All photos courtesy of SCDL
Though the 2022 World Cup will no longer be played during Qatar’s searing summer months, the country has said it will continue to develop cooling technology that would enable athletes to compete even when it’s 50C out.
As part of that work, a new weather station was installed this week at the under-construction Al Wakrah Stadium, which is slated for a 2018 completion.
The equipment, which includes a sun tracker, solar-powered monitoring of particulate matter, temperature and humidity sensors and other features, will provide the data needed to calibrate the cooling technology at the stadium, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) said.
In a statement, SCDL cooling expert Dr. Nelson Chilengwe explained that the system will record meteorological data every five minutes and air quality information every 15 minutes. He continued:
“We usually get this information from data based on national weather station measurements, like the one at the airport, but for our program, we wanted to know exactly what the weather is like close to our stadium sites.”
Two additional weather stations will be installed at the Al Rayyan and Lusail stadium sites, and data collection and analysis of the information will be conducted for at least three years, the SCDL added.
The stations are being developed and installed by the Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC).
The use of cooling technology in the 2022 World Cup stadiums was an important part of Qatar’s bid to host the tournament.
Qatar’s first public test of the tech took place last summer, in a fan zone for people to watch the 2014 World Cup.
There, various strategies were employed to keep the seated areas cool, including “high level jet nozzles” and cooling mists.
The tech appeared to pass muster, with some visitors saying that despite the hot, humid weather they wished they had brought a sweater to the venue.
Months later, FIFA voted to move Qatar’s World Cup from the summer to November/December 2022.
Even though the games have now been rescheduled to the winter, officials said they will continue to develop the technology to help benefit Qatar, the region and countries with similar climates.
Announcing Qatar’s World Cup master plan in February, Local Organizing Committee CEO Hassan Al Thawadi said the technology would be one of the legacies of the 2022 tournament.
He added that it could be used in greenhouses in Qatar, helping the country meet its food security goals.