Project R-3180

Title

Genetic Algorithms for modelling, simulation and optimization of 3D-photovoltaic networks for next generation solar cells

Abstract

The introduction and development of genetic algorithms as optimization method can play an important role in the interdisciplinary domain of 'bulk heterojunction solar cells', a key concept for next generation solar cells, based on 3D interpenetrating photovoltaic networks of donor and acceptor nano-materials. These solar cells form an active interdisciplinary research domain, including materials chemistry, materials physics and engineering, but with a lack of appropriate support from the side of computational science. Ongoing research is already being done in the Institute of Materials Research at the Hasselt Universiy, as well as in the Theoretical Physics group from a more fundamental, thermodynamics viewpoint. In this project, these efforts will be extended to the development of a model which can readily be used in simulations. To be able to capture the required detail, such simulations will necessarily have to be fine-grained, calling for the use of state-of-the-art hardware (e.g. GPUs). Ultimately is the goal to be able to predict the behaviour of such 3D-nanostructured photovoltaic devices, so that their performance can be known before spending time and effort in actually building them. The final aspect is then the optimization of device characteristics, so that the efficiency of such devices can be enhanced.

Period of project

01 October 2011 - 30 September 2012