This month’s spotlight sheds light on The University of Jordan’s achievements in the field of renewable energy. UJ’s Water, Energy, and Environment Center has recently launched a seven meter “Off-Grid Solar Tree,” funded by the French Embassy, The European Commission and Manaseer Group. The Center has plans to generate electricity to approximately ten post lights on campus and to students who need to charge their electrical devices, such as smartphones and laptops. The “Off-Grid Solar Tree” is also meant to demonstrate and inform the UJ community about the importance of clean and renewable energy.
The Director of the Water, Energy, and Environment Center, Dr. Mutasem Sa’dan, stated that the Tree is the first of its kind the Middle East and is close in principle to another Solar Tree at Bristol University. Dr. Sa’dan affirmed that the purpose of the tree is to promote and sustain the importance of renewable energy at UJ, and that it will be a useful teaching source for researchers interested in energy sustainability, solar thermal technology, and energy storage technology. Dr. Sa’dan also explained that the design and architecture of the tree was conducted by a team from several engineering departments as well as from the Technical Staff on UJ’s campus.
Students from the Architecture Department at the School of Engineering designed the Tree’s metal structure using an AUTOCAD program and created a 3D image of the tree and its location as well as the location of each sun panel used.
Dr. Husam Kasawneh, head of the Electrical Team, will lead the next stage in this project. Their plan is to install sun panels as well as batteries on the Tree. A team from the department of Engineering (Chemical and Mechatronics) will conduct the necessary calculations to determine the number of panels and the amount of electricity those panels will be able to generate once the batteries are installed.
During the unveiling of the Solar Tree, UJ’s Acting President, Dr. Emad Salah, praised the project for being the first of its kind in the region and expressed his pride in UJ’s community for the amount of interest they have shown.