Solar PV Group
Transforming light into electricity
The Solar PV group at SET center has emerged from the strategic collaboration between the College of science, college of engineering and SET center. Our vision is that Saudi Arabia should have a leading position in the solar PV technology due to its high sun radiation during the whole year as well as other attractive factors such as the availability of wide areas needed for PV installations. Our objectives in PV group are:
- Developing of new materials for solar PV applications as well as enhancing the performance of the existing materials.
- Decreasing the negative impact of the harsh environment (Temperature and dust) of Saudi Arabia on solar panels
- Fabrication of thin films materials for smart windows applications
Solar Thermal Group
Using Solar Thermal Energy for Power Generation, Desalination and other Applications
Research in solar thermal spans a wide spectrum, from high-temperature concentrating technologies (central receiver, parabolic trough, and Fresnel system) to low-temperature technologies.
In central receiver systems, research is focused on development of innovative particle heating receiver designs for high temperature applications. This research aims at using solid particles (such as silica sand) as the heat collection and energy storage media, such that temperatures approaching 1000 °C can be achieved. This research is conducted in conjunction with Sandia National Laboratories and several international partners.
Research in parabolic trough collectors aims at improving receiver performance of small parabolic trough systems that can be used for process heat applications, such as desalination, steam generation, or cooling. Several innovative solutions are being developed to maximize the benefit of using solar energy in this niche industry.
In Fresnel collectors, research is focused on developing a novel point focus Fresnel technology that promises high efficiency, potentially high temperature, low cost, and local manufacturing. Several prototypes have been designed and built, and work is ongoing to improve this technology to reach the commercialization stage.
The research group also conducts research on low-temperature stationary collectors, especially for desalination using solar stills and membrane distillation.