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Research Methods for Solar PV 2023

19th April 2023 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm BST


The tenth edition of the annual SuperSolar photovoltaics training workshop will focus on methods for characterisation and analysis of PV cells and systems, advanced computational techniques for performance modelling and overviews of structured and nature-inspired optics for PV. This FREE to attend online workshop features international and UK researchers who will give their specialist ‘must-have’ overviews of key knowledge essential for postgraduates, postdocs and industrial researchers.


The workshop is free and open to everyone, spread over morning and afternoon sessions on the same day.




Prof. Ziv Hameiri, University of New South Wales: Machine Learning for PV

Dr. Hieu T. Nguyen, Australian National University: Spectroscopy for Photovoltaics

Dr. Katie Shanks, University of Exeter: Optics for PV

Dr. George Koutsourakis, National Physical Laboratory: I-V Measurements for PV

Dr. Silvana Ovaitt, NREL: Bifacial PV Modelling


Workshop coordinator: Dr. Tasmiat Rahman (University of Southampton).




Prof Ziv Hameiri is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of New South Wales, with research interests in the development of machine learning applications for photovoltaics and new characterisation methods for silicon and non-silicon devices.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was devastating. It indicates that mankind is unlikely to prevent the dreadful rise of global temperatures above 1.5 °C (compared to pre-industrial levels). It seems that we, humankind, have created so much damage that now we cannot avoid the consequences of our actions. We need help from machines, and we need to teach them how to help us. In this talk, Ziv will present three applications of machine learning that may help humankind save the planet.


Dr Hieu Nguyen is a senior research fellow and senior lecturer at the Australian National University. His team works to explore the fundamental properties of light-matter interactions in solar energy materials and devices under various conditions. The team works to uncover the relationship between absorbed/emitted light and important properties of the materials and devices, including optical, electrical, chemical, and structural properties. By exploiting these phenomena, the team develops novel device concepts, advanced characterisation techniques, and defect engineering routes for solar cells.

Dr Nguyen will first cover the basics of optical phenomena in PV materials including absorption, reflection, transmission, luminescence, charge generation and movement between materials. He will then briefly explain setups and mechanisms of some common optical tools to capture light. Finally, it will walk attendees through how to apply these techniques to determine the fundamental properties and operating parameters of various solar materials (silicon, perovskite, and 2D materials). 


Dr Katie Shanks is David-Clarke Fellow at the Unviersity of Exeter. Her expertise lies in optics for photovoltaics and  solar concentrator technology, including materials, surface structures, manufacturing methods, solar tracking, thermal managment, photovoltaic performances and biomimicry.




Dr Shanks will discuss the fundamentals of optics for photovoltaics, covering structured optics such as anti-reflective and beam-steering effects and addressing the optics of natural and nature-inspired structures.




Dr George Koutsourakis is Senior Research Scientist at NPL. His work focuses on improving photovoltaic and optoelectronic device testing standards and the development of novel characterisation techniques for characterisation of solar cells and other optoelectronic devices. He has developed several novel characterisation techniques utilising digital light processing and compressed sensing and is active in multiple standardisation activities in the area of photovoltaics, from testing and reliability of emerging devices such as perovskites solar cells, up to large scale PV system monitoring and assessment.

Dr Koutsourakis will discuss methodologies for extracting current-voltage characteristic curves from PV devices. He will review the key information that can be obtained and the many challenges associated with characterising different PV materials.



Dr Silvana Ovaitt is a researcher at NREL working with the performance and reliability group on bifacial photovoltaic technology. Her projects focus on bifacial PV optical and electrical performance and modeling and her research includes characterization and energy/optics simulation for bifacial and previously for PV-holographic system energy production.

Bifacial PV has attracted much attention in the market over the last years, representing 20GW of worldwide installations in 2020. We will cover the basics of bifaciality factors and measurements, emerging trends in the bifacial modules, and then focus on the challenges of modeling and testing for owners and researchers.


Christopher Malins
01509 635250