DEWA opens new R&D centre at Dubai solar park

DEWA RD CentreDubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has opened its new research and development (R&D) centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

DEWA's R&D Centre, the only facility in the UAE that focuses on renewable energy, smart grid technologies and energy efficiency, was inaugurated by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The 4,400-sq-m research facility focuses on solar power, the integration of smart grids, energy efficiency, and water, in addition to Fourth Industrial Revolution 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.

It has the largest and most comprehensive solar testing and certification facility in the UAE and operates the longest continuous testing of photovoltaic panels in the UAE in desert climate conditions.

The R&D Centre has received a Platinum LEED Rating for green buildings. It has PV panels installed on its roof and car parking as well as Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) in its walls. The building reduces energy consumption by over 25 per cent and saves more than 50 per cent water. The percentage of recycled materials is more than 30 per cent.

The Centre has various internal labs and outdoor labs to study the performance and reliability of PV panels. Vital 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 include testing different solar panel technologies and performance, as well as a safe zone for drone testing.

The Centre has 37 male and female researchers, 20 of whom (54 per cent) are PhD and MSc holders. The team has published over 40 papers in international conferences and magazines. The R&D Centre was granted one patent, with five more under process.


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