Study level

  • Honours


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Research centre


Associate Professor Michael Cholette
Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Engineering


Concentrating solar power (CSP) is a technology that utilises mirrors (heliostats) to focus the sun’s rays on a solar receiver. This provides heat for a power generation cycle, creating thermal energy.

Control of the heat transfer fluid temperature in the solar receiver is crucial for the efficient use/storage of thermal energy and to minimise the degradation of the receiver. The aim of this project is to design controllers for the heat transfer fluid pumps and the heliostats using a previously developed model of the receiver's thermodynamics.

Research activities

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

  • thermodynamic modelling
  • MATLAB/Python programming
  • modelica modelling and programming
  • control system design and simulation
  • a literature review


A control strategy for the receiver that tracks performance in the presence of significant variations in solar irradiance.

Skills and experience

You will need to have a GPA above 6.0 with either a background in engineering or mathematics.

Skills and experience in the following are also desirable:

  • thermodynamic modelling
  • programming (preferably MATLAB and/or OpenModelica)
  • control theory (PID, feedforward, model predictive control).


Contact the supervisor for more information.