Sarah Rajab

Sarah Rajab

PGSB Fellow
Birzeit University

Specialization: Electrical Engineer

Accurate Specialization: Solar Engineer

Palestinian supervisor:  Dr.Ahmad Abu Haniah

Palestinian Supervisor affiliation: Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at Birzeit University 

Degree aims: MSc

FZJ Supervisor: Dr.Part Pieters

Center in FZJ: Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-5: Photovoltaics

Affiliated University in Germany: RWTH Aachen University

Title of  Research: Data Analysis for Road Integrated PV (RIPV)

Research Purpose: There is an increasing interest in integrated photovoltaic (PV) applications. Examples of integrated applications are Building Integrated PV, and Vehicle Integrated PV. One of the most challenging integrated PV applications is Road Integrated PV (RIPV). For RIPV the solar cells need to be
integrated in the road surface such that the cells do not break under the mechanical loads exerted
by traffic, and the road surface must be transparent enough for sufficient PV energy yield. In addition
there are the requirements from the use as road, such as durability and safety (e.g., grip under all
weather conditions) of the road surface. Various concepts for RIPV have been demonstrated with
varying degrees of success. However, so far, the results are still far from warranting a large scale
application of RIPV.
In the framework of the Living Lab Energy Campus, a RIPV demonstrator is being realized on the
Forschungszenrum Campus. The demonstrator is for a PV Walkway, and will consist of several
RIPV concepts. As of this writing, the first part of this demonstrator is built, consisting of crystalline
silicon wafer based modules. The second part of the demonstrator is planned to be operational
before summer, and will consist of thin-film based modules with two different electrical designs. The
demonstrator is equipped with a small weather station and all PV road elements are monitored to
allow detailed analysis of their electrical properties over time.
In this work we will analyze the collected electrical and weather data. We are especially interested in
investigating the different RIPV concepts with respect to shading losses and degradation. For the
shading losses we need to distinguish between shades from the environment (trees, street furniture,
etc.), from traffic, and from soiling. In general, the energy yield decreases dramatically under partial
shading conditions. For this reason, part of the demonstrator is planned with a special electrical
design to mitigate these losses. As the tested RIPV concepts are still rather experimental, it is
possible we will observe degradation of one or more of the PV elements.

Aims of the research: Data analysis of road integrated PV

Research Cluster: Photovoltaics research cluster 

Photovoltaics cluster, contact person: Eng. MSc. Suheir Nofal

Role in the research Cluster: MSc student