Martí-Franquès COFUND Fellowship Programme


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Engineering and Architecture

Supervisor name and surname:

Roberto Giral Castillón

Supervisor email:

Supervisor short biography

Co-supervisor name and surname:

Carlos Olalla Martínez

Co-supervisor email:

Co-supervisor institution:


Co-supervisor short biography

PhD programme:

Technologies for Nanosystems, Bioengineering and Energy

Title of the research project:

Distributed Power Electronics Architectures for Photovoltaic Power Plants

Description of the research project:

In photovoltaics (PV), the big challenge is to built and maintain PV installations in a cost-efficient way. Cutting-down the cost of PV modules has improved the competitiveness of this renewable energy, but we are still very far away from what it is achievable.

Some of the present issues in conventional PV systems are related to: lack of scalability, large-impact of mismatch, inability to mitigate intermittency, and poor reliability of central inverters.

This project proposes as main objective the development of new, smart photovoltaic (PV) modules, which will address these issues. These new PV modules will be enhanced thanks to the use of power electronics converters that are integrated at submodule level in PV modules [1-3].

Enhanced PV modules will outperform current devices in terms of power delivery, immunity to changing conditions or mismatch, reliability, cost and durability, improving the capabilities of residential, commercial and utility-scale PV systems.

The candidate will be trained in the following areas. Experience is not required, but definitely a plus:
- PV systems characterization and modeling.
- Power conversion architectures.
- Power electronics converter design and fabrication.
- Magnetic devices design and fabrication.

[1] P. K. Achanta, B. B. Johnson, G. Seo and D. Maksimovic, "A Multilevel DC to Three-Phase AC Architecture for Photovoltaic Power Plants," in IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 181-190, March 2019, doi: 10.1109/TEC.2018.2877151.
[2] C. Olalla, D. Maksimovic, C. Deline, L. Martinez-Salamero, "Impact of Distributed Power Electronics on the Lifetime and Reliability of PV Systems," Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp. 821–835, 2017.
[3] C. Olalla, D. Clement, M. Rodriguez, D. Maksimovic, "Architectures and Control of Sub-Module Integrated DC-DC Converters for Photovoltaic Applications," IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, Special Issue on Photovoltaics, Volume 28, no.6, pp.2980-299, June 2013.
Ethics: This project does not involve ethical aspects.

Workplace location: Campus Sescelades, Tarragona

Gross anual salary:

27103.20 €


Full time

Working hours:

37.5 hours a week

Expected start date:

15 March 2021

European union This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 945413