REAPER Lab congratulates Dr. Lance Alpuerto for successfully defending his Ph.D. dissertation, “Non-Planar Photovoltaic Surfaces: Modeling, Optimization, and Application.” His research investigated the application of flexible thin-film photovoltaic (PV) materials conformed to curved surfaces. He developed a comprehensive modeling methodology to evaluate the potential advantages and disadvantages when applied to a non-planar surface. Using a multi-physics based approach, the major factors that influence PV applications are evaluated to predict the real-world operating conditions and electrical behaviors. The unique issue of self-shading, causing a mismatch in current density, on curved applications is addressed by creating an approach to optimize the interconnection strategy for improved performance. His work details a standardized and scale-invariant modeling foundation for the purpose of promoting future investigations into non-planar PV technologies.

Lance received his B.A. in Mathematics from Lyon College in Batesville, AR, in 2013 and then M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University at College Station, TX in 2016.