UTAR industry-academia dialogue on solar technology

Group photography session among speakers and participants

With the aim to promote the industry-academia collaborations, UTAR organised an industry-academic dialogue on solar technologies to showcase UTAR's research projects in solar technology as well as to exchange knowledge and network with the industry players. The event saw the participation of more than 30 companies. The webinar which was hosted at Zoom on 4 June 2021 featured speakers from Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, Assoc Prof Ir Dr Lim Boon Han and Dr Chong Lee Wai. It was moderated by Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology academic Ts Dr Tan Ming Hui.

UTAR Vice President for R&D and Commercialisation Prof Ts Dr Faidz bin Abd Rahman said, “From the educational perspective, the networks established with the industry players through collaborations are important for us to continuously improve our syllabus and programmes. Apart from that, the academia-industry collaboration also enables research & development consultancy, human capital development, talent development, and curriculum development. I hope today’s dialogue will facilitate more collaborations,” during the opening remark.

Prof Faidz welcoming the participants

In the session, Dr Lim spoke about UTAR solar research, solar irradiance, solar cells and PV modules, PV system and application as well as grid integration. He started by explaining the research project by him, Dr Lai An Chow and Prof Dr Chong Kok Keong which studies the solar irradiance analysis specifically for the tropical region and the knowledge for PV system design optimisation and performance assessment and estimation.

Dr Lim said, “Currently we have engaged with few industries on several types of collaborations, such as postgraduate funding, funding of equipment and materials, consultancy, full research funding and others.” “One of the advantages of graphene in PV is it acts as a lifter for electron transport at photoelectrode and as a catalyst at the counter electrode. It is also efficient of charge mobility and is a good optical property,” added Dr Lim

Aside from that, he also presented the research on fabrication and characterisation of dye sensitised solar cells (DSSC) which aims to increase the efficiency of dye-sensitised solar cell by altering the material used in the solar cell, nanostructured materials for solar cells, mechanistic and intrinsic studies of material properties for photovoltaic enhancement, graphene-based material, improved overall PV technologies, cost-effective lead-free solder alloy for solar modules application and other related research.

Dr Lim’s presentation slides

Dr Chong presented on PV, grid and storage. He said, “It is a huge scope. Hence, we focused on the integration and application of the PV systems and the energy storage in the existing system. We researched topics, such as grid power quality, issues related to PV projects such as voltage regulation issues, frequency variation and flickers. We also studied the use of energy storage to solve power quality issues such as peak shaving, load reductions and energy efficiency which are commonly seen in the industry. We also looked at lightning arrestors using power electronics.”

Dr Chong introducing CPSE and its collaboration works

Division of Community and International Networking Director Assoc Prof Dr Lai Soon Onn said during the closing remark, “I would like to extend my appreciation again to all speakers and participants for making this event an insightful one. Solar Technology, as we heard from today’s dialogue, will definitely help us obtain clean energy easily and with all these researches, we do look forward to utilising this clean energy in the industries as well as our daily lives. The sharing from the speakers and industry players have enabled us to learn much. I hope you will be able to apply it and perhaps expand the knowledge you have received earlier. Do share what you have learnt today with others and help others to grow as well.

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