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Centre for Energy Research


The photovoltaic (PV) research activities at NMMU are based in the Department of Physics. We have an interest in PV of all solar cell technologies and applications. Our work covers a wide range of topics, including PV materials and defect studies, device physics, solar cell and PV module characterization and systems evaluation. In addition to our student projects in this field we also have the capabilities to evaluate solar cells and PV modules for institutional and industry partners. The techniques used for performance evaluation and degradation analysis are based on internationally acceptable standards and include optical, electrical and mechanical procedures.

Our facilities include a Photovoltaic Outdoor Research Facility (ORF) that is used to conduct research on PV modules exposed to environmental conditions. With this facility we have the capability to fully evaluate and characterize PV modules manufactured using different cell and module technologies, thereby providing valuable support to the local PV industry.

If you are interested in joining usfor post-graduate studies in this exciting field of solar energy, please contact Prof van Dyk.

We collaborate extensively with local and international, universities, institutions and industries, and welcome new partners wishing to collaborate with us on PV related projects.

These projects include:

  • PV device and materials characterisation
  • Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV) technology development
  • PV system design and optimisation for utility connection

Contact information
Prof Ernest van Dyk
Professor: Physics
Tel: +27 41 5042259