On the job: Students of Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Islamia school with the wind tower installations that arrived from the UK last week Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/ Xpress

Abu Dhabi: A Bangladeshi school in Abu Dhabi is installing Arabian-style wind towers in classrooms to reduce electricity consumption.

“This will take us one step closer to our aim of becoming a zero carbon school,” said Mir Anisul Hasan, principal, Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamiya Private School.

Catering mostly to Bangladeshi expats, the modest school made headlines when it won the $100,000 (Dh367,000) Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2013. Last year it installed 48 solar panels with a daily production capacity of 60 KwH, becoming the country’s first educational institution to use solar energy to operate lights, fans and computers.

In the second phase of its award winning sustainability project, the school is preparing to install the first of two wind towers in a classroom in the boys section.


“We are doing the project in collaboration with the UK’s Leeds University. Dr Ben Hughes, Faculty of Engineering, who has been researching on wind towers, has offered to help us,” said Hasan. The project costs £5,000 (around D30,000).

The equipment for the first tower arrived from England last week. Hasan said they are waiting for Dr Hughes and two other experts to fly to Abu Dhabi next week.

“Our wind tower works on the same principle as the traditional Arabian wind tower called Barjeel. What we are having is an improvised version with built-in cooling technology,” said Dr. Anita Saul, an Indian teacher who drives the school’s eco club initiatives along with her colleague Rekha Tushar.

Dr Saul said they are aiming at a 15 per cent reduction on the workload on the school’s air conditioners. “Once the work load on air conditioners is reduced with the help of wind towers, we hope to use more solar panels to operate the air conditioners as well,” said Saul.

Hasan said the school is proud to carry on the vision of Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the father of the nation, and also contribute to the sustainability efforts of the UAE government.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to work hand in hand with experts in the field. Many of our students want to pursue a career in sustainability and energy conservation, and this is an ideal platform,” said Hasan.


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