WHAT WILL THE STUDENT STUDY?
The student will be asked to look at how we can develop efficient and cost-effective solar 'heat' farms in the UK. There has been growing interest and excitement at the possibility of solar heat farms in the UK, with the UK Government signalling its support for them. Solar heat farms are essentially a way to generate large amounts of heat to warm homes, businesses and factories, using fields of solar panels or similar methods.
There are solar heat farms in countries such as Denmark and Sweden, but little is known about how to design a solar heat farm in the UK. For example, should the field of solar collectors be made up of photovoltaic (solar energy) panels, or should they be made up of solar thermal collectors, which harvest heat rather than electrical energy? And how should we store the heat from the solar farm – in water, hydrogen, or electricity?
Answering these and other questions is vital in enabling us to introduce solar heat farms to the UK and helping to address climate change. Knowledge of such factors will also help the student develop their future career in solar.
WHAT SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS WILL THE STUDENT NEED?
The Masters project will use a range of different skills; some of which the student will bring with them to the project, and some of which will develop of the course of the research. As such, we will consider students from a range of different academic backgrounds, as long as they have a 2:1/2i degree in science, engineering or maths. The scholarship team will help provide the student with a grounding in all the necessary terms and subjects, and guide them through the research project, although some knowledge of solar technologies would be desirable.
WHO IS PROVIDING THE SCHOLARSHIP & HOW WILL THEY HELP THE STUDENT?
The scholarship is funded by a Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) grant. KESS 2 operate in Wales and are supported by European Social Funds (ESF) through the Welsh Government. The University of South Wales provide the academic expertise to guide the student through their Masters, with academic supervisor Dr Stephen Carr helping the student to develop the necessary skills to succeed in their degree. The innovative solar research company, Energy Transitions, who are based in South Wales and regularly work with the UK Government and solar associations to help shape policy in solar energy, will also help support the student. Their extensive expertise and connections with the solar and energy industries will help the student develop networks to guide them in their future career.
WILL THE STUDENT HAVE TO MOVE TO SOUTH WALES?
The research programme will be carried out at the University of South Wales in Cardiff and the student will need to be living in the broader area of East Wales during their degree. Cardiff is a great city to spend time in, however, with lots of nature and plenty to do and see, so we hope this is not too much of a hardship! The grant will also help the student pay for living and travel costs during their time there.