The Gulf Times has reported that Chevron Qatar’s and GreenGulf’s joint study, the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) is entering its final installation phases and should be ready to start testing within three to four months. The five-year project will examine various solar technologies in order to identify which is best suited for use in Qatar’s environment.
“We are testing solar PV and solar thermal technologies, in the first and second phases, respectively, and ideally, would like to inaugurate the facility by November this year,” Chevron Qatar president Carl Atallah told Gulf Times. “What is important about the test site is that not all solar technologies are created equal. We are going to test the efficiency of those technologies and select the ones that are best for the specific environment,” Atallah said.
GreenGulfs CEO, Omra al-Kuwari, told the Gulf Times that the installation of PV panels is currently in progress with hopes to complete Phase 1 construction by September and Phase 2 by Q1 2013. Different applications will be tested at the site, including power generation and desalination with the aim to continue testing promising technologies, while those that do not succeed, are replaced with others.
“Now the Mena region has become a big market, a lot of engineering and design has taken this into consideration. So a big chunk of what we are testing is going to be a first time for those technologies,” al-Kuwari stated.
Tests potentially include the application of coatings that supposedly bounce dust off from the solar panels to different materials that operate under high heat and humidity. Notably, even though the site’s main aim is to be a test facility, it will be producing nearly a half megawatt of power
“We will utilise that power in the facility itself, for electric cars and other purposes including supply to the nearby buildings like QSTP and so on,” the GreenGulf CEO said.
Gulf Times asked al-Kuwari about the delay (more than a year) in the start of construction for the project, for which al-Kuwari advised was due to extra time in planning. “We did not want to rush into it and at the same time wanted to make sure what we are doing is tailor-made for Qatar. We are looking at a lot of applications, including those suitable for 2022 World Cup and food security. The delay was kind of on purpose to make sure we do it right,” he concluded.