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Active One-to-One Research Projects

Mechanical Engineering

High-Concentration Solar Electric/Thermal Cogeneration System: Optimal Design, Transient Analysis, and Prototype Unit Development

Professor Evelyn N. Wang
Professor Evelyn N. Wang

Professor Tiejun Zhang
Professor Tiejun Zhang
PI at Masdar Institute


The state-of-art technology of high-concentration solar photovoltaic/thermal cogeneration is a promising and nascent field for clean power generation research. The goal of this project is to propose innovative transient maximum power harvesting technologies to achieve higher overall energy efficiency and higher integration of the cogeneration units: concentrating photovoltaics cooling, thermal power generation, electric power generation. This project is focusing on both the optimal design and transient operation challenges in an integrated high-concentration photovoltaics (HCPV) and microscale organic Rankine cycle (MORC) cogeneration system.


The overall energy efficiency of the solar cogeneration system is expected to increase significantly through optimal design and transient maximum power harvesting technologies. With a stable control and monitoring system, autonomous, reliable, and energy-efficient operation of the cogeneration system can be achieved. This kind of stand-alone renewable power generation plant needs little maintenance, thus, is extremely attractive for desert regions in Abu Dhabi. In addition, the waste heat from high-concentration photovoltaics is also available for water desalination and adsorption cooling in Masdar and Abu Dhabi. Micro-organic Rankine cycle is a promising and universal waste heat utilization technology, which is applicable to other waste energy recovery applications, such as biomass combustion, internal-combustion engines, and geothermal plants.

Multi-purpose solar cell testing platform
Multi-purpose solar cell testing platform at the Device Research Lab, MIT.