JEDDAH: Effat University, together with partners ECN.TNO, DSM, and Exasun of the Netherlands, started a large-scale outdoor test of solar panels specifically designed for desert conditions. The project is sponsored by the local partner Altaaqa alternative solutions, a Zahid Group Company, and the Dutch government organization ‘The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)’.
A total of 60 desert proof solar panels are monitored at the roof top test site of Effat University. Special solar panel materials and design are being tested compatible with desert conditions: high ultra violet radiation, abrasion by sand, and elevated temperatures.
The solar panels have several special features:
* Panels have a special low soiling coating and are being compared to panels without this coating * Panels have a design to withstand heat during irradiation to avoid degradation and have higher power output * Panels comprise a frameless glass front and rear side to optimize lifespan Effat University erected on site a versatile test field comprising a grid connected installation supported by meteo, panel measurement equipment and data collecting.
“Effat University is committed to supporting the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 to ensure a sustainable non-oil dependent future for the Kingdom, said Dr. Haifa Reda Jamal Al-Lail, president of the university.
Dr. Malak Alnory, Effat University Provost said: “Effat University is an exciting place to be right now, working on sustainable energy research and development. Commissioning the PV test field and executing the panel monitoring is an attractive prospect for generations of students to come.”
ECN part of TNO is delighted to co-operate with Effat University on this project, which highlights the enduring potential of solar energy as an affordable, decentralized source of electricity in Saudi Arabia.
Effat University is the first in the Kingdom to introduce a Masters in Energy Engineering degree. The program is designed to provide students with the skills they need to succeed in the professional fields of traditional and sustainable energy, two industries that are vital to the future of Saudi Arabia and fertile ground for the employment of educated energy professionals. The program offers two tracks: Petroleum Engineering and Renewable Energy.