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Qatar World Cup award helped by prototype stadium

Qatar’s successful 2022 World Cup award was aided by a 500-seater ‘demonstration’ stadium, which was was used as a platform to refine technologies for application across the country.

Designed by Arup Associates, The Showcase stadium was commissioned in order to demonstrate to FIFA and the world-wide audience that the climate over the summer months isn’t a barrier to hosting global events.

The Showcase incorporates photovoltaics that convert the energy of the sun into electricity; capturing and converting the sun’s heat into cooling for summertime air-conditioning using under-seat supply.

On the site, next to the photovoltaic panels is an array of solar heat collectors. These have a series of motorised mirrors that track the sun, focussing the sun’s power onto collecting tubes which have hot water circulating in them.

They collect this energy in the form of heat, which is converted into cooling for the Showcase environment, and electricity to supply lighting, power and other functions within the space.

The solar energy heats water to 200 deg C and is converted to cooling water by machines called absorption chillers. The air-handling units supply this air to the area beneath the spectators seats.

This cools the seating area and flows down to create cooling for the players. Importantly, the surfaces of the Showcase are designed to remain cool throughout the match to help to stabilise the heat gains from lights and people.

The maximum temperatures are below the guidelines by the FIFA medical committee to avoid players suffering significant heat stress and also beat the ASHRAE comfort standards for spectators.

During the FIFA visit, with an outside temperature having reached 44 deg C only two hours earlier, the temperature on the pitch was recorded as 23 deg C.

Prior to The Games, the Showcase runs empty and without people for the day before the event, making best use of the sun’s free energy to cool the building and the pitch down. The shading roof remains closed over the space until the sun has passed overhead and the roof can be opened without letting the sunshine heat up the space.

* For full story see the January issue of RAC

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