Dubai launches solar calculator for customers

Residents and businesses in Dubai can now see how much money the sun can save them

Dewa launches a solar calculator to help customers see the benefits of solar power. Jeff Topping / The National
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Residents and businesses in Dubai can now see how much money power generated from the sun can save them with the Shams Dubai Calculator.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) said yesterday that it has integrated the tool into its website to provide customers with comparisons to help promote the installation of solar power. The estimates are based on geographic location, local objects such as nearby buildings that can cast a shade and on the placement of solar panels to help maximise benefits.

Saeed Al Tayer, the managing director and chief executive of Dewa, said that this was a new service designed by  the utility for customers who are interested in producing electricity from solar power. He said that Dewa was always working on innovative services, which translates to an integrated strategy to "apply the best solutions, future technologies and advanced global programmes".

The calculator will allow Dewa customers to enter account numbers to identify their building's location through an interactive map. Users can measure the area, the number of panels and the total capacity that could be generated from the solar panels on a monthly or annual basis.

Dewa said that the electricity production of an actual solar panel installation will depend on the system design, type of equipment and frequency of cleaning.

Dewa's solar map of Dubai.
Dewa's solar map of Dubai.

In addition, the map can help customers see other Shams Dubai projects such as electric vehicle charging stations.

Mr Al Tayer said that the general service would encourage customers to “install solar panels to generate clean energy and achieve financial savings through low electricity bills”.

How it works

The Shams Dubai Calculator can be found on Dewa's main website in the dropdown menu under Innovation. Dewa said that customers can plug their account numbers into the system to find their building, but when The National tested yesterday , this feature seemed unavailable.

Searching for The Dubai Mall will bring up a notice that the calculator currently provides installations of 700 panels or less, which is about 250 watt panels and a capacity of 175 kilowatts. Instead, the draw area tool to can be used to divide a roof into smaller areas to estimate the savings from an installation on a large rooftop.

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We chose a smaller site, Dunkin Donuts in Bur Dubai, which can produce 266 kilowatts per hour (kWh) in a month using seven solar panels. The tool notes that the “ideal angle in the UAE is 25 degrees”. The amount of projected solar energy is equivalent to amount of carbon dioxide emissions saved from driving a car 435 kilometres.

By clicking the “Go Solar” button in the key on the left, another website page opens to the list of Dewa-approved contractors and consultants for installation of PV systems in the emirate.

It's important to note that the calculator launched yesterday , and there may be further updates.