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Wood partners with Heriot-Watt University on solar PV research project

The partnership aims to measure the performance of leading-edge solar PV technologies such as bifacial panels, which deliver enhanced production and reduce the cost of energy.


Wood, (the international firm created last October following the merger of Wood Group and Amec Foster Wheeler) has formed a collaborative partnership with UK-based Heriot-Watt University to support applied research and innovation work in the field of solar PV (photovoltaic).
The partnership aims to measure the performance of leading-edge solar PV technologies such as bifacial panels, which deliver enhanced production and reduce the cost of energy.
The research project, led by Heriot-Watt University’s Dr Mehreen Gul and Wood’s Dr Kevin McKoen, will be carried out at Heriot-Watt’s testing facilities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Each testing facility is unique and will analyze the performance of the panels in the fullest possible range of environmental conditions. The test results will underpin ongoing technology development to ensure highly accurate prediction of performance, which is required by investors in solar projects.
Dr Mehreen Gul, assistant professor of architectural engineering at Heriot-Watt University, said: “This is an exciting collaboration with Wood that will, for the first time, quantify how much electricity can be produced by bifacial panels in a range of typical and extreme environments.
“This will lead to accurate prediction of the panels’ performance, so that PV installations can be designed to maximise the renewable energy produced within the space available.
“In Edinburgh, the test site is used to assess the energy yield in variable conditions over long periods of time, whereas in Dubai the test site is used to characterize the performance of the technology in optimal and constant environmental conditions.”