Study level

Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Michael Cholette
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Concentrating solar power (CSP) is a technology that utilises mirrors (heliostats) to focuses the sun’s rays on a solar receiver to provide heat that can be stored and used for electricity generation.

Control and planning of the use of stored energy would greatly benefit from a detailed understanding of the statistical characteristics of:

  • direct solar irradiation (DNI)
  • other weather variables (e.g. dust in air)
  • electricity prices on the real-time market.

The aim of this project will be to develop suitable statistical models that will enable the planning of CSP operation and maintenance decisions (e.g. dispatching, mirror cleaning).

Research activities

During this research project, you can expect to be involved in:

  • stochastic simulation
  • statistical analysis
  • MATLAB/Python programming
  • data analysis.


Upon conclusion of this research, we expect to develop statistical models for the variation in key electricity and weather quantities.

Skills and experience

You'll need to have a GPA above 6 in either engineering or mathematics.

The following skills and experience are desirable:

  • probability and statistics (particularly time series analysis)
  • programming (preferably MATLAB or Python)
  • signal processing
  • data processing and visualisation.



Contact the supervisor for more information.