PhD position: Optimization of PV power plants with improved condition monitoring methods

Physicist, Computer Scientist, Engineer or similar (f/m/x)

Starting date: 1 June 2021
Duration of contract: 3 years
Remuneration: up to German TVöD 13
Type of employment: Part-time

Your mission:

Would you like to write your PhD thesis in our Institute of Solar Research at the Spanish Plataforma Solar de Almeria (PSA) developing methods for fault- and soiling detection based on drone images to optimize photovoltaic (PV) power plants? Our objective is to guarantee the secure operation, maximize the plant yield and minimize the maintenance costs, so that PV can contribute successfully to the energy transition towards renewable energies worldwide.

Due to practical field measurements the main workplace is PSA, a solar energy research center belonging to our Spanish partner CIEMAT.

Your tasks will be:

  • develop an automatic image processing method to evaluate soiling of the panels, vegetation or snow on the panels based on measurement campaigns at the PV test bench at PSA
  • evaluate the impact of soiling and vegetation on the existing IR measurement methods for fault detection
  • develop a soiling forecast based on an already existing physical soiling model, satellite or NWP-data, as well as information on local aerosol sources and further meteorological data
  • evaluate the impact of mitigation measures (e.g. cleaning of panels, cutting grass, exchange of defect modules or components, etc.) on the plant yield based on the available monitoring data to optimize the plant profitability
  • analyze and optimize the economic impact of these measures
  • document and publish your scientific results in papers and at international conferences

Next to flexible work hours (within core time) we also offer the opportunity for continuous education and advanced training possibilities by participation in several courses of DLR’s Graduate Program.

You will be part of a young, diverse and motivated team aiming to build a sustainable future. You will have the possibility to work every day knowing you're doing your best to fix the planet and to fight climate change. The PhD thesis is planned to be finalized in three years.

Your qualifications:

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in physics, meteorology, computer science, engineering, natural science or similar
  • a plus would be if you already have some programming skills (Python and/or Matlab), but anyway, with enough interest and motivation you will be able to work with the existing software and develop it further.
  • passion for innovative research, scientific and systematic way of working
  • ability to work individually and together as part of an international team
  • good communication skills
  • good oral and written expression in English language

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalleled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (f/m/x). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

published: 28 April 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.