Prof. Tadhg O'Donovan

BA BAI PhD

Role
Professor
Section
School of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Email
Phone
+44 131 451 4298
Tadhg O'Donovan

About

Associate Head of School, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Dubai Campus

Research Theme Lead: novel Energy Systems, Storage and Integration

Director of the Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research (SISER)

Honorary Education Secretary for Energy Institute – Middle East

Biography

Professor Tadhg O’Donovan graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering in 2001 and a PhD in 2005. He continued in Trinity College as a postdoctoral research fellow and lecturer.

He joined Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh in 2007 as a lecturer in mechanical engineering and became an associate professor in 2015. In January 2018, he was appointed Associate Head of the School for Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) at the Dubai campus, and became a professor within the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering in August 2019.

Professor O’Donovan has a research background in thermal science which now focuses on solar energy conversion, systems and storage. His research group is mainly funded by the EPSRC and Innovate UK, and relates to the development of low-cost solar collector technology for domestic hot water systems, phase-change thermal storage devices, characterisation of high-concentration multi-junction solar cells, and direct charging of molten salt high-temperature thermal stores.

He has established collaborative links with industry, and employs a techno-economic approach to support renewable energy companies such as Soltropy, Sunamp, Dukosi and AES Solar. His research also includes the thermal management of electronics, bio-thermal diagnostics, solar powered water purification using membrane distillation and thermal management of Fischer-Tropsch processes for gas-to-liquid conversion.

Eight PhD students have graduated under Professor O’Donovan’s guidance and he has published in excess of 80 research papers in peer-reviewed conferences and high impact factor journals. Professor O’Donovan leads the nESSI (novel Energy Systems and Storage Integration) research theme within EPS and represents Heriot-Watt for the energy theme of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA); the Director of the Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research (SISER) and Honorary Education Secretary for Energy Institute – Middle East.

Professor O’Donovan has an established record of teaching innovation, supported by the QAA/HWU Enhancement Theme Fund and in collaboration with colleagues in Edinburgh, Dubai and Malaysia. His innovative teaching practices have been presented at the Enhancement Led Institutional Review (ELIR) and he has been a recipient of the Graduates’ Teaching Award in 2013 and 2017.

Research

Solar energy conversion, systems and storage; phase change thermal storage; molten salt high temperature thermal stores characterisation of solar photovoltaics; thermal management of electronics; bio-thermal diagnostics; desalination.

Publications

Book chapters

1. Moffat, R., and O'Donovan, T. S., 2017, “Temperature and Heat Transfer Measurements,” in R Chhabra (ed.), CRC Handbook of Thermal Engineering. 2 edn, 4.25, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Series, CRC Press.

Refereed articles

1. Landini, S., and O’Donovan, T. S., 2019, “Li-ion batteries Thermal Management Systems: Literature Review,” Journal of Energy Storage (under review, submitted Februry 2019).

2. Ghani, F., and O’Donovan, T. S., 2019, “The impact of degradation on the characterisation of Copper Indium Diselenide (CIS) and micromorphic (µc-Si:H) photovoltaic modules,” Energy (under review, submitted August 2018).

3. Maka, A. O., and O’Donovan, T. S. 2019, “Analysis of thermal response and electrical characterisation of triple-junction solar cells based on variable solar spectral irradiance and air mass,” Thermal Science and Engineering Progress, (in press).

4. Maka, A. O., and O'Donovan, T. S., 2019, "Modelling of the thermal behaviour of solar high concentrating photovoltaic receiver," Thermal Science and Engineering Progress, 9, pp. 281-288.

5. Amber, I., and O'Donovan, T., 2018, "Natural convection induced by the absorption of solar radiation: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 82, pp. 3526-3545.

6. Ghani, F., Waser, R., O'Donovan, T., Schuetz, P., Zaglio, M., and Wortischek, J., 2018, "Non-linear system identification of a latent heat thermal energy storage system," Applied Thermal Engineering, 134, pp. 585-593.

7. Theristis, M., Fernández, E. F., Georghiou, G. E., and O'Donovan, T. S., 2018, "Performance of a concentrating photovoltaic monomodule under real operating conditions: Part II–Power rating," Energy Conversion and Management, 156, pp. 329-336.

8. Waser, R., Ghani, F., Maranda, S., O'Donovan, T., Schuetz, P., Zaglio, M., and Worlitschek, J., 2018, "Fast and experimentally validated model of a latent thermal energy storage device for system level simulations," Applied Energy, 231, pp. 116-126.

9. Amber, I., and O’Donovan, T., 2017, "A numerical simulation of heat transfer in an enclosure with a nonlinear heat source," Numerical Heat Transfer, Part A: Applications, 71(11), pp. 1081-1093.

10. Amber, I., and O’Donovan, T., 2017, "Heat transfer in a molten salt filled enclosure absorbing concentrated solar radiation," International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 113, pp. 444-455.

11. Ghani, F., Fernandez, E. F., Almonacid, F., and O'Donovan, T. S., 2017, "The numerical computation of lumped parameter values using the multi-dimensional Newton-Raphson method for the characterisation of a multi-junction CPV module using the five-parameter approach," Solar Energy, 149, pp. 302-313.

12. Theristis, M., Fernández, E. F., Sumner, M., and O'Donovan, T. S., 2017, "Multiphysics modelling and experimental validation of high concentration photovoltaic modules," Energy Conversion and Management, 139, pp. 122-134.

13. Theristis, M., Fernández, E. F., Georghiou, G. E., and O'Donovan, T. S., 2017, "Performance of a concentrating photovoltaic monomodule under real operating conditions: Part I–Outdoor characterisation," Energy conversion and management, 154, pp. 311-321.

14. Odunsi, A. O., O'Donovan, T. S., and Reay, D. A., 2016, "Temperature stabilisation in Fischer–Tropsch reactors using phase change material (PCM)," Applied Thermal Engineering, 93, pp. 1377-1393.

15. McGuinn, A., Rylatt, D. I., and O’Donovan, T. S., 2016, "Heat transfer enhancement to an array of synthetic air jets by an induced crossflow," Applied Thermal Engineering, 103, pp. 996-1003.

16. Theristis, M., Fernández, E. F., Ferrer-Rodríguez, J. P., Stark, C., O’Donovan, T. S., Wiesenfarth, M., Bett, A., and Muller, M., "Energy yield assessment of a high concentration photovoltaic receiver based on simulated spectra from typical meteorological year datasets," Proc. AIP Conference Proceedings, AIP Publishing, p. 090009.

Conference papers published as proceedings

1. Maka, A. O., O’Donovan, T. S., 2017, “Thermal performance modelling of a solar concentrating photovoltaic CPV receiver,” 15th UK Heat Transfer Conference

2. Ghani, F., O'Donovan, T. S., and Zaglio, M., 2017, “Solar thermal technologies for domestic hot water applications: an energy and economic investigation comparing flat plate and evacuated tube type collectors," ISES Solar World Congress, IEA SHC International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry.

3. Ghani, F., O'Donovan, T. S., and Zaglio, M., 2016, “Rapid Calculation of Series and Shunt Resistance Values for a Solar Cell," 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference Munich, Germany.

4. Theristis, M., Stark, C., and O'Donovan, T. S., 2015, “Determination of the cooling requirements for single cell photovoltaic receivers under variable atmospheric parameters,” Proceedings of Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC), IEEE 42nd, IEEE, pp. 1-5.

5. Maka, A. O., O’Donovan, T. S., 2015, “Temperature dependence of energy band gaps in triple junction solar cell,” 14th UK Heat Transfer Conference

6. Amber, I and O’Donovan, T. S., 2014, “Numerical simulation of heat transfer in a directly illuminated solar thermal energy store,” 15th International Heat Transfer Conference, Kyoto, IHTC15-9290

7. Theristis, M. and O’Donovan, T. S., 2014, “An integrated thermal electrical model for single cell photovoltaic receivers under concentration,” 15th International Heat Transfer Conference, Kyoto, IHTC15-9239

8. Rylatt, D. I. and O'Donovan T. S., 2014, “The effects of stroke length and Reynolds number on heat transfer to a ducted confined and semi-confined synthetic air jet,” Journal of Physics, Conference Series, 525 (1), 012012

9. Theristis, M., Mallick, T. K. and O’Donovan, T. S., 2013, “Numerical Investigation of heat transfer within a High Concentration Photovoltaic (HCPV) system,” Eurotherm Seminar 98: Concentrating Solar Energy Systems,

10. Theristis, M., Arnaoutakis, G., Sarmah, N., Mallick, T. K. and O’Donovan, T. S., 2013, “Solar spectrum dependent thermal model for HCPV systems,” 13th UK Heat Transfer Conference, No. 124

11. Theristis, M., Sarmah, N., Mallick, T. K., and O’Donovan, T. S., 2012, “Design and numerical analysis of enhanced cooling techniques for a high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) system,” Proceedings 27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC).

12. Brown, K. J., Byrne, G., O’Donovan, T. S. and Murray, D. B., 2012, “Effect of thermal boundary condition on heat dissipation due to swirling jet impingement on a heated plate,” Journal of Physics, Conference Series, 395 (1), 012039

13. Amber, I., and O’Donovan, T. S., 2012, "Numerical simulation of heat transfer in a directly illuminated solar thermal energy store," Proceedings 15th International Heat Transfer Conference

14. Rylatt, D. I. and O’Donovan, T. S., 2012, “Time and frequency domain investigation of the heat transfer to a synthetic air jet,” Journal of Physics, Conference Series, 395 (1), 012046

15. Hughes, A. J., O'Donovan, T. S., and Mallick, T. K., 2012, “Development of a membrane distillation system with concentrating photovoltaic/thermal energy source for seawater desalination,” 13th IWA UK National Young Water Professionals Conference, Exeter.

16. Ali, I. M. S., Mallick, T. K., Kew, P. A., O'Donovan, T. S., and Reddy, K., 2011, “Optical performance evaluation of a 2-D and 3-D novel hyperboloid solar concentrator,” Proceedings World Renewable Energy Congress XI, pp. 25-30

17. Rylatt, D. I. and O'Donovan T. S., 2011, “Enhanced heat transfer to confined, semi-confined and ducted impinging synthetic air jets,” 12th UK National Heat Transfer Conference, Leeds

18. Ali, I. M. S., Mallick, T. K., O'Donovan, T. S., Kew, P. A., and Reddy, K., 2011, “Optical study of a 3-D elliptical hyperboloid concentrator,” ISES Solar Energy Conference

19. May, A. and O'Donovan, T. S., 2010, “Convective heat transfer in a helical coil solar thermal collector,” 14th International Heat Transfer Conference, Washington DC, IHTC14-22114, pp. 491 - 497