dubaiSolar panels have recently been installed near a floating bridge in the United Arab Emirates to power a boat used by maintenance engineers in Waagner Biro Gulf, a German-engineering firm, according to an article in Gulf News.

The engineering firm has created a system to wash dust off solar panels with treated sewage water, which can nearly triple their efficiency.

The system is quite simple. There is a portacabin office atop the bridge with toilets for technicians. The sewage is then passed through a garden on the roof of the cabin made of reeds, which processes the human waste, creating water clean enough for irrigation use.

With the hopes that increased efficiency of solar panels will lead to their use in more projects, such as to power bigger passenger boats, and even cars, Peter Neuschaefer, Director Middle East for the Water, Energy and Environment Technologies of the firm, organized the Terrasave Panel, which cools the treated water and uses it to frequently clean the solar array.

Five solar panels are charging a small battery-powered pilot test boat used to manage the coastline and the bridge. The boat must charge for six hours in order to run for three hours.

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