Solar panels made by Forres-based AES Solar have been tested in the heat of Dubai and – at the opposite extreme – a deep freeze in Edinburgh.
In its second international research project of the year, the Moray firm was chosen to manage the design, manufacturing and testing of solar thermal “collectors” to improve performance efficiency, reduce costs and make installation easier.
AES design engineer and operations manager Josh King teamed up with Glasgow solar technology firm Soltropy and Heriot-Watt University for the project.
Mr King said: “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 technology which had already endured deep-freeze treatment at Heriot-Watt’s campus in Edinburgh.
Mr King, who worked worked with Tadhg O’Donovan, associate professor at Heriot-Watt University and director of the Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research, said:
“The hard work is not over. The analysis of hundreds of hours of data now starts and this will identify if we have meaningful results.”
Mr O’Donovan added: “This project is a fantastic example of how industry and academia can work together. 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.”
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.