From the sun spots in Dubai to a deep-freeze in Edinburgh, Scots solar power company seeks renewable Holy Grail

AES Solar's Josh (Sun) King hard at work in Dubai
Josh ( ‘the selfie Sun’) King hard at work in Dubai

A Scottish solar panel manufacturer has completed its second international research project of the year, with panels made by Forres-based AES Solar having been tested in extreme weather conditions – in the desert heat of Dubai and in a deep-freeze facility at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

AES Solar was chosen to lead the project which involved designing, manufacturing and testing solar thermal collectors to improve performance efficiency and reduce costs while making installation easier.

Josh King, Design Engineer and Operations Manager at AES Solar led the project together with partners Soltropy and Heriot-Watt University.

After returning from Dubai, King said: “It’s hard work for a Scotsman to spend a day on a roof in the sun in Scotland never mind Dubai.

“However, the hard work is not over as the analysis of hundreds of hours of data now starts and this will identify if we have meaningful results.

“The design and manufacture of the collectors were all completed in Forres using our manufacturing space and equipment. However, we were required to test the new system at the Heriot-Watt University campus in Dubai.

Although there is no doubt the potential for solar energy in Scotland is huge, Dubai is much more suited to achieving optimal conditions for testing solar technologies over a brief timescale.”

Dr. Tadhg O’Donovan, Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University and Director of the Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research (SISER), commented:

“This project is a fantastic example of how industry and academia can work together to deliver high impact research.

“Working with AES Solar and Soltropy has been a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience. I am confident this work will improve the competitiveness of their technology in home and overseas markets.”

Wish You Were Here: the AES Solar test rig in sun-kissed Dubai
Wish You Were Here: the AES Solar test rig in sun-kissed Dubai

AES Solar Commercial Director Jamie Di Sotto added “The Scottish Government appear fully committed to the decarbonisation of the heat sector, solar thermal can play its part in addressing fuel poverty and climate change and we very much look forward to the release of the draft <Scottish> Energy Strategy”.

19 Dec 2017

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