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Masdar Institute Offers Two Projects on Solar Cell Applications for Summer Internships

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced it will offer two projects related to solar cell applications as part of the six-week summer internship program.

The projects titled ‘Design of Filters for Applications in Solar Cells Under Light Concentration’ and ‘Solar Cell Technologies and Applications: Investigation of Luminescent Solar Concentrators for UAE Conditions’ are being offered to students majoring in Science and/or Engineering with adequate self-motivation and hard work.

The former project will focus on the design of specific optical filters for applications of concentrated PV, while the latter will assess whether Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) would be suitable for use in the UAE, given the unique atmospheric conditions. The LSC is an emerging technology in solar cell devices that offers great promise but is not explored in the UAE.

Solar cell technologies differ from one another based on the material used to make the solar cell and on the processing technology used to fabricate the solar cells. The solar cells (or photovoltaic devices) directly convert light into electricity, and generally use similar physics and technology as that used by the microelectronics industry to make computer chips. According to the 2012 Photovoltaics International journal, PV-generated electricity can now compete with diesel generation in most countries around the globe. In all locations with high solar irradiance and relatively high electricity costs, PV has reached grid-parity with ease.

A report from global market intelligence firm IMS Research, which tracks installations of solar PV in more than 60 countries, predicts global installations of PV could grow from 26.9GW in 2011 to between 27.8GW and 32.6GW in 2012, with Europe’s share falling from 69% last year to 50% this year. Despite many governments slashing financial incentives for the technology, installations of solar PV will grow by at least 3.5% in 2012, the report forecasts.

Dr. Mahieddine Emziane, Associate Professor – Solar Energy Materials & Devices Laboratory, Masdar Institute, will be in charge of these two summer internship projects that he proposed and he will be assisted by some of his students. A Chartered Scientist (CSci), Dr Emziane has spent 17 years working in the area of semiconductor materials and devices with an emphasis on thin-film PV, TPV, CPV and tandem solar cells. Prior to joining Masdar Institute as a founding faculty, he had appointments at the Universities of Oxford, Durham, Liverpool and Sheffield in the UK.

Dr. Mahieddine Emziane, Associate Professor – Solar Energy Materials & Devices Laboratory Masdar Institute, said: “Though there are many solar cell technologies and applications available or in use at present, not all of them are relevant to our part of the world. This is the focus of my group’s research and we are seeking to identify ways that can make our work relevant to this country and the region.

“We are confident that more students in the UAE will find this an interesting subject and join our group to work on solar cell technology. We thank the country’s wise leadership for their support that has enabled us to offer the interns diverse project options.”

An intern is expected to design, prepare modeling simulations, conduct assessment and feasibility study under the two programs that are part of the more than 15 project options offered by Masdar Institute for summer internship that is scheduled to begin on 1 July. The deadline for submission of applications ended on 3 May.

Dr. Emziane is the co-owner of three pending IP rights, one of which has been licensed to industry. First author of over 60 peer-reviewed publications and technical reports out of nearly 100, he has delivered more than 60 conference contributions, invited talks and seminars.

Established as an ongoing collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.

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