QEERI | 10th Bifacial Photovoltaic Workshop

HBKU’s QEERI Hosts the 10th Bifacial Photovoltaic Workshop focused on desert technologies

24 Dec 2023

The 2023 Doha bifiPV Workshop organized in partnership with Germany’s ISC Konstanz and USA’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

QEERI research staff exchange insights on bifacial photovoltaic technology with international peers

Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) partnered with Germany’s ISC Konstanz, NREL, and six other international laboratories to host the 10th Bifacial Photovoltaic (bifiPV) Workshop in Doha.

Taking place December 3 to 6 at HBKU’s Minaretein auditorium in Education City, the 2023 Doha bifiPV Workshop attracted stakeholders from academia, industry and business to discuss the current status and the latest advancements and developments in bifacial photovoltaic technology. The four-day program included presentations covering a range of topics, including resource assessment and modeling, solar cell technology, system applications, and power plant operations and strategies. Particular attention was given to the development of PV sectors in desert environments, as well as the evolution of the bifacial PV era. The event was co-Chaired by QEERI’s Dr. Veronica Bermudez, Senior Research Director, Dr. Juan Lopez Garcia, Principal Investigator and Dr. Benjamin Figgis, Research Program Manager.

Bifacial Photovoltaic (PV) technology made a significant impact on the photovoltaic industry a few years ago and found use in most of the solar energy industry’s commercial products. This technology already accounts for a market share of more than 30% of the global PV industry, and its prevalence will continue growing as most international roadmaps anticipate that its share will grow to more than 70% by 2033.

Panels possessing this technology convert light into clean electricity by collecting light on their front and rear sides, utilizing both direct sunlight and scattered light reflected from the ground and surroundings.

The 2023 Doha bifiPV Workshop commenced with an opening plenary session entitled ‘The Sunny Present of Bifacial PV,’ delivered by Dr. Veronica Bermudez. Further QEERI contributions were provided by Dr. Ben Figgis, and Dr. Maulid Mohamed Kivambe, Scientist, who both led sessions regarding distinct aspects of bifacial PV technology. Workshop participants also toured QEERI’s Outdoor Test Facility, the largest HSAT facility in the Middle East and North Africa region for research, development and testing purposes as well as the 800MW Al-Kharsaah PV power plant, the first utility-scale plant in Qatar that features bifacial modules and trackers.

Highlighting the importance of the event, Dr. Tareq A. Al-Ansari, Acting Executive Director, QEERI and Associate Professor at the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), said "At QEERI, we place great value on our local and international collaborations, particularly in our efforts to co-organize and host such workshops. These endeavors are thoughtfully aligned with the strategic objectives of our Centers, reflecting our commitment to advancing research and innovation in the fields of environment and energy. By bringing together industry leaders and experts in these collaborative forums, we create a dynamic space for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and expertise, positioning HBKU at the forefront of innovation in addressing challenges of our time."

Speaking after the conclusion of the 2023 Doha bifiPV Workshop, Dr. Bermudez said: “Qatar was an obvious location for this workshop due to its environment possessing an ideal set of characteristics for solar energy production. Thanks to its world-class research and test facilities, QEERI was a natural host for an event that attracted leading figures in the field of photovoltaic technology.”

The 2023 Doha bifiPV Workshop was organized in collaboration with ISC Konstanz, NREL, SNL, PVEL, ECN-TNO, CEA-INES, SERIS, ZHAW and Odtü-Günam. TotalEnergies, Kalyon PV, RENA,  and EternalSun supported the event as sponsors.

Dr. Radovan Kopecek, Co-Founder and Director of ISC Konstanz and Co-Founder of the bifiPV workshop said: "The 10th Bifacial Workshop in Doha 2023 stands out as the most exceptional event to date, both in terms of the quality of presentations and the meticulous organization of the event. Engaging in discussions about the future of bifacial PV in such a conducive atmosphere was highly appreciated by all participants. The pinnacle of the experience was the visit to the impressive 800MW Al-Kharsaah PV power plant.. Such a site is unprecedented in my experience."

Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute (QEERI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), is a national research institute tasked with supporting Qatar in addressing its grand challenges related to energy, water, and environment.