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Wednesday March 21, 2012 7:24 PM (EST+7)
Gazan fights blackouts with solar energy

Read more: blockade, Rafah, fuel, electricity, water, sewage, tunnnels, Egypt, Hamas, power

RAMALLAH, March 21 (JMCC) - A Palestinian man in Gaza has rigged his home to be fully dependent on solar energy and beat the electricity blackouts that plague Gaza as much as 18 hours a day, reports al-Arabiya.

Mahmoud Shaheen, a 55-year-old chemistry professor, started investigating the possibility of generating electricity at home a long time before the bombing of the generators.

“I started thinking of this experiment 21 years ago and at the time things were not really better than they are now because Gaza was under Israeli occupation and power outages used to happen a lot,” he told Al Arabiya

His idea was made possible when a Palestinian vendor brought electrical cells from Israel and did not know what to do with them. He took the cells from him and started experimenting with them until he managed to generate electricity.

“Since then my house has been fully lit and during blackouts it is the only house from which light comes in the middle of Jabalia.”

Shaheen, now known as the Conqueror of Darkness, explained that he did not use chemical reactions to generate electricity, but rather depended on solar energy.

“It is pretty simply. The sunlight that falls on the cells is converted to electrons that are transmitted through wires to batteries that keep the generated energy in them until it is used then charged again and so on.”

Shaheen pointed out that all the electric devices in his house are working at full capacity with a rate of energy conversion that amounts to 3,000 watts.

“This means that they are working properly all day and night.”

Gaza's electricity company has not run at full capacity since it was bombed by Israel five years ago. An Israeli-imposed blockade hinders the import of fuel to run the plant and a recent dispute between Egypt, where Palestinians had been purchasing fuel, and the Hamas-led government in Gaza is causing long periods without electricity every day.







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