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ASU Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (ASU-PRL, established in January 2009) is dedicated to performing PV reliability research. Its mission is to predict climate-specific and construction-specific lifetimes of PV modules by investigating actual field failure modes and mechanisms, accelerated lifetime testing (ALT), physics-based statistical models. Since its establishment, ASU-PRL has been funded by DOE, SFAz, Arizona Public Service (APS) and Salt River Project (SRP), the National Renewable Labs (NREL), Sandia National Labs, and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). ASU-PRL has already performed field reliability evaluation of over 50 PV powerplants with more than 250,000 modules in four climates: Hot-dry; Temperate; Cold-dry; Hot-humid, and is currently funded to evaluate additional PV power plants in Arizona and New Mexico. In the last three years alone, ASU-PRL has generated more than 15 graduate students and published more than 31 papers on PV reliability in peer-reviewed conferences and journals.
Dr. Mani founded ASU-PRL in 2009 and has been serving as the director of ASU-PRL since then. He was the director of ASU-PTL between 1999 and 2008, and the president of TUV Rheinland PTL (a spin-off of ASU-PTL) between 2008 and 2015. He has more than 32 years of research and accelerated testing experience in photovoltaics. He has published and presented over 150 papers in journals, conferences and workshops. He holds a patent in PID control and prevention and a provisional patent in automated waterless soiling monitoring system. His current research interests include market-driven applied research addressing technology application issues and real-world reliability issues using field failure data and accelerated indoor testing data.
Dr. Kuitche is the laboratory manager for ASU-PRL. He holds a Ph.D in Module Lifetime Prediction and a Master's in Computer Science Engineering from ASU. He has been with ASU since 2003 in various capacities, as a test engineer and head of operating of ASU Photovoltaic Testing Lab (Now, a spin-off company, TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC), as a lecturer teaching courses in Photovoltaics and computer programming. His current research interests include determination of failure modes in field-stressed and accelerated stressed modules using statistical tools.
Dr. Oh is the Junior Research Scientist at ASU-PRL. He holds a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering and a Master's in Alternative Energy Technologies from ASU and a Bachelor's degree in Electronics Engineering from Konkuk University (Korea). His current research interests include reduce operating temperature of PV modules using thermally conductive backsheets (TCB), developing acceleration factors for predicting PV module field degradation using acceleration testing data and field data and reliability evaluation and design for next generation high-efficiency PV modules.
Dr. Sinha is a Post-Doc researcher at ASU-PRL. She holds an M.Sc.-Ph.D. degree in Energy from IIT Bombay (India), and a Bachelor's in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics from MDSU (India). Her research interests include characterization, modelling and simulation of defects and degradation in solar cells and modules. She has one patent (filed). She has worked as a Project Engineer in NCPRE (Phase II) project. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Researcher at ASU-PRL, and is currently working on the correlation of qualification testing with field degradation.
Dr. Dheer is a Post-Doc resaercher at ASU-PRL. He holds a Ph.D in Power and Energy Systems from IIT Bombay (India), M.Tech in Power Systems Engineering from IIT Kharaghpur(India) and B.Sc Engineering in Electrical Engineering from MIT Muzaffarpur (India). His research interests include microgrid control and stability, dynamics and control of power systems and application of power electronics to power systems. He has worked as a resaerch associate at IIT Bombay. Currently he is working on electrostatic measurement devices for PV applications.
Bülent is the Project Manager at ASU-PRL. He holds a double Bachelor's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration from Munich University of Applied Sciences (Munich, Germany). He works on international capabity building program on renewable energy technologies, such as Solar PV, Wind, Micro-hydro, in developing countries. He is the co-inventor of ASU’s Mobile Training Toolkit, a portable “out-of-the-box” training center for solar PV technologies and systems for vocational and technical educational institutions.
Sai is the Operations Manager and has been with ASU-PRL in various capacities since 2010. He holds a Master's degree in Alternative Energy Technologies from ASU and a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from JNTU(India). His current research interests include PV powerplant degradation, accelerated stress testing, natural and artificial soiling deposition, field soiling analysis, potential induced degradation (PID), etc. He holds a patent in PID control and prevention and a provisional patent in automated waterless soiling monitoring system.
Telia is the Technical Manager at ASU-PRL. She holds a Master's degree in Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, UNSW (Australia) and a Bachelor's degree in Alternative Energy Technologies from ASU. She has worked with General Electric (Germany) as a Photovoltaic Research Consultant and ventured on as a PV Testing Specialist at the ASU Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory (later TUV-PTL). She also worked as a Systems Auditor at Global Sustainable Energy Solutions in Australia. Most recently she was working in Tanzania as an Off-Grid PV Systems Engineer and project manager.
Ashwini is the Research Engineer at ASU-PRL and has been with ASU-PRL in various capacities from 2015.. She holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from ASU and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from VJTI (India). Her research interests include studying thermal mapping of PV modules and powerplants, analyzing thermally conductive backsheets, determining temperature coefficients using statistical tools and soiling analysis.
ASU-PRL currently has about 20 Graduate and Post-Graduate researchers working extensively on many topics. Some of them are listed below;