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Backing the next generation of solar power innovators
 

Solar energy could one day supply most of the world’s energy needs, but it is crucial that individual countries invest in the next generation of innovators to make that happen.

As always, the UAE has been leading the way in pioneering new technology and new thinking. The just concluded Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 (SDME), hosted by DEWA in collaboration with the US Department of Energy Dubai, was an intriguing competition that challenged students from various international universities to design and build a 150 square metre residential house that is entirely powered by solar energy using novel technologies.

As a global pioneer with more than one hundred years of experience in bathrooms and water technology, Germany’s most prestigious bathroom and kitchen brand hansgrohe threw its weight behind the competition by offering sponsorship to Dubai’s Heriot-Watt University as they participated in the SDME.

Heriot-Watt University’s project for SDME 2018 was called ORA house. ORA – which stands for Organic, Resilient, and Adaptable – uses a hybrid barjeel (wind tower), but instead of a vertical one, theirs is a horizontal one that provides passive cooling. A greywater system also irrigates the green wall. The competition attracted 15 teams from 28 academic institutions, with 600 students from 54 nations participating.

Hansgrohe supplied a selection of its state-of-the-art, water saving products for the university’s design – including items from its exclusive Pura Vida range.

“This kind of innovative competition is crucial in encouraging a new generation to meet the ongoing challenge of heat, dust and high humidity that we face in the Middle East,“ said Amjad el Hibri, managing director, Hansgrohe Middle East.

“The world is at a pivotal moment for dealing with climate and energy issues, and SDME 2018 embraces the goal of developing and promoting ideas, capacities and technologies that can be implemented for the benefit of the inhabitants of the region. As a prestigious and forward-looking educational institution, we are proud to have supported the Heriot-Watt University team."

The sponsorship by hansgrohe was jointly with its partner Integrated Trading Company – ITC – an award-winning UAE distributor of high-end German sanitary fittings, and the exclusive distributor of hansgrohe and its luxury design arm AXOR.

Professor Ammar Kaka, Vice Principal at Heriot-Watt University, Dubai, commented: “We were delighted to have had the support of such prestigious brands as hansgrohe and ITC for the ORA house project. It is so important that eco-conscious companies get behind events like SDME and help pave the way for a new generation of innovators that can answer the urgent questions posed by environmental issues right now.” 

 

 
 
 
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