World Cup: 7 out of 8 stadiums in Qatar have solar-powered air conditioning

Seven of the 8 stadium venues in progress World Cup in Qatar have air conditioning using solar energy. According to information from FIFA, the venues of the stadium are:

  • Al Bayt Stadium was built at the expense of $847 million with a capacity of 68,895
  • The Al Janoub stadium was built at the expense of $656 million with a capacity of 44,325
  • Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium was built at a cost of $360 million with a capacity of 45,032
  • Al Thumama Stadium was built at a cost of $342 million with a capacity of 44,400
  • Education City Stadium was built at the expense of $700 million with a capacity of 44,667
  • The Khalifa International Stadium was built at the cost of $374 million with a capacity of 40,000
  • The Lusail stadium was built at the cost of $767 million with a capacity of 80,000
  • Stadium 974 was built at the cost of $717 million with a capacity of 40,000. This stadium is naturally ventilated and does not require air conditioning. According to FIFA, this stadium is designed to have natural ventilation and does not need air conditioning.

Meet Dr. Cool: Dr. Saud Abdulaziz Abdul Ghani, also known as Dr. Cool, is a professor of mechanical engineering at Qatar University. He is the engineer behind the air-conditioned stadiums used for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Dr. Cool worked on the solar air conditioning mechanism for 13 years.

Solar for air conditioning: The air conditioning system in the stadium venues is powered by the Al-Kharsaah solar farm in Doha. The 800 megawatt (MW) peak solar farm was completed in October 2022 by TotalEnergies, Qatar Energy Renewable Solutions and Marubeni. The solar farm covers 10 square kilometers (the equivalent of approximately 1,400 football fields). The solar farm project cost $467 million (1.7 billion Qatari riyals) and consists of around 1.8 million solar panels.

the sun farm integrates two million high-efficiency bifacial modules mounted on single-axis trackers. The panels are equipped with photovoltaic cells on the front and rear, which allows them to capture the direct rays of the sun on one side and capture the rays reflected from the ground on the other side, thus optimizing electricity production. The main advantage of using bifacial panels is the increase in energy production by using the second side of the module.

How does it work: A The controlled microclimatic bubble surrounds each spectator (nozzles are placed under the seats) and covers the field (air outlets are placed around them), at a height that does not exceed 2 meters at any point inside the enclosure. Pre-cooled air enters through built-in louvers in the stands and large nozzles throughout the pitch.

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Using the air circulation technique, cooled air is withdrawn, re-cooled, filtered and exhausted where it is needed. According to Dr. Ghani, those who worked on the cooling systems don’t just cool the air, they clean it.

  • “We are purifying the air for the spectators. For example, people who have allergies will not have problems inside our stadiums since we have the cleanest and purest air that exists”.

Dr. Ghani previously told FIFA that hot air is prevented from entering the stadium premises.

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  • “The most important thing for effective cooling is that you don’t want outside wind blowing into the stadium. That is why the size and layout of the stadium must be studied and modified accordingly so that they block the entry of hot air into the stadium.”

According to Dr. Ghani, air conditioning will account for only 20% of the annual electricity consumption of the stadium facilities. Therefore, the stadium facilities can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the year.

A technology centered on people: According to Dr. Ghani, the technology is implemented using point cooling, which means that it only cools the areas where people and players are located. He said that he and his team use the best computers and technology to provide optimal temperatures so that World Cup fans around the world can feel comfortable during the games.

Dr. Ghani pointed to the fact that the cooling technology will keep temperatures inside all regulated stadium facilities at a comfortable 23-25 ​​degrees Celsius, regardless of mercury readings outside. In addition, the cooling technology has a filter for dust and odors, and since the air is recycled, it ensures that the air is perfectly purified. Additionally, cooling technology helps athletes perform at their optimal level, unlike traditional stadiums where water breaks are the norm.

For the record: According to FIFA, the Lusail Stadium has received a 5-star rating from the Global Sustainability Assessment System. Recycled water is used to irrigate plants around the stadium, and water-efficient fixtures and leak detection systems are operational in the stadium.

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