Universities of Birmingham and Gaza to develop a solar energy pilot plant in the Gaza stripe

Palestinian girls study school duties by candlelight in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip

Helping to assess the impacts of electricity shortage in Gaza, experts of the University of Birmingham and the Islamic University of Gaza are co-developing a novel solar energy pilot plant. The researchers are combining two technologies. The new plant integrates highly-concentrated advanced multi-junction solar cells with the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) that exploits low temperature waste heat from cooling the concentrated PV cells to produce electricity.
The pilot plant for electricity generation will be installed in the Women’s Health Centre associated with the Red Crescent in Jabalia refugee camp. This health centre is surrounded by a number of households, to which electricity will be supplied. The pilot plant will provide electricity for 30 households. The project is funded by the British Academy.
The Gaza Stripe is home to almost two million people including 1.4 million refugees. »Just 38 percent of Gaza’s electricity needs currently are met«, says project leader Raya AL-Dadah, expert in Sustainable Energy Technologies at the University of Birmingham.
»Gaza Strip has abundant amounts of solar energy where the average annual radiation is about 2,723 kWh per year and square meter,« says Mohammad Abuhaiba, research team leader at the Islamic University of Gaza. »There is great potential to extract huge amounts of electricity using different solar energy technologies. This gives us an incentive to initiate long-term research with the University of Birmingham on developing optimized and robust integrated solar energy-based solutions.«

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