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Advertising division: IEK-3 - Electrochemical Process Engineering
Reference number: D106/2018, Energy engineering, process engineering, mechanical engineering, sustainable energy supply, industrial engineering

Master thesis: Techno-economic analysis of the potential of solar energy on a worldwide level

Start of work: at once/by arrangement

.In the light of shrinking fossil energy reserves and the international climate protection goals a further massive expansion of renewable energies (wind turbines and photovoltaic (PV) power plants in particular) is considered as indispensable. Their fluctuating occurrence requires further developed solutions of energy storage on an industrial scale. For this purpose the conversion of electricity to hydrogen by means of electrolysis, also referred to as power to gas, offers a promising technical solution by which reductions of CO2 in further energy sectors such as the transport sector can be achieved at the same time. Thereby the usage of hydrogen is very promising to store fluctuating renewable energy (FRE)

At the IEK-3 international energy concepts are developed to convert energy from intermittent renewable energy sources into hydrogen and transfer it to other energy sectors like transport or industry. From a global point of view the spatial offer of RES like wind and solar power differs significantly. Due to regions with high energy potential on the one hand and regions with a higher energy demand, a worldwide solution is required to achieve an economically reasonable usage of hydrogen from FRE. For instance, the emission-free FRE can be provided by the renewable energy sources (RES) wind and solar power. In order to use the generated energy for producing hydrogen economically an analysis of regions and countries with high energy excess is of great interest..

Your task
Within the scope of this thesis the potential of solar energy in previously selected countries is supposed to be determined and assessed from a technical and economic point of view. Therefore the eligible areas of land for ground-mounted PV, the time series and cost curves of power generation from solar energy are to be identified. For this purpose worldwide weather data and already existing models for the determination of solar power time series are available. The objective of the thesis is a quantitative statement about producible amounts of energy and the associated generation costs for different countries of the world. The following tasks are to be dealt with in the course of the master thesis:

  • Selection of the countries to be analyzed by means of potential atlases and further technical and economic parameters
  • Research of parameters concerning land eligibility for solar energy
  • Initial practice to work with existing models for the determination of solar power generation and the identification of eligible areas of land
  • Determination of technically and economically reasonable sites for solar energy plants based on available worldwide data about insolation and geo-information
  • Deduction of time series of solar energy generation
  • Determination of cost curves

Your profile

  • Very good academic records in energy engineering, process engineering, mechanical engineering, sustainable energy supply, industrial engineering or comparable fields
  • Interest in power systems and future energy markets
  • High individual motivation
  • Self-reliant and analytical way of working
  • Experience of programming in GIS and Python desirable

Our offer

  • A pleasant working environment within a highly competent, international team in one of the most prestigious research facilities in Europe
  • You will be remunerated, supported by top-end scientific and technical infrastructure as well as closely guided by experts
  • You will have the opportunity to work with excited researchers from various scientific fields and take part in designing the future European energy system

Philipp Heuser
Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK)
IEK-3: Electrochemical Process Engineering
Process and Systems Analysis

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
52425 Jülich
Tel. 02461 61-9742