In 2013, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), previously known as the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, in partnership with the Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) made a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to utilize their research and development for sustainable sporting infrastructure related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, to improve food security in Qatar, the Middle East, and beyond. WNFSP had delivered a national master plan for increasing the nation's food security which fulfilled its mandate and is to be delivered by third parties. At present, the implementation of the national master plan is being led by a joint governmental committee, under the direction of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. The final recommendation of its implementation will be delivered by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.
In April 2013, SC signed a contract with Air2O, a global company that designs and manufactures hybrid air conditioning equipment. Air2O provided a bespoke system based on the requirements set by SC for training sites and fan zones in Qatar. This design was further enhanced by a joint technical team from SC, the Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), and the College of Engineering at Qatar University (QU) to suite the climatic conditions of Qatar.
The design works have been completed for a covered training site prototype mentioned in the CGI Commitment. The scope of the SC's training sites program changed from being enclosed facilities under a climate control environment to open pitches as a result of FIFA's announcement that the tournament will shift from summer to winter season, eliminating the need for cooled training structures. With the new tournament timing, SC's training sites program has moved into developing a design that will be used during the tournament.
The testing of the enhanced cooling technologies was conducted by a joint team during the following events: Summer of 2014 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil; Summer of 2015 during the Holy Month of Ramadan. During these large scale events in both years, the project featured an innovative open-air cooling technology and managed to maintain an ambient temperature of 22-32 degrees Celsius with outside temperature reaching 37 degrees Celsius. The System was not only able to reduce the temperature within the fan zone but also reduce energy consumption against a conventional mechanical system. From the 407 individuals surveyed, more than 40% were satisfied with the temperature within the study area.
Since the commitment, SC has been working in conjunction with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment's Agricultural Research Department, the AZF, and the QU on this pioneering project to test the innovative cooling technology designed for sporting infrastructure to cool greenhouses in Qatar. As part of this initiative, the four air conditioning units previously used to cool the Aspire Fan Zone were donated to Al Khalaf Farm in the north of the State of Qatar, where these units will be utilized as greenhouse cooling units. There are future plans to install additional AC units for testing at the Center of Agricultural Research in Al Atoriyah.
The aim of this project is to enable farmers to grow a wide range of fruits and vegetables all year round in Qatar, increasing the quality and productivity of crops while at the same time decreasing the amount of water and energy consumed by agricultural production. The cooling systems were reinstalled for a test phase in a greenhouse growing vegetables at AGRICO2 for Agricultural Development at Al Khalaf Farm in Al Khor City, which became operational in November 2015. The greenhouse has a total area of 20,000 square meters, where 6,000 square meters are partitioned to undertake full tests of these four units.
The results from this initiative will be tested in two distinct ways: Climate Control Technologies demonstrating their effectiveness in the climatic conditions of Qatar with high temperature, high humidity, high solar radiation; Operational efficiency and running costs, testing and verifying operational efficiency and running costs contributing to a positive business case for a commercial-scale grower. Operational efficiency will be analyzed based on comparison between the cooled greenhouses and those using traditional cooling methods (e.g. normal evaporative cooling). Crop productivity per square meter will be measured and compared against traditional methods. The additional operational cost of running the AC units will also be analyzed.
Next steps include: Measuring performance and the impact based on the above mentioned criteria, after a full year in service, including the summer months in Qatar; By late 2016, SC will be in a position to analyze and share its findings and potentially propose new efficiencies.