15-17 November 2023
The Boardwalk Hotel
Africa/Johannesburg timezone

Invited Speakers

Mahandra Rooplall

Talk Title : Green Hydrogen Commercialisation Strategy for South Africa


Mahandra Rooplall is an industry strategist and industry planner. Mahandra Rooplall previously worked as a Project Investment Specialist focusing on energy economics, project development, risk management, project management and business development. In his career, Mahandra has advised State Owned Entity Clients, Lenders to Power Projects and Independent Power Producers in an Owner Engineering, Lenders Technical Advisory, Programme Management and Risk Management capacity.  Mahandra also worked in the petrochemical and energy  for 11 years undertaking investment analysis and risk management on major investments, business development on green field projects, project management on multidisciplinary projects and design of plant optimization systems.   Mahandra has a degree in Electronic Engineering and an MBA.  Mahandra is registered as a professional engineer (PrEng) and as a project management professional (PMP).


Abstract: The Green Hydrogen Commercialisation Strategy (GHCS) was developed by the Green Hydrogen Panel and approved by Cabinet and is now in the public domain. This GHCS shows strong policy support from government in providing a conducive environment for investment in developing this new GH industry for South Africa. A roadmap and action plans are clearly presented in this GHCS.  This presentation will summarise the GHCS, showing the key elements, enablers, action plan and next steps.


Claudia Buerhop-Lutz

Talk Title: Impact of polymers on the operation of PV modules


Dr.-Ing. Claudia Buerhop-Lutz is a Principal Scientist at Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energy, HI ERN (Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH) since 2018. She recieved her PhD. in Material Science (1994) from Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuernberg in Germany. Before HI ERN, she was a group leader for infrared -IR-imaging at the Department of Renewable Energies at the Bavarian Centre for Applied Energy Research (ZAE Bayern, 2008-2018). She has a stron g reaserach interest in installing more renewable energy for a successful energy transition, as well as ensuring high quality, efficiency and long lifetime of the PV installations. Dr. Claudia Buerhop-Lutz is the author of more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed Journals; she organized several topic-specific workshops and participates in standardization committees.

Abstract: The experience of recent years shows that polymers are of great importance for the trouble-free operation and a long service life of PV power stations. We studied thousands of PV modules in PV power stations in different climates. At that, we observed different degradation mechanisms. We will show that modules from the same manufacturer can degrade differently in one location depending on the polymer materials (backsheet and encapsulant). The degradation patterns range from well-performing to corrosion to potential induced degradation -PID- to insulation defects resulting in inverter tripping (and income losses), among others. The paper will provide an overview of known polymer-driven degradation processes; it is intended to raise awareness for the quality of polymers in PV modules for future installations, which are expected to last 20 years or more at environmental conditions in PV power stations.