Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday received a delegation from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) led by Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA.
The delegation comprised Emirati experts, researchers and professionals from DEWA’s Research and Development (R&D) Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, who are actively contributing to the advancement of the clean and renewable energy sector.
The meeting, which took place at Za’abeel Palace in Dubai, was attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.
Commenting on the occasion, Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the UAE’s deep appreciation for the efforts of scientists, researchers and innovators across various fields. He emphasised the country’s commitment to empower and support them, recognising their significant contributions to the advancement, progress and prosperity of the nation.
Sheikh Mohammed said that researchers and national competencies play a pivotal role in shaping the future of sustainable energy and consolidating the UAE’s leading position in this field. Their efforts also strengthen Dubai’s emergence as an inspiring model in applying knowledge to innovate solutions, contributing to advancing the development process to meet current needs and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come, Sheikh Mohammed said.
Sheikh Mohammed praised DEWA for its efforts in launching initiatives and projects aligned with the country’s ambition to embrace clean and renewable energy alternatives. He also urged DEWA’s researchers to intensify their efforts in providing solutions that further support the UAE’s energy objectives and consolidates its global leadership in achieving sustainable development goals.
Research and development serve as a crucial driver for innovating effective solutions that contribute to the growth and prosperity of various vital sectors, with a particular emphasis on the energy sector, Sheikh Mohammed added.
About the R&D Centre
The R&D Centre comprises 31 researchers who hold PhD and master’s degrees. Since its establishment, the Centre has published 170 research papers in scientific conferences and peer-reviewed journals worldwide. With ongoing efforts to register new patents, the Centre has applied for 27 patents, and to date, six patents have been granted.
Established in line with the vision and directives of Sheikh Mohammed, the R&D Centre serves as a global platform to enhance DEWA’s operations and services. The Centre focuses on key research areas, including solar power, water, smart grid integration and energy efficiency, supported by three enablers: The Fourth Industrial Revolution (including AI, IoT, Robotics & Drones, 3D Printing & Advanced Materials), Energy System Analyses and Space technologies.
The Centre aspires to emerge as a leading global platform for developing and showcasing innovative solutions in the fields of future energy and water systems. Its mission is to enhance the value of DEWA through cutting-edge applied research, ensuring that DEWA and its ecosystem maintain a leading position in delivering world-class services cost-effectively. Adhering to international R&D best practices and aligning with the objectives of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, the Centre conducts research and development activities both in-house and collaboratively with local and international institutions.
The R&D Centre houses the Green Hydrogen project, a pioneering initiative implemented by DEWA. The groundbreaking project stands as the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, dedicated to producing hydrogen through the utilisation of solar energy.
Al Tayer said: “Under the guidance of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, DEWA is committed to nurturing Emirati professionals who can adapt to rapid changes, confront challenges and seize international opportunities. As one of the largest government organisations in the UAE, DEWA is dedicated to the recruitment, qualification and development of national talent. Our Emirati staff consistently showcase their global competitiveness, providing solutions and innovative research that address challenges in the energy and water sectors on a worldwide scale.”
“We cultivate talent and foster a positive, interactive environment that empowers researchers to unlock their potential, encouraging innovation and the creation of scientific papers and breakthroughs. This commitment is pivotal in positioning the UAE as the world’s leading nation by its Centennial in 2071. The R&D Centre features state-of-the-art research facilities and advanced laboratories, enabling us to delve into areas such as solar energy, smart grid integration, energy efficiency, water, space technology, applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and more. This allows us to refine our expertise and realise the centre’s vision of becoming a global platform for developing and disseminating innovative solutions in the fields of future energy and water systems. Additionally, it reinforces DEWA’s global leadership and excellence while bolstering Dubai’s status as a key global hub for research and development,” added Al Tayer.
The Centre includes several internal and external laboratories to study the performance and reliability of solar panels. External laboratories include testing various solar panel technologies to check their performance. The Centre also includes the robotics and drones laboratory, which contributed to DEWA’s entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for establishing the world’s first 3D-printed lab. The laboratory stands as the first fully printed onsite building in the country.
The lab specialises in robotics, where drones and autonomous vehicles are both designed and constructed. Among the internal laboratories, notable ones include the electrical testing laboratory, mechanical testing laboratory, material testing laboratory, solar radiation simulation laboratory and the laboratory dedicated to artificially accelerating the lifespan of solar panels. The lab also accommodates in-house designed and built rovers and drones. Key internal labs encompass the Electrical Characterisation Lab, Mechanical Characterisation Lab, Materials Characterisation Lab, Solar Simulator Lab and the Accelerated Aging Lab.
Through its R&D Centre, DEWA has developed advanced infrastructure and specialised software in 3D printing and additive manufacturing. DEWA is the first organisation in the GCC to deploy Markforged Metalx 3D printing based on wire/filament. This technology is highly accurate and reduces time and cost, improves efficiency and productivity and enhances innovation at DEWA.
DEWA uses 3D printers to produce prototypes and spare parts for DEWA’s generation, transmission, and distribution divisions, and to support the digitisation of its inventory. Through 3D printing, the Centre supports rapid developments in prototyping, and provides technical solutions, training, knowledge sharing, mechanical testing, techno-economic analysis and research and development in Additive Manufacturing.
The R&D Centre received a Platinum Rating for green buildings from LEED by the US Green Building Council in 2019. The Centre has photovoltaic panels installed on its roof and car parking as well as Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) in its walls. The building reduces energy consumption by over 25% and saves more than 50% water. Over 30% of construction materials used to build it were recycled.