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Al Tayer visits solar park testing site

Centre will play important role as Dubai prepares solar roll out, DEWA chief says.

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Mohammed Al Tayer visits the solar testing facility
Mohammed Al Tayer visits the solar testing facility

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) visited the construction site of the Solar Testing Facility at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which will be one of the largest Photovoltaic (PV) testing centres in the region.

Al Tayer emphasised the importance of the facility as Dubai prepares to ramp up its solar capacity.

DEWA is expected to award the contract for the 100MW expansion of the solar park while the government has given the green light to the roll out of rooftop solar power.

“Further analysis on the modules under test will provide valuable information on the technology characteristics that can help improve PV performance in the region under various climates,” said Al Tayer.

“His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, has issued resolution No (46) of 2014 regulating the linkage of solar power generation to Dubai's grid,” said Al Tayer.

“The solar system provides electricity on site and the surplus is exported to DEWA’s network. This encourages the use of renewable energy and increases its share in the energy mix.

“The Solar Testing Facility will play an important role in supporting this initiative. DEWA has developed the standards and the guidelines for connecting low and medium voltage Distributed Renewable Resources Generators to its network.

“It is currently working on an equipment eligibility scheme to ensure compliance with these requirements,” added Al Tayer.
TUV Rheinland developed a training programme for DEWA staff in different phases including implementation, operation, testing and reporting.

Waleed Salman, executive vice president of strategy & business development at DEWA, said: “The Testing Facility studies and evaluates the performance, long-term stability and reliability of various PV panels, using the most sophisticated and accurate equipment.

“This centre will also assess other aspects to cope with various weather conditions and the surrounding environment both when PV panels are used in open spaces or integrated into buildings.”

The Testing Centre has several sections including a measurement room, control room, and offices. A test site has four racks of PV modules in rows, each tilted differently to simulate all installation conditions and designs.

Data is displayed in parallel as per remote transfer to DEWA offices or to the control room at TÜV in Cologne, where detailed analysis of the data will be carried out.

The main tasks of the solar testing facility include: dust impact and mitigation models, understanding physical and chemical properties of local dust and surfaces, field tests for novel approaches, understanding the effects of soiling, module lifetime models, endurance tests, analysis of activation energy for field defects, reliability and quality models, field failure or degradation prediction correlation with current accelerated tests, development of novel accelerated tests customised for Dubai’s climate, and technological assessment of performance.

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