Ph.D. student contributes to solar energy research

Kristal Jacobs

Aiming to achieve high-efficiency heat output while minimizing the effects of solar tracking errors and chromatic aberrations, UNT mechanical and energy Ph.D. student, Hassan Qandil has been working on a novel statistical algorithm that’s used to investigate the non-imaging Fresnel-lens-based solar concentrator-receiver system.

“The optimized solar concentrator can be applied to any device that requires heat input, but the research is mainly focused on applications like concentrated photovoltaics, solar welding and Stirling engines,” Qandil said.

Since high school, Qandil has always been fascinated by solar energy and its potential to replace conventional hydrocarbon-based sources and eliminate its environmental impact.

“I was particularly interested in refraction-based concentration solar systems due to its lower investment costs and light-compact designs made of flexible acrylic resins,” Qandil said. “Through my research, I made a commitment to commercialize the use of Fresnel lenses in various applications, while simplifying the process from design to implementation.”

Despite being a long way from home as an international student, the family atmosphere at UNT gives Qandil the confidence that he can excel in his research.

“Here at UNT, I feel surrounded by family, especially since I’m an international student who left everything behind and moved to Denton,” Qandil said. “The warm feeling gives me a great push to excel in my research knowing that I can always count on my friends and family here at UNT to back me up and alleviate any obstacles.” 

While at UNT, Qandil is working as a teaching fellow in the Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, which has interested him in possibly pursuing a teaching career after he graduates. However, he’s keeping his options open for the right opportunity if he wants to do post-doctoral research or transition into industry work.