Floating solar technology tested in UAE13 September, 2010
Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) in the United Arab Emirates is developing plans for a number of floating solar islands off its coast as it looks to boost power capacity, it has been revealed.
CSEM-UAE, a joint venture testing company between the RAK government and the Swiss Research Center CSEM SA, is currently testing a prototype for a small solar island with a diameter of 88 metres in the RAK desert, the National reported.
It is thought such an island could produce up to one megawatt of thermal power and would be able to cool or heat a small mall.
It was also noted that the final CSEM-UAE-developed islands may range from 500m to 5km in diameter, hovering up to 20m off the ground and with a possible capacity to produce several gigawatts of thermal power.
"The basic technology is known and it works," Dr Hamid Kayal, chief executive of CSEM-UAE, told the National. "The problem is not in the technology, the problem is using it in a reliable and an effective way. The prototype is not to show we can produce electricity; it is to show how economically we can produce it, at what size, and where."
RAK's government is providing funding for the project on a six-month basis, with results from the prototype expected in two years.