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A LEADING SOLAR manufacturer and installation company has completed its second international research project of the year.
Panels made by Forres-based AES Solar have been tested in varying weather conditions – in the heat of Dubai and in the opposite extreme of a deep freeze facility within Heriot-Watt’s campus in Edinburgh.
AES Solar was chosen to lead the project which involved designing, manufacturing and testing solar thermal collectors to improve performance efficiency and reduce costs while making installation easier.
Josh King, Design Engineer and Operations Manager, led the project together with partners Soltropy and Heriot-Watt University.
Josh returned from Dubai last week and explained: “The design and manufacture of the collectors were all completed in Forres using our manufacturing space and equipment.
“However, we were required to test the new system at the Heriot-Watt University campus in Dubai. Although there is no doubt the potential for solar energy in Scotland is huge, Dubai is much more suited to achieving optimal conditions for testing solar technologies over a brief timescale.”
The team spent nine days in Dubai testing the performance of the product which have already been tested in the deep-freeze facility within Heriot-Watt’s campus in Edinburgh.
Josh added: “It’s hard work for a Scotsman to spend a day on a roof in the sun in Scotland never mind Dubai, however, the hard work is not over as the analysis of hundreds of hours of data now starts and this will identify if we have meaningful results.”
Josh worked alongside Dr Tadhg O’Donovan, Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University and Director of the Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research (SISER).
He said: “This project is a fantastic example of how industry and academia can work together to deliver high impact research. Working with AES Solar and Soltropy has been a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience. I am confident this work will improve the competitiveness of their technology in home and overseas markets.
“We would like acknowledge the support of Innovate UK and the EPSRC who co-funded this research”.
AES Solar’s expertise in low-carbon innovation will be particularly advantageous as the Scottish Government draft budget recently released, promises commitment to renewable energy.
AES Solar’s Commercial Director Jamie Di Sotto said: “The Scottish Government appear fully committed to the decarbonisation of the heat sector, solar thermal can play its part in addressing fuel poverty and climate change and we very much look forward to the release of the draft Energy Strategy”.
Earlier this year, AES Solar was chosen to work on multinational project Heat4cool, which aims to create a fully integrated energy system using all forms of renewable technology.
Pic above: Dr Tadhg O’Donovan, Associate Professor from Heriot-Watt University on a video conference call from Edinburgh with Josh King (AES Solar) and Stuart Speake (Soltropy) in Dubai.