Inflatable solar panels bring domestic warm water to Middle Eastern communities
15 August 2012
Industrial Design Consultancy's (IDC's) inflatable solar panel, the SolarStore, has been selected to help people in Jordan and Palestine benefit from warm domestic water.
The SolarStore harnesses the sun's energy to warm domestic water and can heat up to three full tanks of water per day at temperatures close to 80 degrees C.
Forty SolarStores have been ordered by Grameen-Jameel, a social business set up to help poor Arab communities improve their standard of living, health and education. The SolarStores will enable these communities to benefit from warm water for the first time.
During use, the SolarStore is inflated to a size of nearly 2 square metres for maximum solar absorption. It is made from a heavy-duty polymer with a robust structure that is anchored down by the weight of 30 litres of water.
Each SolarStore works by allowing sunlight to pass through a clear outer layer to a black inner reservoir that contains the water. The water is subsequently heated and the surrounding air between the clear and black layers provides insulation to maintain the temperature within the reservoir.
IDC's managing director, Stephen Knowles, says Jordan and Palestine are ideal locations for the SolarStore to take advantage of high levels of natural solar radiation.
"We are delighted to support such an important social project to bring warm water to communities," he says.
"As well as this, we are delivering a sustainable solution which saves nearly 0.2 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year in comparison to a conventional system."
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