Working with airports in Morocco (above picture) and gas pipelines in Libya to prevent corrosion, the Finnish solar panel producer and integrator Naps Systems Oy is comfortable working with major industrial firms, and would be happy to customize solar panels for special building projects.
While some efficiency may be lost in ordering solar panels beyond the common dark blue, Naps’ CEO and President Timo Rosenlöf tells Green Prophet that he sees no reason why solar panels shouldn’t be produced in different hues, or in special designs, even at the cost of efficiency. Green Prophet met Rosenlöf on our recent clean tech media tour of Finland; and he is very interested in doing more business with the Middle East.
With Naps solar installations at the Marrakech and Casablanca airports in Morocco as an advertorial to highlight the country’s vision of being powered with 40% renewables, the company has also installed functional solar panels alongside a gas pipeline in Libya to prevent cathode corrosion (see below).
A Naps’ solar panel provides power to stop corrosion along a gas pipeline in a remote area of Libya. They are protecting a 520 km gas line, says Rosenlöf.
In remote desert areas, the solar panels provide the energy source for pipelines in need of protection from corrosion. This is an electro-chemical phenomenon where a metal tends to return to its native oxide state and it’s an ever-present nuisance in oil and gas transfer pipelines, which pass through desert areas, says Naps’s website (links to a spec sheet on their solution).
The company’s key industrial customers are telecom and oil and gas companies, to whom they offer comprehensive energy solutions for networks and pipelines. In the remote applications market, Naps has established business with a number of governments, companies and aid organisations on several continents providing solutions for schools, health centres, water pumps, vaccine fridges, homes, airports, and more.
New markets? Take for example Dubai in the Middle East. “Dubai is in trouble now,” says Rosenlöf. “The buildings there are made from polished stone which is not cheap. But an active [solar] wall wouldn’t cost you more,” he says, suggesting that building companies develop one of four building walls into a solar powered green wall to offset power and cooling expenses.
(Image left is of Casablanca Airport Terminal, with Naps panels made in the style of Islamic art)
And if Finland seems like an absurd place for developing solar panel installations (yes, it was cold in June dipping down to 10 degrees C when we were there), consider the following: At some times of the year, Finland – Land of the Midnight Sun – can achieve more energy from the sun than some parts of Africa, thanks to its super long summer days. With the sun that never sets in Lapland around this time of the year, the lights never seemed to go out in Helsinki, as some of my co-bloggers reported.
From Finland’s “cottage” industry
In the summer, “We can get more energy from the sun than in northern Africa,” says Rosenlöf. “Because of the length of the day – 19 hours of sun in Finland – and this is the reason why solar power is a serious option in Finland. Also – “It’s one of the oldest solar power markets because of purchasing power,” he says.
The reverse can be true in the winter where Finland sees about 5 hours of sunlight. Meanwhile summer cottages, and boats, a serious pastime for outdoor-loving Finns, Swedes and Norwegians are based on solar power.
He knows that the company’s major markets, however, are elsewhere.
Naps’s first solar panel project was in 1981, and its first deals came through the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson. Naps offers high-end photovoltaic (PV) installations, and customizable boutique services, and has business in about 50 countries around the world, and will be happy to discuss new ventures with entities in the Middle East for off-grid and on-grid projects.
Unlike a lot of the news and hype we see coming out of countries like Israel (over solar energy), Naps doesn’t boast innovation that will change tomorrow, but a solution that works today.