Living in the UAE, where there are tens of thousands of canvas covered parking spaces, I’ve often lamented the fact that they are not doing more with that sunlight that they block. And now, FTL Solar has a two products that could transform the usefulness of parking lots in sun-belt climates. Here is a view of the hypermarket near our apartment:

It has about 100 parking spaces that are canvas covered. If all of these canvases were replaced with ones having photovoltaics, this parking lot would generate (according to FTL Solar product literature) 255 KWh of electricity on a sunny day (20 KWh per 8-car section). That is equivalent to about 20 homes, or 5 car spaces per home. There are at least 100,000 car spaces under such canvas coverings in the UAE. That’s 20,000 homes.

The application for use by the badu is something that is very obvious when looking at the above image. There are many people who to their great credit live very simple lives off of the land in this unforgiving climate. One of these canvases with an inverter and a battery could greatly increase the quality of life of these remarkable people.

Of course the uses of this canvas and other types of flexible photovoltaic materials is of great interest to the Land Art Generator Initiative as it could apply to public art installations!

via inhabitat