Sunny side up! Dubai's solar powered roundabouts

Sunny side up! Dubai's solar powered roundabouts
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Published May 3rd, 2013 - 05:00 GMT via

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A landscaped roundabout in Al Warqa being irrigated using solar pump. Photo via XPRESS
A landscaped roundabout in Al Warqa being irrigated using solar pump. Photo via XPRESS
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Dubai is on track to become the first city in the Middle East to use solar energy to irrigate landscaped roundabouts.

The Dubai Municipality has already started irrigating 35 such roundabouts using a solar pumping system.

“We are planning to change the entire irrigation system to solar. The implementation of the plan is likely to start within six months and we are also talking to private companies for the projects, each of which will have different technical requirements,” Marwan Mohammad, Head of Irrigation Projects Section, told XPRESS.

A major environment friendly initiative, this would help reduce carbon emissions while at the same time prove cost effective even in the short term, he said.

The solar pumping project won an ‘innovative technology’ award recently and the civic body saved around 260 per cent toward installation costs alone, said an official.

In addition, it reduces transportation costs by one-third compared to the conventional system. “It is particularly useful in desert areas where power supply is not easily accessible.”

Roundabouts in areas including Al Warqa, Khwaneej and Al Mizhar are being irrigated using solar pumps. In Bab Al Shams and Al Maha Desert Resort, the system is being used on a much larger scale to circulate lake water and irrigate about 10,000 trees and shrubs.

The civic body has also collaborated with Alsa Solar Systems to develop the new eco-friendly system for irrigation and replace usage of diesel and keep irrigation trucks off the road.

It could reduce more than 4,000 trips by water tanker trucks that would otherwise be needed for irrigation.

Do you think the initiative is a good idea? Could more Middle Eastern countries use solar energy to save on costs? Leave a comment below telling us your thoughts!

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