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, in line with Qeeri’s mission to assist Qatar in tackling its grand challenges related to energy and 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 parametres. 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 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 parametres 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. Qeeer’s 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.”
“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,”Abdulla al-Mannai, director at QMD, added.
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.