By Dhanusha Gokulan
Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
After year-long research and experiments, Maryam Al Hashmi, an 18-year-old Emirati student, has invented an affordable method to produce solar energy.
Her invention titled ‘Epilogue of Plasticus’ could eventually replace silicone filaments in solar cells with plastic photocells.
When Khaleej Times asked how she did it, a reserved Hashmi said: “I can’t reveal that secret, I experimented with several chemicals to make this invention. but one plastic photocell on a solar panel can conduct 202 to 349 milliwats of energy.
Eventually, all silicone-based solar panels can be replaced with these plastic photocells.”
Her invention can make solar energy cheaper and easily accessible.
The young Emirati contested her invention at the 6th Intel Science Competition Arab World and has won the first place under the ‘Environmental Engineering’ category.
Hashmi, student of Al Ittihad Private School, Jumeirah, was also awarded second place for the category Grand Awards from the Intel Foundation. Thirteen Emirati boys and girls participated for the competition, which took place recently in Alexandria, Egypt.
The competition celebrates young scientists and played host to over 110 students from across 11 Arab countries who presented 77 projects and competed for $20,000 worth prize money.
The finalists were selected from 77 projects spanning from biochemistry to electrical and mechanical engineering to energy and transport.
Their projects were evaluated on the site by over 40 judges representing 10 Arab countries, all of which are university professors from the region.
The projects were selected based on creativity and originality of the idea, scientific thought of the project, achieving engineering goals, thoroughness of detail, skills of performance, clarity of ideas and team collaboration.
Speaking about how her idea for the project was developed, Hashmi said: “I got the idea from the YouTube viral video about solar electricity bottles being used in Philippines. If it is being used there, I was sure it could be used for this project as well.”