Residents of the artificial Jumeirah Island villas in Dubai face cooling bills of up to $1,600 a month – almost double last year’s price, according to The National. So British national and long-time Dubai resident Tony Caden decided to install an array of 38 solar panels and a giant 20 tonne chiller. Now completely independent of Nakheel’s district cooling service, the head of an oil and gas industry service company says that he is ecstatic to have re-gained control over the quality of his own life.
The right to solarize
The National reports that Nakheel – the developers behind such irresponsible projects as The World artificial islands and Palm Jumeirah – declined to comment about Caden’s decision to reject their costly cooling service, but property lawyers from a local firm told the paper that he is well within his rights.
With help from Solar Sun 4 Life, the certified UK solar company that installed the first Jumeirah Island solar array, Caden was very careful to respect local planning laws even though this limited the amount of energy he could derive from the sun.
Instead of using terra-cotta panels that would have generated all 90 kilowatts of the home’s energy requirement, which are not permitted by Nakheel’s restrictions, he had to settle for a system that provides about 70 kilowatts, and the remaining power is derived from Dubai Electricity and Water (DEWA).
The chiller absorbs a great deal of the home’s power, but on cooler days, the rooftop array generates enough energy to run the home’s lights, cooker, fridge and other electronics.
Caden expects a return on his $48,000 investment within the next five years given the price of Nakheel’s district cooling.
And if that seems hefty, bear in mind that some of the Jumeirah Island villas are nearly 15,000 square feet – far larger than the average home – such that they require a pile of energy to stay cool. But the sun shines long and hard in Dubai and us mere mortals are no match for its infinite power.
:: The National
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