Investments at the research and development centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will reach AED 500 million ($136 million) by 2020, according to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).
According to Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA, the R&D centre – which was launched in 2014 – is focused on four areas: the production of electricity using clean energy, the integration of smart grids, energy efficiency and water.
The 4,400 square-metre centre’s infrastructure includes indoor laboratories to study and test the reliability of systems, as well as outdoor laboratories to conduct field tests and studies on mitigating the effects of dust on solar panel performance.
Additionally, Al Tayer noted that the labs will include high-tech devices designed to conduct internal tests and analyse the efficiency of Integrated Photovoltaic Panels (BIPV) currently being installed on the roof and outer walls of the centre to product energy.
The R&D centre also includes a lab that was built using 3D printing technology, which Al Tayer noted was the first building in the UAE to be fully printed onsite. The lab aims to study the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and 3D-printing, and enables DEWA engineers to design and build customised circuits for various drone applications.
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