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DSM discusses ways to enhance efficiency of solar power generation

Company representative presents floating solar and desert-proof PV as ideal solutions for the Middle East region

| | Jan 30, 2019 | 10:58 am
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Vivek Chaturvedi, DSM’s Regional Business Director – IMEA

Dubai, UAE, 30 January 2019: “It is only natural that solar power will play an extremely important role in the Middle East,” said Vivek Chaturvedi, DSM’s Regional Business Director – IMEA, underscoring the value of the quantity and quality of sun across the region. In discussing the growing opportunities in solar power, Chaturvedi addressed concerns related to the amount of space needed to produce the solar power required to operate air conditioning systems in buildings in the region, which is responsible for approximately 70% of the power consumed. Chaturvedi said these issues will be solved by the industry over a period of time; it is a matter of “when” and not “if”.

Chaturvedi said that the company is committed to enhancing the capabilities of solar “so the same square meter can generate more solar power”. Addressing issues, such as area availability or lack thereof, Chaturvedi pointed to floating solar fields as a possible solution, particularly in areas within the region, where there is not enough land. “There is a big opportunity in installing solar in water bodies,” he said. “DSM is developing materials that make floating solar affordable and viable.” Chaturvedi said that current practice in the industry leads to the use of glass panels over water bodies, but this makes the overall structure heavy, which would require more floaters and lead to the delivery of infrastructure at a higher cost. “We replace it with DSM’s co-extruded endurance backsheets, which have a far superior moisture barrier, obviating the need to incorporate glass,” he said. “Not only is it cheaper, but it also makes solar panels lighter, therefore reducing the cost of the balancing system.” Chaturvedi said floating solar projects have been rolled out in Singapore, Japan, China and India, stressing that as the scale grows higher, the cost comes down.

Further elaborating on the company’s innovations towards improving the efficiency of solar, Chaturvedi also touched on DSM’s tie-up with SunTech Power, a Chinese solar panel producer and KarmSolar, a solar technology company in Egypt, to build their largest PV plant in the region to use DSM’s desert-ready modules. This, he said, will contain DSM’s Anti-Soiling (AS) coating and DSM’s Endurance backsheet. The AS coating, he added, helps in solving a major problem of solar installations in desert regions in Middle East and Africa, as soiling is “a big issue that eats into the return for investors”. Three years ago, DSM partnered with both companies to set up a two MW site with DSM’s AS coating, which has comparable anti-reflective properties in addition to the anti-soiling properties, convinced by its performance they are now in the process of setting up a six MW site. He added that there is a pipeline of 60 MW in Egypt, which will use DSM AS coating as a default.

 

Hannah Jo Uy is Assistant Editor at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at hannah@cpi-industry.com


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