The following picture was taken in Casablanca from the Kenzi Tower one month ago. It isn’t the best example, though, for example, in Cairo, it strikes more to the eye.
What do you see?…
Actually, there are approximately 200 TV antennas on the roof-tops. Let’s zoom in a bit:
In this portion, corresponding to one building alone, you have around 25 units.
With the advent of cable television, wireless video streaming and other technology, these antennas could soon become stranded assets in many countries. Imagine how many could be left useless and need recycling. While thinking about asset utilization and the sharing economy, I couldn’t help but think:
What can they be used for instead?… What if we could up-cycle them cost-effectively? Adding a reflecting alu-film we turn the antennas into solar concentrating discs. Then the tricky part is to add a Stirling engine or PV panel, or a combination of PV and solar thermal collector for water heating. Additionally, a solar tracking system will be needed to optimize operation. All these elements cannot be standardized easily, as the antennas have varying sizes, so it is not straight forward. On the other hand, one of the good things of using concentrated solar is that it might leave more space for green-roofing on all these buildings.
It’s true that the disc and the supporting structure that we want to up-cycle are not the most costly part of the system and adding all the additional element necessary for harvesting sun power is not an easy task. What better use could we make of these assets?
PS: When reflecting about this kind of ideas (like the google storage), I realize I always see a lot of shortcomings and drawbacks, which might not be too entrepreneurial…