24 Dec 2013, by Cintara Fernandes
Solar Stephen J. Lubrano, Corporate Vice President at Agility, expounded on solar thermal technology that uses sunlight to generate heat and is beneficial for any process heat application from heating water for home use, solar air conditioning and even enhanced oil recovery. “We advocate hybrid systems. In the case of solar air conditioning system, with some source of fuel we can offer you heat relief for fuel reduction. Our best markets are those like Kuwait that are really trying to reduce their dependency on subsidised oil or places where it is very expensive to have oil. We are being looked at extensively by places like Geneva, Switzerland for heating and cooling, Saudi Arabia for cooling of warehouses and malls, we are also in Rio de Janeiro. The technology is pretty much all over the world”, he said. “We are already the lowest cost per thermal watt provider however we have done some analysis and look at traditional portable tech at 6 Eurocents/kWh. Currently we are at 3 Eurocents/kWh and we aim to go down to 2 Eurocents/kWh”, he informed. The panels don’t get hot because they are so efficient that no heat is generated in the process other than that which is supposed to be used as thermal processed heat. It works in the heat, requires no maintenance, functions well dusty conditions unlike solar panels which have to be cleaned with water. Potential projects include desalination of water and solar air conditioning systems, Lubrano informed.
Challenges But setting up solar thermal technology is not without its challenges in Kuwait. “What has happened is a lot of people have bought solar systems and they have been very disappointed with the performance, even with concentrator systems. Our biggest hurdle is getting people to understand that the technology is different, accepting it and stepping away from the bad experience that people have had with solar,” he shared. Frank Clary, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Agility, elaborated on the relationship between logistics and environmental impact during his presentation from the context of logistics as well as supply chain management and value chain. He also discussed what a good green logistics operation might look like and highlighted a few considerations that are important to its management. He pointed out, “Logistics touches all different types of operations, businesses, industries and commercial sectors and in each one of those there is environmental impact. So there is a substantial role to be played in helping to enable better environmental behaviour from their supply chain partners and helping to improve their own environmental impact as well” Green logistics is where you incorporate environmental issues into yoru business planning done for various reasons like the correlation between costs and environmental impact, he informed. “If you are having a lot of environmental impact, there is a good chance that your operational costs are too high or your efficiencies are too low.” He also added that a lot of customers want products that they are consuming to be clean, without any environmental impact because they want to preserve the quality of the earth.
The Arab Times Online