Masdar backs national's Guinness record bid
Abu Dhabi, November 10, 2010
Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy initiative, said it will sponsor Haidar Taleb, a UAE national who will work towards setting a Guinness Record for the greatest distance ever covered in a single day with a wheelchair powered by solar panels.
Taleb will undertake his challenge on November 11 and take off from Masdar City at 6am and will aim to arrive at Al Thiqa Club for the Handicapped in Sharjah around 8pm.
“Setting the record is an important milestone as it underscores how technological innovation can improve lives and demonstrates the raw power that can be harnessed from the sun,” Taleb said.
“While crossing the finish line is the ultimate goal, the journey is equally as important. I want to show the world the advantage of a solar-powered wheelchair, and highlight the hope and encouragement it brings to people with reduced mobility,” he added.
Taleb had presented the first version of the wheelchair to the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL), a Masdar Institute initiative, at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in January.
YFEL raises awareness of students and young professionals in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability. Taleb will participate in the upcoming WFES in 2011 as a speaker and role model for future thinkers, innovators and leaders.
“Masdar’s support has been invaluable,” Taleb said. “We have a common goal of driving innovation in the field of renewable energy – particularly in solar power – to create tools that can improve lives, save energy and protect the environment.”
“Masdar supports Taleb’s will and perseverance. He is an example of what can be accomplished with creativity and innovation,” said Dr Nawal Al Hosany, director of Sustainability of Masdar.
“Taleb’s attempt to set a Guinness World Record exemplifies that renewable energy has enormous possibilities. We welcome his effort, as we too are driven to pioneer new technologies in renewable energy and clean technology.”
'The updated wheelchair, developed in collaboration with Masdar has a maximum speed of 15–20 km/h. The solar cells can charge four 20w batteries. Hanging overhead, the solar panels also create shade for the chair.'
Charging batteries of traditional electric wheelchairs impose limitations as it is time-consuming and requires the user to remain close to areas with easy access to electricity.
The advantage of the solar power wheelchair is that it automatically charges when exposed to the sun’s rays, said Taleb.
Setting the World Guinness Record is one of the many activities that Taleb is undertaking to support his UAE fellow citizens. His next challenge is to travel across the seven emirates in his wheelchair to celebrate the UAE National Day. Taleb’s journey will start on November 22.-TradeArabia News Service