A LECTURE on solar energy was scheduled in Bahrain recently, at which journalist and author Dr Franz Alt was to speak.
The event was organised with the co-operation of the German Embassy in Bahrain. During the last two decades I have read and heard hundreds of articles and speeches on the importance of solar energy.
However, until today I have not found even a single marketed product which a domestic user like me could use for emergency lights in the home or to run a small refrigerator in the absence of electricity.
Not a single piece of practical advice has come forward on radio/TV debates guiding the people on how they can erect solar panels on their roof.
A conscientious Pakistani citizen Ibrar Khan of Islamabad has taken pains to benefit the general community with his experience through the Pakistani Press.
He says that putting a thick coat of lime over the roof of the house will reduce your ever increasing electricity bills. Ibrar used to run the air-conditioning in his home at 26C during the night.
The heat at around 11am would become unbearable in his Islamabad house. Since using his lime coating, there has been a reduction in temperature of around 8-12 degrees inside his home.
He now doesn’t feel the need to run his air-conditioning during the day. He was told that the thicker the lime coating, the greater the reduction in temperature.
This coating can be made using around six kilograms of lime stone and adding around 30 litres of water, leaving it for two hours, then mixing it and making it into a thick solution. That solution is then applied to the roof of the house.
During the monsoon, one can use plastic sheets to make sure the water does not wash away the coat.
Commenting on it another citizen Dr Sarfraz Bashir says that it is well known that white colour reflects the sun’s rays and it is in this regard that a white coat of limestone can be useful in cooling a home.
However, the thickness of the coat is crucial.