Qatar’s ‘Dr Cool’ keeps World Cup stadiums chilly with solar-powered AC

DOHA: Qatar has develop into nearly a byword for scorching warmth, however some followers will nonetheless take a sweater to World Cup stadiums due to state-of-the-art air con that its mastermind says will develop into the norm for mega sports activities occasions.

Saud Abdulaziz Abdul Ghani, nicknamed “Dr Cool”, labored for 13 years on the solar-powered cooling system that he says will maintain the gamers and turf wholesome and even eradicate physique odour in a packed stadium.

The mercury can hit 50 levels Celsius throughout the Gulf state’s blistering summers, which is why this 12 months’s World Cup was moved to the winter.

But even with most temperatures all the way down to about 25 Celsius for the match in November and December, cool air will nonetheless be pumped out onto the gamers and watching followers.

Stadium cooling is nothing new. The Superdome, residence of the New Orleans Saints American soccer staff, has 9,000 tonnes of air con gear.

“Dr Cool”, a professor of engineering at Qatar University who additionally helped develop cooling for the Ford Mondeo automotive, has nevertheless developed a system that World Cup organisers say is 40 per cent extra “sustainable” than current strategies.

Seven of the eight stadiums are air-conditioned at a World Cup that organisers insist might be carbon-neutral.

At the 40,000-capacity Al Janoub Stadium, which is able to maintain seven video games together with holders France’s first match, Saud mentioned a two-metre-high “completely isolated bubble” of cool air will envelop the pitch and stands.

Inside the bubble, gamers and followers might be saved at 21 levels Celsius by jets blasting air on the pitchside and below spectators’ seats.

Sensors across the stadium maintain the temperature fixed and even regulate air flows for seats within the shade or solar.

The rising air is sucked again into the stadium cooling system, cleaned by water saved at a brisk 7 levels Celsius  and pumped out once more by the jets.

“The players will have the best experience of their lives,” mentioned Saud, highlighting how the chilled air would stop accidents and sickness suffered in excessive warmth.


The energy for the system comes from an enormous photo voltaic farm within the desert exterior the capital Doha, he added. The similar expertise is being utilized in greenhouses the place Qatar grows growing quantities of its personal meals.

“We have the best thermal insulation on our machines, the best sensory systems around the stadium,” mentioned Saud.

And the air con will nonetheless be wanted in December, regardless of the cooler temperatures.

Each human generates the warmth of two laptops and provides off 70g of sweat per hour, in line with Saud.

He gave the instance of the Lusail Stadium the place 80,000 individuals will collect for the World Cup ultimate on Dec 18.

“They are there for four hours, so that is a lot of water. And I also have the heat of 160,000 laptops in that space. So that heat must be offset irrespective of whether it is winter, summer, autumn or spring.”

The use of air con in stadiums stays controversial, nevertheless.

Russell Seymour, chief government of the British Association for Sustainable Sport, mentioned that whereas the expertise and renewable power in Qatar may go he had issues concerning the wider message given by air con an open area.

At a time when individuals are being urged to save lots of power “quite often people in an office will open the windows, they want fresh air but they’ve also got air conditioning on and then things compete, and that’s when the issues come”.

Saud mentioned he’s blissful for any knowledgeable to examine the system and verify his sustainability claims. The expertise has been made freed from patent restrictions for anybody to repeat.

He can be sure that future World Cups – significantly in 2026 within the United States, Mexico and Canada – will comply with go well with.

“In the future, for the safety of players, air-conditioned stadiums will be more of the norm,” he mentioned.

As world temperatures rise as a consequence of local weather change, “if you want players to complete the game without water breaks, without any interruptions then air conditioning will be a necessity”.

Qatar's 'Dr Cool' keeps World Cup stadiums chilly with solar-powered AC

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