PhD: Sunny waters: meeting our energy, water and climate mitigation needs with floating solar
Lancaster Environment Centre
I am a full-time student at Lancaster University studying for a PhD in Environmental Science. My undergraduate dissertation completed at the University of Birmingham assessed the suitability of a solar farm microclimate for an Agrivoltaic system. The project involved the collection of micrometeorological data as well as the sampling of soil properties and biodiversity at the solar farm. Utilising a modelling approach, I established that a double cropping approach was feasible and improved the productivity of various crop types.
My interest for solar photovoltaics stems from my undergraduate dissertation. However, my PhD project focusses on floating solar panels (floatovoltaics) rather than terrestrial solar farms. Floatovoltaic systems are being deployed by water companies as a means to generate renewable electricity and therefore reduce their carbon-emissions at water treatment works. At present there is very little basic understanding of the impacts floatovoltaics may have on water bodies. Through both in situ monitoring and field and laboratory experiments, I will undertake research that will help unlock the potential for floatovoltaics. I also anticipate undertaking an internship with an industry partner to help me derive impact from my work.
I am based within both LEC (Lancaster Environment Centre) and CEH (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology).