Sharjah’s own Solar PV Boost… with mirrors

The big blue or grey panels that power remote homes, civil defense sirens, some street lights and all kinds of consumer electronics, are moving more and more into the mainstream. Located in Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah, Mulk Enpar Renewable Energy’s Khurram Khan Nawab has come up with the Alubond ‘PV Booster Mirror’ (pantented in USA and worldwide) the only one available in the UAE and the world.

By Raziqueh Hussain

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Published: Fri 21 Jan 2011, 10:08 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:38 AM

“The more solar radiation PV mirrors get, the more electricity they produce. This is exactly what the Booster Mirror does — it delivers more solar energy to solar panels. And it does it in a simple and cost-effective way,” says Khan.

Photovoltaic (PV) devices have been in existence for several years and the electricity generated by them has been costly in comparison to conventional energy. This problem has been compounded by the shortage of solar grade Silicon which has become expensive.

A solution to this problem was found by developing specialised solar PV reflectors which enable the solar radiation to be concentrated onto a smaller geometric area of Silicon. Using concentrator technology requires a significantly smaller area of costly Silicon while still producing the desired level of power.

“Alubond PV Booster Mirror reflects the solar radiation and concentrates it to the silicon wafer channeling it into a PV Module which increases their electrical output, while protecting it from the burnout effect which is a serious and frequent issue with PV Module concentrators that result in reducing the life of the PV cells,” he says, adding, “This mirror will enhance the power output without comprising the durability of the PV panel.”

But there’s still the issue of how much space it takes to put up significant quantities of solar power. That’s where efficiency comes in.

“Efficiency is what everyone is running after. What we have here increases output which becomes of manifold importance as you are talking of millions of dollars investment so it’s obvious that you need to get back that much energy in return,” he says.

The operation of these mirrors is remote controlled. You need people once in a while to clean the mirrors otherwise it’s easy. Also the energy is saved in batteries during the day and at night it is discharged depending upon how much energy is required.

Mulk also has made Solar houses and around 300 have been sent to Pakistan’s flood-affected areas. “There is a solar panel on the roof which transmits enough energy to run lights and ceiling fans. We’ve got a contract of 2,000 such houses for $34,000,” he informs.

Also the company is planning to build a six metre long solar energy trough which will be the biggest in the world. “The biggest now is 5.7 metres and we are planning to make it bigger than that,” he reveals.

The mirrors are now used in farmhouses in Sharjah and another big project is the Nujoom Islands dubbed as the floating stars of Sharjah. The islands will use green energy and Mulk has already been assigned to provide solar energy for one island. Another project in the pipeline is in Africa where 10,000 street lights will be run with renewable energy.

Khan emphasises on the role of favourable government policies that become critical in bridging the gap between the cost of different energy sources. “Government agencies in UAE need to emulate successful international policies like the ones adopted by Spain, Germany and now India where individual home owners can produce solar power and get paid by government by a policy of high tariff rates. Even Pakistan is doing well on this front,” he adds.

“Unfortunately, not all people worldwide realise the importance of using solar energy. Therefore we cannot claim that our planet saves energy as needed. If all people worldwide became serious enough about energy efficiency, our planet could save about 1 trillion dollars each and every year. As a result, global energy efficiency would increase in half within the next 5-10 years,” he says.

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