Do you know that the stadiums used for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar are air-conditioned?

A friend just came back from Qatar after the Morocco – Portugal game and he said “What money cannot do, does not exist.” He said, do you know that all the stadiums used for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar are air-conditioned?

I opened my mouth in awe. I wondered how they managed to make a whole stadium air-conditioned. But I said, some of the stadiums are open at the top and how come? I imagined the power required to make a whole stadium cool enough for players and fans.

I did some research and found out about the technology behind the cooling system. So this technology was developed by Qatar University with Saud Ghani, a professor of engineering at the same University playing a pivotal role.

Interestingly Dr. Ghani’s PhD study focused on air conditioning in a car and the same theory was applied the World Cup stadiums – but obviously on a much bigger scale

The technology uses solar-powered energy to cool outside air and then distribute the cool air through grills in the stands and large pitch-side nozzles.

According to Dr. Ghani also known by his friends as “Dr. Cool”, “Spot cooling means we only cool the areas where people need it – like on the pitch and in the stands.”

Pitch-side nozzles at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. Credit: Kyodo/AP; Christian Charisius—picture-alliance/dpa/AP

“The form of each stadium acts as a barrier, which contains a cold bubble inside. Our air circulation technique cools the air, filters it and pushes it out towards the players and fans. Each stadium is cooled to a comfortable temperature of around 20 degrees, with spot cooling enhancing our commitment to sustainability and the environment,” he adds.

Ghani says the aim of the air conditioning is to allow players to play safely and for fans to “feel neutral,” as opposed to too cold, though some fans reported being too cold in the arena hosting the breezy opening night, according to the Associated Press. Ghani adds that a lot of work has been done to stop the cool air inside stadiums from mixing with the hot air outside. “The trick is to make sure that you keep your bubble isolated, the micro bubble from the macro bubble outside,” says Ghani. “Cold air is heavier, it stays at the bottom. Hot air is lighter and stays on the top,” he says, likening the physics to oil and water.

Can you believe that Qatar has not patented this technology? This means that businesses and countries can use it to develop similar systems

“This technology is a potential game-changer for countries with hot climates. That is why I made sure that anyone can use it,” said Dr. Saud. “I am very proud that this technology, which originated here in Qatar, can be adapted by other countries and businesses. It is one of Qatar’s many gifts to the world, resulting from its hosting of the World Cup.”

I wonder if Nigeria or any emerging country can use this technology to make life better for their peoples.


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