Master Thesis Proposals

 

Presented here are thesis proposals for students, supervised by staff at the Renewable Energy group.  

The scope of these proposals can be adjusted and are equally suitable for students from the 5-year integrated masters (30sp) and the 2-year master’s program in Physics (60sp) 


 

The Renewable Energy group currently have the following project proposals:


Local cloud climate and its impact on solar energy production

Supervisor: Igor Ezau, igor.ezau@uit.no

Background

Energy production by photovoltaic panels (PV) is sensitive to attenuation of incoming solar radiation by clouds. Clouds are highly variable in space and time. Attenuation in clouds depends on their micro-physical properties, altitude, and thickness. Satellite imagery reveals complex spatial organization and fine-scale structures in cloud fields. Both organization and structure of cloudiness are of primary importance for solar energy production as well as for forecasting of energy output. Although in situ cloud observations are sparce and models do not reproduce spatial organization of clouds, satellite observations provide sufficiently detailed high-resolution information to study local cloud climate. E.g., the MODIS cloud mask data product could be used to build-up 20 years of 1 km cloud climate assessment globally..

Project description

Using MODIS, Sentinel, LandSat and other high spatial resolution satellite cloud products, the candidate will:

  • Create a cloud climatology for a variety of selected Norwegian PV sites
  • Retrieve attenuation of solar radiation by different clouds comparing actual production and predictions of global radiation models
  • Suggest the best locations for the selected Norwegian PV sites

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Turbulence-resolving wind climate simulations with impact on wind energy production

Supervisor: Igor Ezau, igor.ezau@uit.no

Background

Energy production by wind turbines is sensitive to interaction between wind and turbulence over complex terrain. Winds are highly variable in space and time. Turbulence transport momentum (and energy) downward making it accessible to wind turbines. But turbulence also creates wind gusts and changes wind direction. Turbulence-resolving (large-eddy simulation) models can help with more accurate assessment of wind climate as well as with more accurate prediction of wind fluctuations in complex terrain where other models fail. Turbulence-resolving model PALM is now under active development and testing. It includes modules for simulation of both physio-morphological properties of terrain and wind turbines. Its application to the real wind farms needs more studies.

Project description

Using PALM for wind simulation of a selected period, the candidate will:

  • Setup PALM for simulations of the Fakken wind park
  • Use wind data from MET.NO to identify the wind regimes at the park
  • Simulate wind climate at 10 m resolution for a subset of wind regimes
  • Evaluate short-term wind prediction with PALM

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Bifacial solar cells for flat roofs

Supervisor: Tobias Bostrôm, tobias.bostrom@uit.no

Background

Description

External partner
OverEasy

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Wind resource assessment and siting at Fakken wind park

Supervisor: Yngve Birkelund, yngve.birkelund@uit.no

Background
Fakken was built in 2012 with 18 Vesta V90 wind turbines a 3MW, and the park has an average yearly production of 138GWh. Troms Kraft production owns the park, and several master and PhD students have used data from this park in their work at UiT. Currently, the owner is looking into expansion possibilities for the wind park.

Project description

In this project the student will

  • use the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to create high-resolution wind maps for wind resource assessment
  • study complex terrain effects like gap and lee wind in this area
  • preform advanced WRF modelling: Wind turbine placement (siting) and/or large eddies simulations (LES)
  • compare and verify model results with measurement in the park

External collaboration
Troms Kraft Produksjon  

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Wind energy and hydrogen production at Raggovidda wind park

Supervisor: Yngve Birkelund, yngve.birkelund@uit.no

Background
The Raggovidda wind power plant was built in 2014, the region is well known for good wind conditions. The park has had highest capacity factor between all parks in Norway, and the owner Varanger Kraft has recently started the phase 2 expansion bringing the yearly production up to 400GWh. Varanger Kraft will in collaboration with other partners in the EU project Haeolus build a 2MW PEM electrolyser for flexible hydrogen production. This will allow for energy storage and transportation for wind power production and also open up for future expansion of Raggovidda.

Project description
In this project the student will:

  1. setup and compare the wind resource assessment results from numerical models like WRF and WindSim/WindPro
  2. examine the current and possible future wind power production at Raggovidda
  3. describe the possible hydrogen/ammonia production from a fully built out wind park (200MW)

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Small scale energy production in Northern Norway

Supervisor: Yngve Birkelund, yngve.birkelund@uit.no

Background
Local energy production is expected to be growing market. The decreasing price for installation of solar cell modules, availability of scale wind turbines, the use of combined power and heat bio energy and run-of-river hydro power can provide sustainable and decentralized energy systems for the future. UiT has been contacted by the owner of a property in Målselv kommune which would like to invest and install an energy system. The property is approximately 660k square meters (660 dekar), contains both cultivated land and forest areas, and covers both flat land and a nearby mountain.

Project description
In this project the student will

  1. investigate the potential for solar, wind, hydro and bio energy at the site
  2. investigate technical solutions for small scale energy production
  3. calculate investment cost as well as yearly cost and revenue

External collaboration
Land owner

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Atmospheric icing on structures

Supervisor: Yngve Birkelund, yngve.birkelund@uit.no

Background

Human activities are increasingly extending into the high north areas of the Nordic region, where structural icing is a concern from operational, maintenance, safety, and financial perspectives. Structural icing events do not only take place in the Nordic region but are also an issue for other cold regions across the world. UiT recently got funding from the Research Counsel of Norway to the nICE project which aims to establish a multi-disciplinary icing centre to address scientific and technological issues related to icing on structures. nICE involves researchers at several departments at UiT, and a total of 2 postdoctor and 4 PhD positions have been hired to build up this activity.

Project description
The nICE project at UiT is mainly about atmospheric icing on infrastructure, and this master project will contribute with

  1. Field measurements of meteorological parameters from stations and UAVs
  2. Run and analyze data from numerical weather models
  3. Analysis of icing on wind turbines

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Energy survey at Ballstad Slip AS, Lofoten

Supervisor: Yngve Birkelund, yngve.birkelund@uit.no

Background
Project description is under development. Possible project tasks

  • Energy use/savings in buildings
  • Charging stations for vessels/customers
  • Solar energy potential

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