As part of the war-torn country’s restoration plan, Baghdad University in Iraq commissioned the world’s largest solar powered clock. Designed by UK-based Smith of Derby, which has been making and servicing historic clocks for over 150 years, the Beacon Clock will be 3.5m in diameter, and will feature 4 dials and backlit lighting. Powered by building integrated solar panels, this clock tower is just one in a range of EcoTime products that rely on nature big time for its power, lighting, and even a bell sound system.
Originally designed for countries that either lack or have poor access to energy sources, the Beacon Clock tells time sustainably by harnessing wind or sun energy to power its mechanisms.
The Bagdad clock should have been closer to completion but the project has experienced setbacks.
“Due to local issues on site from recent disturbances, the contractor has informed me that the site is further delayed and installation is not due now until later this year,” Bob Betts, Managing Director of Smith of Derby told Green Prophet.
We met Bob earlier this year at the UAE Interiors Show in Abu Dhabi. There the company unveiled their Islamic Prayer Clock that chimes five times a day in tune with religious prayer rituals.
Smith of Derby engineers service 4,500 clocks throughout the world, including the historic St. Paul’s Cathedral Clock and the Church of St. Michael’s in the United Kingdom.
Although such heritage pieces don’t come cheap, clock towers are considered the symbolic center of the location in which they are installed. Smith of Derby calls this the community heartbeat. With a long road of economic, environmental, and social renewal ahead of them, the solar-powered clock tower could demonstrate to Iraqis that nature has the power to measure these trying times sustainably.
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