Key Challenges Faced in Solar Power


Experts in the industry reveal that while the market is opening up to Solar Energy, when it comes to delivering and improving energy efficient buildings, FM managers often face many on-site challenges. 

Speaking about one such challenge, Sasi Kumar, Operations Manager, Concordia, points out, that more often they are forced to do this with a shrinking budget and many other conflicting demands and lack of end-user cooperation. “However, recent advancements in Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, Analysis tools, and energy management solutions (EMS) are enabling facility professionals to gain deeper insights into building energy consumption,” he adds.

Nadia Ibrahim, Head of Consultancy, Farnek also notes that installing a real-time monitoring system requires detailed and precise information to be available on the assets to assess where to plug the most relevant sensors to get the best outcome. “It is a project that requires an FM team to be energy focused, and for the client asset management team and the technology provider to work hand in hand to design the dashboards and the reporting function. Finally, it requires a skilled analytical energy manager who can interpret the huge amount of daily data and identify the critical information to be investigated as a lot of time to can be spent checking on the wrong areas,” she adds.
Quite often the real challenge is the initial investment of the project, which can be both from a financial and time perspective that is a deterrent. However, those companies who have implemented energy performance systems in real time (real monitoring and controls) are enjoying the lowest Energy Usage Intensity (EUI in kWh/sqm*year) with consumption 30-40% lower than standard. 

Charalampos Sarafopoulos, General Manager, Al Shirawi Facilities Management, says that for existing and old buildings the major challenge is to manage the energy performance in real time is the absence of a building management system where the ECMs can be connected. “The consumer will be skeptical to proceed with such investment as a BMS installation is, as this will increase his energy investment’s ROI dramatically and make it not feasible. Whilst, when the BMS system is in place and operational, it is a matter of software and sensors to get the info we need. With cloud-based solutions developed nowadays, the absence of a BMS system can be overcome,” he adds. 

But the real challenge is infact the lack of awareness. People’s behaviour towards the saving energy needs to improve and this can be done through raising awareness. Only then, can people really understand and accept why there is a set temperature or why certain lights are switched off in certain places, and in turn change the way the building is being used. However, thanks to technology and dashboards detailed reports on energy consumption and the impact solar power have on the building is available at the owner’s fingertips, enabling efficient buildings. It’s only a matter of time when we can see every rooftop with a Solar Panel.


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Nivedha Sridhar is a member of the founding team at Facilio Inc