The war-torn area of Gaza Strip has been a living hell for the people. The scarcity of resources, food, water and basic human rights have crippled the economy and has suffocated the lifestyle of the Palestinians. They have been living under the miserable conditions for decades, but their fire and grit has never ceased to amaze the world. And another story out of this hell on earth is of two engineering students who decided to take matters into their own hands.
Like every other commodity, Palestine has also been facing severe cuts and shortfalls in energy and fuel supply. Diesel, petrol and electricity shortages have become the norm, leading to blackouts and causing significant transportation challenges. Two engineering students from Al-Azhar University Gaza, Jamal Al Miqaty and Khalid Al Bardawil have devised a solar-powered car which aims at placating the energy and transportation woes of the area just a little.
The 23-year old students designed and successfully presented the prototype as part of their final year project. Solar powered cars are not an ingenious invention when regarding novelty, but considering the working and living conditions of the area, this is truly a remarkable feat.
Bardawil said, “We decided to depend on a power that God gave us, which is renewable, alternative, and clean energy. So we decided to make a solar vehicle.”
Creating a solar car in Gaza is not as simple as building in any other part of the world. The students had to work in an area with next to no resources, so they had to improvise in every step of the way. For example, in a conventional solar car, DC motors required for many operations, but these are not available in Gaza. So the students had to adapt and use different motor and mechanisms to work in the car.
Al-Azhar University’s lecturer Mazen Abu Amer commended the effort and hoped that this would spur the people of Gaza to work on these kind of help yourself projects. He said, “By building this vehicle we wanted to introduce a prototype as some European universities did. We wanted to spread awareness and the culture of using solar power through these projects. We made this project, and it is the first, first in the Gaza Strip, to design a vehicle from A to Z which works on solar power.”
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs says Gaza currently does not even receive half of the 470 megawatts of electricity the area needs. So this technology can be a breath of fresh air for the people. Technology to convert electric cars into solar ones can cut down the building cost, and help to offer some respite to those dealing with the energy crisis faced by their community.
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