Qatar’s magical yet highly technical cooling system for the FIFA World Cup 2022 stadiums is the work of ‘Dr. Saud Ghani also known as ‘Dr. Cool’. Dr. Ghani, who is a professor of mechanical engineering at Qatar University, has explained how he went about perfecting the cooling system in preparation for the football world cup.
In an interview with the Gulf Times, Dr Ghani explained that the biggest challenge in the whole project was to figure out how to stop the warm air from entering the stadiums so that a microclimate bubble can be created and maintained within the stadium. “This meant that a detailed aerodynamic analysis needed to be done on the stadium form and footprint to better understand how to use its design to minimise the infiltration of the warm air into the stadium,” he explained.
To overcome this challenge, Dr. Ghani and his team created 3D-printed scale models of the proposed stadiums and placed them in wind tunnels to see how exactly the stadiums were interacting with the external wind and how could the cooling system be made more efficient.
Computational Fluid Dynamics software was used to measure and process the simulations to see what the temperature would be in different scenarios
After the simulations were done, it was now time to tweak some design features of the stadium and figure out how exactly would the cooling systems work. “In Al Bayt Stadium, the initial design featured a darker coloured façade but was later changed to a lighter shade,” said Dr Ghani. “This simple change passively brought down the inside temperature by five degrees Celsius – a quick win.”
Dr. Ghani’s breakthrough moment was when he realised that rather than cooling the whole stadium, he just had to cool down the playing field and the spectators for the matches to be a smooth sail for everyone involved. He also worked on spot cooling systems that targeted specific areas.
This revolutionary project was funded by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). The innovation brought about by the brilliance of Dr. Ghani would make it possible for fans to enjoy the world cup in stadiums without having to worry about Qatar’s climate.
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