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Study on Renewable Energy Resources, Oman - authority for ...

Study on Renewable Energy Resources, Oman - authority for ...

Renewable Energy Resources in Oman 5.2 Solar PV panels and heaters Technology Solar photovoltaic There are two main types of solar cells used to make solar modules. The first generation are the silicon wafer-based with silicone cells (mono and multi crystalline) which has been dominating and take up 93% of the market in 2005. The price of these has been reduced considerably over the years. The other type is the thin film cells, which today cover the last 7 % of the market. The thin film solar cells exist in many different types and are under constant development. As the technology stay today, the advantages with the crystalline solar cells are that they are more efficient, more reliable with longer lifetime and a longer record of proven durability. Therefore, they are often the preferred solution for power production on buildings. The thin film solar panels are less efficient today and have a shorter lifetime and stability. The thin film is dominating as a power source for small appliances'. Very advanced thin film panels with high efficiency is used in space today but not commercially. It is generally accepted that on the longer term (beyond 2020) thin film technology with multi layer cells will dominate. These will have efficiency beyond 25%. The major advantage with the thin film is that they use less material and can therefore potentially be very cheap Photovoltaic systems (PV) are commercially available and are based on reliable and tested technology. PV systems are suitable for use in rural areas in hybrid applications in combination with diesel power units and for electricity generation to the main grid, either as small building integrated systems or large grid connected systems located in the desert. The capacity will typically be in the order from few kW to 20-50 MW. PV systems are best suited to feed electricity into the grid in the same way as wind energy with a certain percentage without storage. This possible percentage seems to be in the range of 20 % for Oman with the present load pattern. A higher percentage will give surplus production in the winter time. The percentage can be increased if the load pattern is changing, for example as a result of savings on cooling demand and use of excess heat for cooling purposes. The PV capacity can be achieved by a large number of smaller PV systems on buildings or it can be larger systems in the desert. That depends on the cost considering that PV on buildings or parking places also serves other purposes, shadow, architectural ideas as well as roofing and façade covering. Solar PV has since it was introduced in space technology developed rapidly with increasing production and decreasing costs. It is, however, still marginal for power production as compared to other energy sources, including wind energy - mainly due to the cost. Solar PV • Typical max capacity per m2 of panel, today, 100 Wp per m2. • Typical max capacity per m2 of panel, future, 300 Wp per m2. Page 72 of 134 .

Renewable Energy Resources in Oman Solar Thermal Power system Solar Thermal Power, also called Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) produces steam which can be used either directly for electricity generation or the heat can be stored for continued operation during the night. CSP plants can therefore supply electricity as a conventional power plant, all the time, except for regular maintenance etc. Excess heat from the steam cycle can be utilized for heat driven cooling and desalination and this can make CSP a very attractive technology for Oman on the longer term. CSP is not a fully developed technology. Plants without storage have been in operation for many years, development of systems with storage are ongoing and efficiency increase and cost reductions is expected that will eventually make such plants more attractive than conventional power plants from a commercial point of view. It is important to notice that the size or capacity of a solar electricity plant is indicated as electricity capacity. For photovoltaic the capacity is called kWp (kW peak) to avoid misunderstandings. A 100 kWp PV plant means that the plant will deliver 100 kW at the standard conditions with 25 o C cell temperature and an insolation of 1000 W/m2 corresponding to the maximum during the day. On a yearly basis such plant will in Oman deliver about 1800 kWh for each kW installed PV. A 20 MW CSP plant delivers 20 MW electricity from the generator. The capacity of the solar collectors are much higher as more than half of the heat is lost in the steam cycle. A 20 MW CSP plant with storage for night operation will deliver 20 MW (almost) constantly and the solar capacity will be even higher as some of the heat produced during the day will be stored for night operation. CSP was in a period in the last part of last century almost a forgotten technology and the development had stopped. This has changed dramatically over the recent years in which the technology and marked development in certain countries (Spain and others) has been very positive. Solar thermal power • Typical max capacity per m2 of panel, today, 150 W per m2. • Typical max capacity per m2 of panel, future, 200 W per m2. An advantage of solar thermal power, as compared with PV, is that a solar thermal power plant can be made to provide electricity constantly. This can be done in two ways. The first is that the heat (high temperature) can be stored for shorter periods (for the night) to produce electricity after sunset. Another way is to use gas (or other) to heat the steam when the sun is not available. The first option, the storage, is still on the experimental stage while the use of gas as the backup is widely used. Solar heating Electricity is often used to heat water for domestic use and/or for use by the industry. Solar thermal collectors can replace part of the electricity consumption, especially in sunny climates like in Oman. In this way solar thermal produces electricity indirectly. See Appendix 5 for more information on solar thermal. Page 73 of 134 .

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