Architect Ronak Gawarwala leads team on testing panels in extreme temperatures

A team from Atkins team led by architect Ronak Gawarwala have set up a research station in Dubai to test solar photovoltaic panels (SVP).

The research will test the panels against climatic factors such as extreme temperatures, humidity, dust and wind speeds, which cannot be measured by ordinary lab tests or satellite readings.

Experts will analyse the data over 12 months and publish their findings in a report by Atkins and the British University in Dubai (BUiD).

The engineering consultancy will also recommend the results to its clients and apply them to their projects.

Ronak Gawarwala said: “We believe this is the first research of its kind in the region. The Middle East currently lacks verifiable data on how solar panels of different technologies perform in this climate under different orientations and cleaning regimes. This will compare the relative commercial value in the long run.

“We hope to understand the efficiency and performance of the solar panels in local conditions, as we will be simulating various applications on a building, for example if used as a facade or sun shade in a north or south facing direction.”