Speakers at a seminar held here underlined the need of maximum use of solar thermal technology to ensure availability of cost-effective electricity and to overcome problem of load-shedding on permanent basis.

The seminar (technical session) was arranged by the Institution of Engineers, Pakistan, Rawalpindi-Islamabad Center (IEP-RIC), a press release said on Thursday.

The event was presided over by a executive member of the IEP-RIC’s local council Engr. Ahmed Shahim. Group Capt. Engr. Najamuddin conducted the event, as the convener of the Continuing professional development program.

It was the part of series of activities, arranged by the Center to promote awareness about the issues of public importance. It also provides opportunities to the young engineers to meet their seniors and learn from experience.

A solar energy expert Jonas Wallmander and Youssef Benmakhlouf of Azelio Swedish company were the key-note speakers at the seminar who asserted that alternate energy sources are the buzz word in resource starved world.

Solar energy utilization is the prime consideration in research oriented towards alternate sources of energy. The immense potential of solar power is a known fact, numerous techniques have been developed to harness this energy.

They were of the view that thermal Energy Storage (TES) has shown great promise in terms of reliability for generating energy as compared to other solar technologies like solar photo-voltaic (PV).

The solar thermal available energy can be used directly by absorption of heat and conversion into electricity through a Stirling engine technology, or the heat can stored over a long period of time to generate electricity when needed. Hence, it is most efficient solution to generate electricity eliminating the need of costly battery banks required in solar PV.

They contended that thermal Solar system uses the solar light and focuses it onto a single point to generate high temperatures. A specially designed storage system which can retain this heat energy for long duration, helps to eliminate the costly battery banks, a comprehensive system design culminating into a compact electrical output is the hallmark of this system.

In addition, thermal energy storage will be an essential component of next-generation power plants because these plants will need to deliver reliable, consistent power during daylight hours and into the evening, they added.

It may be mentioned here that Azelio is a Swedish based company specialized in solar thermal and a leading supplier of stirling engine-based renewable energy solutions.