Qatar chooses Kier for zero carbon World Cup stadium showcase

Kier has provided the solar energy system for a new 500-seater ‘model stadium’ in Qatar powered by sustainable, environmentally friendly technologies in preparation for hosting the 2022 World Cup.

Designed by Arup Associates, the zero carbon stadium is a distinctive building that was a major driver in Qatar’s successful 2022 FIFA World Cup bid and sustainability programme and will be used as a development platform to refine technologies for application across Qatar and potentially across all arid regions.

The stadium has been designed and built as a model to demonstrate how sustainable technologies can be used to prevent temperature and humidity reaching extreme levels within a stadium without expending vast amounts of energy cooling outdoor spaces.

Connected to the structure’s electrical system and national grid, the solar panels located on a sun farm just outside the stadium will operate all year round, continuously exporting electrical energy to the national grid. During the World Cup, a higher electrical demand will bring electricity back into the facility from the national grid. The national grid electricity, together with generators using biofuels, will provide robust and reliable power for all matches during the World Cup and after the event.

The system uses 512 Mitsubishi 185w polycrystalline modules and six SMA 1500 TL three phase inverters to convert the energy from the sun into electricity, and produces 94.7kWp. The prototype building was designed in just six weeks and built in six months, in time for FIFA delegates to visit the site. Operating within a tight deadline, the company employed local tradespeople to complete the installation in under 30 days.

The stadium also uses the sun’s heat, captured by solar thermal collectors, to cool the stadium. This system works by piping hot water from collecting tubes into a storage tank and then to an absorption chiller that charges the ice store to cool the facility.  This demonstrates how, despite the high temperatures in Qatar, the country can rise to the challenge of hosting global events.

The stadium also features a motorised, rotating lightweight roof, designed to shield the stadium from the sun and offer wind protection during matches.

Qatar now plans to build 12 full-size, carbon-neutral stadiums following the success of the test stadium which combines a host of now familiar technologies.

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