Wood Group partners with Heriot Watt University on new solar power project

Solar Panel Photovoltaic installation on a roof: source - Concept  Image of Sustainable Resources
Solar Panel Photovoltaic installation: source – Concept Image of Sustainable Resources

Oil and gas contractor Wood Group has formed a partnership with Heriot-Watt University to support applied research and innovation work in the field of solar PV power.

The partnership aims to measure the performance of cutting-edge solar PV technologies such as bifacial panels, which deliver enhanced production and reduce the cost of energy.

Solar is already the fastest-growing source of global power, outperforming all other forms of energy. It is hoped that the partnership will help further accelerate solar deployment and its vital contribution to addressing global climate change.

The research project, led by Heriot-Watt University’s Dr Mehreen Gul and Wood Group’s Dr. Kevin McKoen, will be carried out at Heriot-Watt’s testing facilities in Dubai and in Edinburgh.

The test results will underpin ongoing technology development to ensure highly accurate prediction of performance, which is required by investors in solar projects.

Dr Mehreen Gul, assistant professor of architectural engineering at Heriot-Watt University, said: “This is an exciting collaboration with Wood that will, for the first time, quantify how much electricity can be produced by bifacial panels in a range of typical and extreme environments. 

“This will lead to accurate prediction of the panels’ performance, so that PV installations can be designed to maximise the renewable energy produced within the space available. 

“In Edinburgh, the test site is used to assess the energy yield in variable conditions over long periods of time, whereas in Dubai the test site is used to characterise the performance of the technology in optimal and constant environmental conditions.”

Bob MacDonald, chief executive of Wood’s Specialist Technical Solutions business, said: “Through this partnership, we will not only drive continuous improvements for our customers but also boost the quality of research within the university by ensuring it has practical applications in industry.”

4 Jul 2018

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