There’s something oddly satisfying when the nation’s primary oil and gas exploration company begins investing heavily in solar power. Perhaps it’s the faith PDO has in solar technology but there’s no way we’re overlooking the masterpiece that is the 1,000 MW solar farm in the heart of Amal. While this barely scratches the surface, the government has used this project as a platform to learn about the feasibility of solar power in Oman. And thankfully, it’s a green signal for anyone willing to shell out a few thousand bucks to set up their own solar-powered hub on top of their homes.
Still in its infant stages, electric cars are a far cry from being a reality here in Oman. Even Tesla is testing the waters in the region, with its Global EVERT road trip drawing to a close in January, this year. But, even during these turbulent times, Omani inventor and carmaker Sultan bin Hamad al Amri is pursuing his dream to create the Middle East’s first electric supercar. The car should be fast – the Sultan claims that it will be powered by motors that can buzz anywhere between 400hp and 1,600hp.
• How does an EV car work?
This brings us back to plug-in electric vehicles. The theory of its operation is simple: there are only three components to an EV – an electric motor, a controller and an array of rechargeable batteries.
It all begins when the batteries in the electric vehicles are charged through the grid via a wall socket or a dedicated charging unit. This electricity is stored in the battery packs – sometimes in several hundred batteries – for powering the electric motor. Since these cars do not run on petrol or diesel and are powered entirely by electricity, battery electric cars are considered ‘all-electric’ vehicles.
The electric motor gets its power from a controller. This motor then converts the electrical energy into kinetic energy (movement) for the car to begin rolling from its position. From the outside – much like the Tesla – you wouldn’t be able to tell that a car is electric.
However, because there’s no engine to cool down, most electric cars have no intakes upfront. One of the features that raises concern is the eerie silence when the car is in motion, so several manufacturers now provide artificial noise to the exterior to warn pedestrians that an electric car is on its way.
Everybody in Oman knew about the positives of having a solar-powered house, however, none was gutsy enough to shell out money to build the “green” house. Enter the GreenNest Eco House – the brain child of a professor (Muna al Farsy) and a group of students from the Higher College of Technology. Situated in the heart of the college itself – sitting atop the incline, almost like a jewel in the crown – the house fuses modern design with equally modern technologies. The house is completely off the grid and runs off the electricity its 76 solar panels generate and stores in the batteries.