The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) inaugurated the Research and Development (R&D) Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park aimed at advancing Dubai’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) goals.
The sections and labs of the R&D Centre cover 4,400 square metres and is one of the key projects at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model.
The R&D Centre contributes to building and localising knowledge and expertise with around 70% of the Centre’s staff are Emiratis.
The Centre’s areas of work include solar power; the integration of smart grids; energy efficiency, and water, in addition to 4IR applications such as ‘3-D Printing and Additive Manufacturing’ as one of the innovative solutions to produce spare parts for electricity generation, transmission, and distribution divisions.
The Centre has various internal labs and outdoor labs to study the performance and reliability of PV panels.
Key internal labs include the Electrical Characterisation Lab, the Mechanical Characterisation Lab, the Materials Characterisation Lab, the Solar Simulator Lab, and the Accelerated Aging Lab.
The outdoor labs will be used to test different solar panel technologies and performance, as well as a safe zone for drone testing.
DEWA R&D Centre
DEWA’s R&D Centre is the only centre in the UAE that focuses on renewable energy, smart grid technologies and energy efficiency and has the largest and most comprehensive solar testing and certification facility in the UAE.
Furthermore, it operates the longest continuous testing of photovoltaic panels in the UAE in desert climate conditions.
The Centre has 37 male and female researchers, 20 of whom are PhD and MSc holders. The team has published over 40 papers in international conferences and magazines.
“We are committed to anticipating and shaping the future of energy and water. We include innovation in all our strategies and initiatives, to support the UAE Strategy for the 4IR, which aims to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global hub for the 4IR,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer.
Al Tayer noted that in order to increase the contribution of 4IR to the national economy by means of advancing innovation and future technologies, the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 is central to developing an integrated system that employs AI in vital areas of the UAE.
The R&D Centre received a Platinum Rating for green buildings from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the US Green Building Council.
The Centre has PV panels installed on its roof and car park, as well as Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) in its walls.
The building reduces energy consumption by over 25% and saves more than 50% water. The percentage of recycled materials is more than 30%.