The MENA Solar Conference is organized by six topical areas. Descriptions of each area are presented below.

The MENA Solar Conference is organized by six topical areas. Descriptions of each area are presented below.

Areas :

  • AREA 1 : Unconventional and New Concepts for Future Technologies
  • AREA 2: Silicon Photovoltaic Materials and Devices
  • AREA 3: Perovskite and Organic Materials and Solar Cells
  • AREA 4: PV Module and System Reliability in MENA region
  • AREA 5: Solar Resource for PV and Forecasting
  • AREA 6: Power Electronics and Grid Integration

Technical Program

AREA 1: Unconventional and New Concepts for Future Technologies

Sub-Area 1.1: Unconventional Contact and Absorber Materials; Novel Deposition Techniques
Sub-Area 1.2: Device Architectures for Advanced Light Management and Spectral Shaping
Sub-Area 1.3: Special Technologies for Space-related applications
Sub-Area 1.4: Concentrated Solar Power Performance Analysis and Recent Discoveries

Area Description:
Paradigm shifts in solar cell technology are invariably preceded by breakthroughs arising from basic scientific research. This area comprises research and novel device concepts that will provide a platform for the development of future photovoltaic technologies. Papers are sought describing research in basic physical, chemical and optical phenomena, in addition to studies of new materials and innovative device designs, as well as photon management methods. Subjects of particular interest include, but are not limited to, new materials for all parts of the photovoltaic device, nanostructures, novel multijunction architectures, advanced optical management approaches, new materials and synthesis processes, and unconventional conversion mechanisms. Advanced and special technologies that can be applied to solve space-related issues and channelling energy efficiently are sought after. This area encompasses the topic of concentrated solar power (CSP) as well, which has gained high momentum in the past years due to its high efficiencies, and attractive storage capacity which can serve as an efficient source of energy during night hours. Several facets of CSP are sought after for a thorough understanding of solar receiver design, modelling and system applications of the thermal energy conversion and storage.

Sub-area Description:
Sub-area 1.1: Unconventional Contact and Absorber Materials; Novel Deposition Techniques

Progress on the development of novel and unconventional contact and absorber materials as well as processing techniques for improving the performance, functionality, reliability, and scalability of PV devices. Topics of interest include new materials for PV, including Earth-abundant absorber materials, new contact materials including carrier selective contacts, transparent conducting materials, and transparent conducting oxides. Design and selection of new materials can enable applications in single crystalline, thin film, multijunction, and nanostructured PV devices, or may enable an entirely new device class on their own. Papers are sought that describe theoretical and/or experimental development of perovskite-inspired materials as well, including but not limited to absorber layers, coatings, electrode and carrier transport materials, and transparent conductive materials. Machine learning driven materials discovery and development work is also of interest. Advances in growth, synthesis, thin film deposition, doping and passivation schemes are also solicited. Also of interest are innovative strategies to reduce the cost of more established technologies, such as novel substrates and re-use processes. Ultimately, such advances may enable cleaner and more sustainable PV deployment.

Sub-area 1.2: Device Architectures for Advanced Light Management and Spectral Shaping

Modifications to the geometry of materials and devices can be used to realize advances in performance as well as relax material quality constraints. This sub-area covers new material or device geometries, from nanostructured and quantum dot materials to three-terminal tandems. These unconventional architectures have the potential to improve the performance of known PV materials or to supplant them entirely. Submissions including novel designs, new material morphologies such as nanostructures, implementation of new uses of quantum confinement, and the exploitation of varying dimensionality of confinement are encouraged. Materials and multilayers that form layered structures are of particular interest. Novel device geometries such as transistor-like or three-terminal structures are also of interest, including device design and simulation. Ideal submissions will range from studies of fundamental properties and materials to examples of working devices.

In order to achieve high power conversion efficiency, a solar cell must effectively utilize most of the incoming photons. This process involves the efficient coupling of the incident light into the solar cell with minimum loss, and effective use of the energy imparted by each photon. This Sub-area will focus on novel concepts, including advanced anti-reflection coatings, spectrum splitting, textured light trapping surfaces (front and/or rear surface), luminescent (fluorescent)/ micro-/nano-scale concentrator systems, and advanced photonic and plasmonic structures. With respect to plasmonics, both light trapping and hot carrier effects will be considered. It will also include photon recycling and angular restriction techniques for achieving improved open circuit voltages. In addition, ways to modify the spectrum of the incident sunlight using techniques such as up or down conversion either in planar layers or in waveguide structures will be considered. Papers submitted to this sub-area should address one or more of these themes and may be theoretical or experimental in nature.

Sub-area 1.3: Special Technologies for Space-related applications

This area is concerned with all aspects of photovoltaic power generation subjected to extreme environments. The space and near space environment combines UV light, particle radiation, extreme temperatures and vacuum, to name a few of the environmental factors. Papers are thus welcome that deal with the entire breadth of PV under these conditions, from cell and material technologies up to complete systems. Other welcomed topics within the area are Space Solar Cells and Space PV Systems, which include solar panel and blanket technology as well as solar arrays and structures. With typical long lifetimes, combined with the inability to service the space PV systems, reliability and the correct prediction of the on-orbit performance is of key importance and are also considered for submission. Of particular interest are ground based degradation experiments, cell and material degradation studies, flight experiments, and on-orbit measurements. This area also welcomes a wide range of specialty technologies such as mobile solar power (MSP), flexible and lightweight PV, and PV that operates in non-traditional environments, such as on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)s and automobiles.

Sub-Area 1.4: Concentrated Solar Power Performance Analysis and Recent Discoveries

Concentrated solar power (CSP) is a multi-faceted technology using solar thermal energy as a source to supply green electricity, green heat and green hydrogen. The technology is mature and has a global track record of more than three decades. More than six gigawatts of output from CSP power plants are installed worldwide. As CSP operates on concentrating sunlight via various systems such as parabolic mirror channels, solar towers with surrounding heliostats, and linear Fresnel collectors, the optical properties of the reflective surfaces and the consequent light scattering create a bottleneck of research for enhanced performance. The energy storage mechanism and associated liquid properties are crucial in understanding the system in its entirety. Soiling presents a great challenge in the MENA region: its circumvention as well as its mitigation are major research topics sought after, alongside forecasting and modeling of concentrator and exchanger system design framework for technology assessment. Also of interest are hybrid systems and comparative studies of PV/CPV/CSP systems for financial analysis, efficiency enhancement and accelerated performance.

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