Lawrence Pratt

CSIR principal researcher

Lawrence has 15 years of experience related to solar PV, including yield impacts of the raw materials on cell efficiency; research and development of emitter wrap-through solar cells; manufacture and certification of next-generation solar PV modules; and the design and installation of residential PV systems in the United States of America.

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Lawrence holds a Master’s degree in applied statistics from the University of New Mexico and is currently working on a PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand. He has led the establishment of an ISO 17025 accredited lab for PV module quality and reliability testing at the CSIR. His work also includes techo-economic analysis of the solar plus battery storage modelling: pre-feasibility studies of large-scale PV systems for public and private clients; design, procurement, and commissioning of a PV module reliability test lab; development of automated performance monitoring and fault detection systems for PV plants operating on the CSIR campus; development of deep learning models for automated defect detection and classification in electroluminescence images; technical contributions to a PV procurement guideline for municipalities; and consulting for external clients.

Expertise: Photovoltaics (PV) module reliability testing and certification; machine learning and data analytics; engineering management in the fields of semiconductors and PV

Academic qualifications: 
  • PhD candidate (University of the Witwatersrand), 2023
  • MSc (Applied Statistics), University of New Mexico, 2000
  • (Sociology/Anthropology), Carleton College, 1991