Harnessing renewable energy to fuel Kuwait’s growth
Kuwait is completely reliant on the burning of fossil fuels for energy generation and water desalination. According to the Ministry of Electricity and Water, by 2030 Kuwait’s energy demand will triple. The ministry estimates that the amount of fossil fuel available to generate energy in Kuwait is not enough to maintain the country’s current rate of social and economic growth. KISR has initiated energy efficiency and energy management programs to help mitigate Kuwait’s emerging energy challenge. However, it is understood that these steps are only part of the solution to Kuwait’s energy problem. Since the 1980s, KISR has explored the potential of capturing energy by alternative means, pioneering research in concentrated solar thermal technologies as well as photovoltaic panels. The RET Program is continuing this tradition, leading the nation’s efforts to find the renewable energy solutions most appropriate for the unique climate conditions of Kuwait.
IMPLEMENTING PV SYSTEMS AND PILOT SCALE APPLICATIONS FOR LOCAL CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY SUPERMARKETS
Installing PV systems in Adeliyah and Zahra
In collaboration with KFAS, KISR provided consultative advice and technical assistance on how to implement photovoltaic (PV) systems on select co-operative society supermarkets in Kuwait. For this project, researcher investigated the best options for the renewable energy systems, including which cooperatives are the best candidates for the project, which PV modules should be used, where the modules should be placed on the property, and at what angles the modules would perform the most efficiently. Following the installation of the PV modules, it was found they were capable of providing more than 15% of the cooperatives annual consumption needs.
EVALUATING PV MODULES OPERATING IN KUWAIT
Anticipating how PV systems will perform in the local environment
This project was conducted to better understand how different photovoltaic (PV) modules might perform under Kuwait’s environmental conditions by testing them at different intensities of sunlight and temperature. For this project, researchers measured the spectral response data, temperature coefficient, and basic PV module current voltage for different PV technologies in KISR’s PV characterization laboratory. The data was then used to create neural networks for each technology to predict the module’s temperature and how it might perform if exposed to Kuwait’s environment.
DEVELOPING SIMULATIONS FOR EARLY FAULT DETECTION IN PV SYSTEMS
How dust and shading affects PV systems
The accumulation of dust on photovoltaic (PV) systems and shading can affect a module’s performance by reducing the amount of energy it can produce and triggering hotspots that can cause damage. This project was conducted to better anticipate and identify when shading or non-uniform dust settlements on PV modules may result in a damaged system as it is hard to detect when the modules are in operation. The system developed for this project successfully simulated the PV module’s performance under the influence of shading factors caused by dust as well as traditional shading caused by trees or buildings. It also showed at which tilt angles the PV modules would be most affected and under which conditions localized heating would be the most damaging.