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Solar Energy:

combined PV and cellular antenna panel for building façade integration

Urban mobile cellular communications will use increasingly large numbers of limited-range building-mounted antennas operating at lower power, beneficially reducing individual’s electromagnetic field exposure. This research will enable the development using photovoltaics of solar powered microcell antennae with integrated battery and base station. Such autonomous devices will have lower capital costs as the antenna array and solar panel constitute the same structure and will be installed at lower cost in a far greater range of locations than otherwise as no external power is required. Such a self-powered network would be oblivious to grid-supply interruptions and robust to natural or man-made disasters.

In order to realise autonomous solar powered communications networks, this research will provide rigorous practically-oriented understanding of interactions between antenna theory and design, photovoltaic characteristics and non-imaging optics to optimise new generic forms of combined photovoltaic, cellular antenna panel, battery and base station for building façade integration. The strategic objectives of the research programme include :

  • obtaining detailed experimental performance data on system components and materials both singly and in combination
  • devising and validating experimentally a detailed dynamic system simulation model
  • conduct parametric analyses to optimise system configurations to provide a systematic basis for practical engineering design.

 

Personnel

DIT - School of Electronic and Communications Engineering

Maria Jose Roo Ons

Dr Shynu Nair

Dr Max Ammann

DIT - School of Physics

Dr Sarah McCormack

Prof Brian Norton