Dubai, UAE: The Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA), in association with Jinko Solar and DuPont, organised an event titled, ‘Solar Shams Program: Selecting the right component materials for solar panels in demanding climates’.
Held on May 3 at Nassima Royal Hotel, Dubai, the event was aimed at promoting the Solar Shams Program, an initiative that is gaining momentum as part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy.
In his introductory remarks, Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Senior Technical Manager at Jinko Solar, enumerated a few of the challenges one could face while selecting solar panels, like thermal cycling, UV radiation and soiling.
Endorsing this in his presentation, Dr Stephan Padlewski, Marketing Manager of DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, emphasised the importance of selecting the right material that goes into the making of solar panels, as it decides “the quality and efficiency of the solar panels in the long run”.
Speaking to Climate Control Middle East on the sidelines of the event, Dr Jamal Chaaraoui, Managing Partner at Quality Power Company, underlined the difficulties posed by high-ambient temperatures, and said: “Solar panels are edged with demanding climates, especially in the Gulf region. The high temperatures here can disrupt the functioning of the photovoltaic system.”
Dr Chaaraoui highlighted the need for setting up research facilities in the region, so that reports would be more reliable than the ones from manufacturers outside the region, who, he said, typically, conduct simulated lab testing. He added, “We are all learning; we will keep learning.”
In Dr Chaaraoui’s opinion, there is also a need for new regulations for approval for testing of solar panels. This was an observation shared by other experts during the panel discussion.
“The government needs to be more involved in the matter [of regulations], and pose less restrictions for approvals for manufacturers,” Dr Chaaraoui stressed.
With Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 outlining ways of cutting energy subsidies making news, rooftop solar panels could be the next big thing in the market, as per industry experts, which has once again brought to the fore the need for tapping sun’s energy, which is in abundance in the region.
(The writer is the Features Writer of Climate Control Middle East.)