B. (2021). Design considerations for multi-terawatt scale manufacturing of existing and future photovoltaic technologies: challenges and opportunities related to silver, indium and bismuth consumption. Energy & Environmental Science, 14(11), 5587-5610.
  2. Kim, M., Zhang, Y., Verlinden, P., & Hallam, B. (2022, August). Towards sustainable silicon PV manufacturing at the terawatt level. In AIP Conference Proceedings (Vol. 2487, No. 1, p. 090001)