Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dewa's R&D facility set for 2020 launch

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) said work is progressing at a steady pace on its Research & Development (R&D) Centre being built at a cost of Dh500 million ($136 million) at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

Leading international consultant Stantec International is responsible for design and construction of the R&D centre along with Reem Capital Contracting (RCC).

The hitech facility will ready for operations in 2020, said the senior management of Dewa after getting firsthand experience of the progress of work at the R&D centre in Seih Al Dahal area of the emirate.

The R&D Centre, which was launched in 2014, will focus on four key operations - production of electricity using solar energy, integration of smart grids, energy efficiency, and water.

According to Dewa, the R&D Centre infrastructure includes indoor laboratories - to study and test the reliability of systems - and outdoor labs to conduct field tests of techniques and tools, which include studies on mitigating the effects of dust on the performance of solar panels.

"This is part of Dewa’s efforts to promote the production of clean energy, and reduce operating costs," remarked Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the managing director and chief executive.

"The R&D Centre will adopt a strategic perspective to keep abreast of scientific and research developments in the field of renewable energy, and will support the objectives of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to diversify energy sources and enhance energy efficiency," he noted.

Dewa pointed out that the hitech facility includes an unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) lab, built with 3D-printing technology. The utility firm is also studying the possibility of using 3D-printing technology in the development of spare parts, to improve the performance of UAVs, based on artificial intelligence (AI) in the maintenance and operations in its work.

Al Tayer said the new facility aims to support Dewa’s vision to promote sustainability in energy supply, diversify energy sources, and create a business environment that encourages innovation.

"It also aims to support Dubai's strategy to build a knowledge-based economy by improving efficiency standards and supporting renewable energy initiatives, especially the solar energy and related initiatives and activities. The R&D Centre will contribute to strengthening Dubai's position as a global hub, for research and development, in the field of solar energy, smart grids, and energy and water efficiency," explained the Dewa chief.

"It will also enhance capacity building in these sectors to enable Dubai to meet the requirements of sustainable development in the emirate. We aim to create a platform for innovation and creativity in renewable energy and clean technologies, and we will train our national capabilities, to keep up with this requirement," he added.

Dewa said through key R&D initiatives it is utilising 3D printing and additive manufacturing, as innovative solutions for its internal printing operations for non-metallic spare parts for equipment thus helping the utility to reduce costs and extend the lifetime of the equipment.

The new R&D Centre will also help Dewa to study the possibility of utilising the 3D-printing technology to promote innovation and creativity, in co-operation with prestigious research centres and universities around the world, said Al Tayer.

Dewa has already signed agreements with several national entities, institutions, and companies, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the US Department of Energy, and the Spanish National Renewable Energy Centre (Cener) in R&D, and the latest developments in the fields of energy, water and the environment.

The company is also collaborating with the United Arab Emirates University and Khalifa University in the field of joint research and studies in renewable energy.-TradeArabia News Service

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