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Posted On: 20 November 2018 07:05 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:19 pm

Innovative solar radiation monitoring stations to be launched by QEERI

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Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), part of Hamad bin Khalifa University, is developing a network of 13 solar radiation monitoring stations which will enable precise mapping of solar resources across Qatar. The project, which is in line with QEERI’s mission to assist Qatar in tackling its grand challenges related to energy and the environment, will be implemented in collaboration with Qatar Meteorological Department (QMD).

Solar resource assessment (SRA) is the analysis and study of the solar radiation potential at a particular site or in a specific region. The assessment helps decision-makers to estimate with high precision, how much energy can be produced from solar power applications positioned at the study location.
QEERI first launched its work on SRA in 2012 in Education City in Doha, with one monitoring station measuring solar radiation and other meteorological parameters. Over the past five years, QEERI’s SRA capabilities have evolved and expanded to include a satellite receiving station to enable the spatial estimation of solar radiation and long-term modelling of solar resources across the country. The information provided by QEERI SRA facilities help stakeholders identify locations with high solar energy potential, deploy the most appropriate solar technologies, plan for grid integration based on spatial and temporal variability, manage solar energy integration in the grid, e and carry out an economic assessment of solar energy investments.

Dr. Veronica Bermudez, Senior Research Director at QEERI, said: “Reliable and precise information on solar resource availability and associated meteorological parameters are essential to adopting and developing solar energy power infrastructures. We believe that having a network of 13 stations, and working closely with QMD, will allow us to produce high-quality data which can contribute towards enhancing the adoption of clean and sustainable energy sources such as solar power. Through its research plans and programs, QEERI plays a major role in helping to enable the adoption of solar energy systems. In particular, its solar radiation measurement and modelling facilities will make high-quality and valuable solar resource information available, to help reduce economic and financial risks and ensure the introduction of cost-effective solar energy power systems.”

Abdulla Al Mannai, director at QMD, added: “QEERI, with its state-of-the-art facilities and scientific expertise, is a key collaborator for QMR. The SRA stations are not only of high value for solar power plant developers and operators, and grid management, but will also help us at QMD improve weather forecasting. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration with QEERI, working towards our common shared goal of helping Qatar achieve its energy and environment goals in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.”

Dr. Luis M. Pomares, scientist at QEERI, addressed the role of the solar monitoring network stations in supporting the provision of secure, clean and efficient electricity in Qatar, and analyzing the influence of radiative processes on the regional climate. He said: “The network of radiometric stations we are deploying in Qatar will guarantee high-quality measurements thanks to scientific knowledge developed at QEERI specifically for the climate conditions of Qatar and best practices from the international Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN), established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”

Solar Radiation data has multiple applications which can help improve the quality of life of the people living in Qatar: production of electricity, residential and industrial thermal heat, crop cultivation, meteorology, water desalination with concentrated solar power, effects on human health and climate change.
With the QEERI network of solar monitoring stations operational, the institute will produce a high-resolution database and maps of Qatar's solar resources. The project, along with other SRA facilities at QEERI, provides an excellent capacity-building platform for local stakeholders and students. The research, data analysis, and approaches employed by QEERI are often the first of their kind in the region. The institute was founded with a special mandate to address the needs of Qatar, the region, and beyond.

Source: Press Release