Muscat: Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) will cover a parking lot with solar panels, in a bid to generate enough electricity to light 10 houses each day, Prof. Abdullah Al Badi, supervisor of the team currently working on the project, told the Times of Oman.
The solar project, to be ready by mid-2017, will also provide shade for some 100 cars at the College of Engineering. Further, Al Badi said a student-run company will begin operating the project next September.
“The panels will produce between 170 and 200 kilowatts per day, while each medium size house in Oman consumes around 20 kilowatt every day,” he said.
According to SQU’s official twitter account, the solar project will cost some OMR216,000, funded by Jacobs international company. The solar panels will supply electricity for use inside the SQU campus.
“This project aims at aspiring students who seek to launch startup companies in the field of renewable energy,” Al Badi said, adding that this power generating program will become the focus of future research, as well as engineering lectures.
Oman enjoys high levels of solar radiation, ranging from 5,500-6,000 Wh/m2 per day in July to 2,500-3,000 Wh/m2 per day in January. This high level of solar energy in Oman is among the highest in the world.
There are significant opportunities for developing solar energy resources throughout Oman, as solar energy has the potential to provide sufficient electricity to meet all of Oman’s domestic electricity requirements, and even generate electricity for exporting.
More than 670 solar panels will be installed, and are meant to serve as an example of a clean, renewable energy resource which uses photovoltaic (PV) systems.
Sultan Qaboos University is the leading University in Oman and considered a renewable energy research hub for the Omani market.
The college of engineering at SQU conducted several research studies and projects related to renewable energy, in general, and particularly solar energy. Meanwhile, researchers at the college of engineering have developed strong collaboration with both Omani and international parties.