Solar panels help charge phones at Qatar 2022: Challenge 22 bears fruits and creates the most sustainable World Cup ever

fifa solar panels

There has been plenty of talk about how Qatar will manage to host such an enormous event and still have a carbon neutral footprint, but the Local Organising Committee has made huge strides in trying to ensure that everything goes to plan before, during and after the tournament.

All of the eight venues at the 2022 FIFA World Cup have also been awarded the GSAS Design & Build Certification, which is a green building standard developed especially for the Middle East and North Africa region, driving sustainability and climate actions in a regional context, focusing on the design, construction and operational phases.

Now, fans attending the Qatar 2022 tournament matches at the Al-Thumama Stadium are able to charge their devices at a state-of-the-art solar-powered charging station installed by Challenge 22 winners SunPave.

Challenge 22 is an innovation award launched in 2015, by the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), which promotes a culture of innovation in the Middle East and attracts entrepreneurs, scientists and pioneers from across the Arab world. It showcases ideas that can contribute towards the hosting and organisation of major events like the 2022 FIFA World Cup, while building a sustainable, economically diverse future for the region.

Now, the idea bears clear fruits at Qatar 2022, with SunPave delivering excellent results and contributing to a sustainable tournament, with their innovative panels.

SunPave panels, which operate with the same efficiency as regular solar energy panels, are designed for floor and wall use to generate electricity. Al Thumama Stadium was chosen to install solar panels as a pilot project for the innovative technology in light of the stadium’s achievements in terms of environmental sustainability. At the same time, the rest of the World Cup stadiums will witness the installation of innovative panels after the championship.

A special feature of the SunPave PV tiles is the fact they can be walked on by pedestrians without affecting their ability to generate clean energy. The tiles are anti-scratch, anti-slip, and anti-glare. They are capable of orientating towards the sun and have high mechanical strength. During the tournament, the tiles are expected to generate a peak of 8 KW of clean electricity.

The SunPave panels are also modular – meaning they can fit into any space, which enhances their operability and applicability. They are able to withstand the same weight as a regular paving stone and are designed to cool down during the summer months in order to help them operate while being compliant with electrical, mechanical, and civil safety standards.

“The story of a modern city is often a competition between energy and space. We need energy to power our lives and, as cities grow, we have less space. The problem with conventional solar panels is that the space they occupy becomes virtually unusable. With SunPave, we can utilise the strength of the sun without sacrificing space,” said Mohammed Al-Ghammal, the SunPave co-founder.

SunPave tiles can also be used on walls and rooftops, and have in-built thermal management systems for hot climates, such as the one in Qatar, where the temperatures can reach over 45 degrees Celsius during the summertime. In winter, during the 2022 FIFA World Cup for example, the average temperature in Qatar varies between 24 and 26 degrees Celsius.

Fans attending the tournament matches at Al Thumama Stadium can charge their mobile devices through modern charging sockets powered by solar energy, resulting from using SunPave panels in the vicinity of the stadium.

“We believe our product has many advantages. By creating solar panels people can walk on, we can utilize vast spaces around the country to generate electric power,” added Al-Ghammal.

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