KACST experience in the PV solar field is unique and goes back over 35 years. Already in the late 1970’s KACST erected a 350KW CPV solar field with 160, 2 – axis tracker populated with 64 CPV modules each. This CPV Solar field has been operated for over 20 years and has provided valuable research data as well as power to the neighboring villages.
In addition KACST, over the last 30 years, has jointly worked with international companies and universities on solar research projects. These collaborations include a 350KW solar hydrogen plant, a 100KW thermal dish project, plus fuel cells and other programs in the PV and thermal solar fields. In support of these research activities KACST developed early on, a sun simulator and a complete spectral analysis lab.
In 2010 KACST established a PV solar module assembly line, to support technology transfer and knowledge development inside the Kingdom. The modernized assembly line today is ISO 9001:2008 certified and produces about 10MW PV modules per year.
In 2012, an outdoor test field was established to research the behavior of crystalline PV modules under local environmental conditions. This experience was factored into the selection process for the lab test equipment.