Solar thermal systems must be UAE-friendly

Tailoring systems to local conditions is vital for best results

Local conditions present unique issues for solar systems. Photo: Getty.
Local conditions present unique issues for solar systems. Photo: Getty.

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Solar hot water systems in the UAE must be able to cope with local climatic conditions in order to operate optimally, says Solahart international business development manager Denis Avery.

“In this part of the world, one must factor in many conditions when designing a system for a particular project. Our system must be designed to manage the dusty climate in the Middle East; it must also cope with high temperature extremes in the summer months."

“One cannot claim to be totally responsible in renewable energy conservation if our design incorporates additional support just to manage overheating. This is not logical in our opinion, and only adds to the cost and technical aspects of any project,” he says.

The global solar thermal market is dominated by China, Europe, Japan and India at present.

“In my personal opinion, China is the largest consumer of renewable solar thermal products by far, followed by Europe and India."

“Many countries have locally-owned manufacturing facilities, such as China. These are predominantly there to supply the huge local market, which is mainly glass evacuated tube collectors,” says Avery.

A problem in the Middle East has been the influx of low-cost, lower-quality products from China, for example – with some systems said to be up to 80% cheaper.

“This has impacted negatively on the overall reputation of the global solar thermal industry, particularly when such systems fail, which raises the entry bar for legitimate manufacturers. An unfortunate side-effect of this then is price resistance,” says Avery.

Read the full interview with Denis Avery in the September issue of MEP Middle East.
 

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