Imperial College London

Philip Sandwell

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Research Associate (Knowledge Transfer Secondment)







Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus





Philip researches the potential of renewable technologies to bring electricity to rural communities in developing countries. This spans topics such as electricity demand estimation, technological performance of solar PV and battery storage, integration with other generation technologies as part of hybrid systems, and analysing their impact in terms of cost, CO2 mitigation potential and service quality. 

He developed the CLOVER model for simulating, optimising and analysing rural electricity systems and investigating the implications of their deployment strategies. CLOVER has been applied to studies in South Asia, Africa and Latin America to assess the performance of renewable electricity systems for household electricity, productive energy services, power for health clinics and more. The CLOVER model is open source and is actively being developed to increase its functionality. 

He is currently seconded into Practical Action, an international NGO which aims to alleviate poverty in developing countries. He works on the Renewable Energy for Refugees project, a collaboration between Practical Action and UNHCR, which will bring energy access to households, businesses and community facilities in three refugee camps in Rwanda.

Philip completed his PhD in the Department of Physics at Imperial College London under the supervision of Professor Jenny Nelson FRS and Dr Ned Ekins-Daukes. His thesis addressed the potential of solar technologies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in rural communities in India and was funded by the Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment and Climate-KIC. Previously he was awarded a First Class Honours BSc and MSci degree in Physics with Theoretical Physics, also from Imperial College London.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Sandwell P, Chan NLA, Foster S, et al., 2016, Off-grid solar photovoltaic systems for rural electrification and emissions mitigation in India, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol:156, ISSN:0927-0248, Pages:147-156

Emmott CJM, Moia D, Sandwell P, et al., 2016, In-situ, long-term operational stability of organic photovoltaics for off-grid applications in Africa, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol:149, ISSN:0927-0248, Pages:284-293

More Publications