A new research integrating concentrated multi-junction solar cells with Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) is underway to enable clean energy access for people living in the Gaza Strip. Developing this novel solar energy pilot plant are researchers from the University of Birmingham, UK and Islamic University of Gaza.
Through this research, the team aims to exploit low temperature waste heat from cooling the concentrated PV cells to produce electricity which under the pilot will provide electricity for 30 households. With the integration of 2 technologies, the team aims to achieve an overall system conversion efficiency of over 50%. The new system, they explain, is robust, easy to install, operate and maintain and can be off-grid from the expensive national electricity grid.
It will be installed in the Women’s Health Centre associated with the Red Crescent in Jabalia Refugee camp, surrounded by households 30 of which will receive this clean, affordable energy.
Through this British Academy funded project, researchers from Mechanical Engineering and Human Geography at both the universities will be able to assess impacts of electricity shortage on the health and well-being of the region’s population, since the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) fears the energy crisis here having serious implications for health, education, water and sanitation sectors. Conflict prone Gaza Strip is home to close to 2 million people, including 1.4 million refugees.
“Just 38% of Gaza’s electricity needs currently are met. People receive less than six hours of power per day, leaving hospitals providing only critical functions such as intensive care units. Coupled with continuous conflict, the energy crisis causes high levels of stress that affect physical, mental health and well-being,” explained Dr. Raya Al-Dadah, Reader in Sustainable Energy Technologies at the University of Birmingham and Project Leader, and added that the pilot project can help the team learn valuable lessons on how well-being improves by applying new technological solution.
Back in August 2017, the World Bank backed Gaza to launch a $2.5 million solar roof pilot program to install rooftop solar panels for households and hospitals (see World Bank Supports PV Program In Palestine).
Later a European Union funded solar powered desalination plant was commissioned to provide clean drinking water to 75,000 people in Gaza Strip (see EU Commissions PV System For Water In Gaza).