The National Bank of Abu Dhabi has become the first bank in the UAE to launch a solar-powered ATM, and it’s the first time this Green Prophet has heard of such an initiative.
But after Googling a bit, we see it’s not the first.
“As part of our CSR [corporate social responsibility] initiatives, we hope to be the ‘trend-setter’ in adopting solar power for future ATMs in this country,” says Suvo Sarkar, the General Manager of the bank, who hopes the act will be an example for other banks in the region to follow.
Installed by the company Apex Power Concepts from Dubai, the solar energy collectors sit on solar panels installed on the branch’s roof, making this above picture somewhat misleading. Connected to a circuit breaker board, the solar energy panels feed a power controller where part of the collected energy is stored for the ATM’s night operation. The bank wants the idea installed in all its 110 branches as well as stand alone ATM machines, some 430 of them all over the UAE.
Theft of solar panels can be a huge problem, so it will be interesting to see how the company making the panels will overcome that.
To power ATMs one need about 1,000 watts of power, and if you add in the power needs of the air conditioning to cool it, add another 1,500 watts. But solar energy driven ATMs consume less than 100 watts, and can work without air conditioning. The results aren’t only good for the environment, the machines save a lot of money too.
Something that banks should be really good at doing.
The bank also plans on distributing banking cards made from recycled plastic.
What I’d like to see its entire branch activities powered by solar energy, and the day when small things like recycled plastic in credit cards are not even worth mentioning. I believe the day will come. Meanwhile, it’s encouraging to see banks in the Middle East understand the importance, if only for marketing purposes, of going green.
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