Parallel Events Programme

- Thursday 29 September 2022, 13:30 - 18:30 -

PV productivity challenges and solutions in desert environments

Jointly organised with QEERI

Hot desert and semi-desert areas provide the best insolation conditions for the effective use of photovoltaics (PVs) with the lowest LCOE. However, the extreme weather and environmental conditions that characterize these regions (e.g., high temperature, UV, dust, and in some cases humidity), challenge the PV module reliability, O&M, energy production and its integration with the grid that requires tailored energy management processes. This parallel session aims at supporting industry and policy makers to address these challenges with reference to main issues including: (1) meteorological and environmental data and model integration for solar forecasting; (2) Reliability, soiling, robotic cleaning, PV productivity; and (3) Financial and market development, standardization and policy making for hot (semi-)desert environments.

This information will be updated constantly.


13:30 - 15:00
Meteorological and environmental data and model integration for solar forecasting

The assessment of PV productivity requires a precise understanding of short-term solar radiation variability (e.g., minutes to days) as a function of meteorological factors (e.g., solar radiation, wind, humidity, and rainfall), aerosols, and dust accumulation (soiling). The aim of this session is to discuss how to meet this requirement through the discerning integration of meteorological and environmental parameters and the selective combination of forecasting models. Specific topics of discussion will include:

  • Data wrangling: Collect, curate, and unify diverse meteorological and environmental data relevant to the understanding of PV performance to resolve divergences in resolution, accuracy, and uncertainty
  • Data enrichment: Integrate exogenous data in multivariate solar forecasting models to improve the performance of solar predictions
  • Model integration: Combine diverse machine learning and physical solar forecasting models to help improve solar predictions.

15:15 - 16:45
PV module reliability, soiling and robotic cleaning, temperature mitigation strategies (including innovative PV module designs) and O&M for desert environments

The climatic conditions of desert and semi-desert areas are expected to provide the best conditions for the effective use of photovoltaics (PVs) and may play a key role in the clean energy transition, as already demonstrated, for example, by some of the lowest LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity) reached recently in the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region or in New Mexico (USA). Arid and semi-arid areas cover a significant part of the Earth's surface and are defined in general by high solar irradiation throughout the year, thereby promising a high potential of energy conversion yields. However, these regions present extreme weather and environmental conditions, including high temperatures, high UV, dust, and in some cases high humidity that challenge the PV performance (i.e. decreasing the efficiency of the solar panels), the long-term reliability of the devices and operation and management of PV systems. The aim of this session is to discuss and address these challenges and the possible solutions for manufacturers, industry, and developers to increase PV projects bankability. Specific topics of this session will include:

  • PV module reliability: PV device for prolonged outdoor exposure, including type approval testing, degradation, ageing and lifetime questions for desert environments.
  • Case studies of real-world field operating conditions in desert environments: this may cover different cell and PV module technologies and various configurations, including bifacial, PERC, n-type, HJT, Topcon, shingled, solar tracking, etc.). Correlation between laboratory testing and field performance, energy yield and energy rating can also be discussed.
  • Soiling and temperature mitigation strategies and associated challenges. This may include automated robots that are widely employed in desert regions for cleaning solar panels and/or building facades, as well as active and passive anti-soiling and temperature mitigation approaches.
  • The operation and maintenance (O&M) of solar power plants in desert environment and autonomous and drone-based survey and monitoring. O&M represents a challenge that involves additional costs for the system and is thus considered as a crucial factor for electricity production, reliability, and early failure detection.

17:00 - 18:30
Financing, market development, standardization, policy making for desert environments  
The rapid deployment of PV technologies on a massive and global scale and the increase of PV project bankability in desert and semi-desert environments as a key element of the energy and ecological transition depends on a wide range of multidisciplinary efforts applied in different areas. This session will discuss challenges ranging from installing and dispatching PV electricity to the most recent and most relevant new scenarios involving the market conditions in desert climates as well as analysis of the present market developments and trends, from the point of view of market analysts, project developers and business experts from finance, investment and utilities. Standardization projects and policies for R&D, innovation and deployment, role of policy, trade barriers, regulatory frameworks for grid integration and upscaling of PV in desert climates will also be discussed.

This information will be updated constantly.

Organised by:

WIP Renewable Energies
Sylvensteinstr. 2
81369 Munich

Hosted by:

European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition


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