KSC Seminar with Prof. Ralph Gottschalg

KSC Seminar: From Lab to Field – how to ensure that PV delivers its full potential.

Abstract: The development of PV technologies has been astounding over the last years. While there are many technological breakthroughs possible, the technology has reached a certain maturity. Like all technologies, it follows a certain technology cycle where implementation issues become much more critical. With a backdrop of rapidly increasing market share in the energy market and exceedingly fast-growing production worldwide, some obvious limitations have been seen over the last years. These limitations as well as the gaps of knowledge are illustrated here, and mitigation strategies are given to allow minimisation of the risk of PV deployment and maximisation of energy potential for any systems. The talk will quantify the risk of a PV plant not living up to expectations in terms of underperforming to a level that the investment is endangered, or the system performs well below warranty levels. The presentation follows the typical life cycle of a PV-plant. In the system planning stage, many problems could be avoided. Oftentimes, the integration into the energy system is not considered, resulting in curtailment issues or similar, unnecessarily increasing the LCOE of the system. Many planning decisions are taken based on CAPEX alone, which will result in a massive increase in energy costs later on as many ‘unplanned’ issues are bound to crop up. The talk will consider some major misunderstandings in the industry and how they could be mitigated. The realisation stage incurs a certain number of issues, often easily avoided but sometimes also due to value engineering without consideration of the implications. Some key issues are illustrated, quantified in terms of costs and impacts as well as mitigation requirements discussed. There are a number of issues in the operational phase of a plant, which are illustrated. There are excessive cost pressures here, which can only be solved with improved digitalisation as well as science based optimisations. A gap analysis together with potential solutions will complete the talk.

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Auditorium, Level 0, between buildings 4 & 5


For further information, please email to: ksc@kaust.edu.sa