Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 19 August 2018

Wind turbine at capital school teaches students about clean energy

A wind turbine will help an Abu Dhabi school meet its energy needs.
The wind turbine at Al Shohub Private School in Khalifa City A. Delores Johnson / The National
The wind turbine at Al Shohub Private School in Khalifa City A. Delores Johnson / The National
A school in Abu Dhabi has installed a wind turbine that will help it to meet its energy requirements.

Al Shohub School hopes the 10-kilowatt turbine will produce 10,300 kilowatts of power a year for its new campus in Khalifa City A, which is set to open this autumn.

That figure may be a small proportion of the school's total energy needs, but the turbine will help the school to reduce its carbon-dioxide emissions by a significant 2,400 kilograms a year. It will also give the pupils a valuable lesson.

"It will give an indication to all students that you can use wind power to produce electricity," said Alaa Al Bayaty, head of engineering for the office of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the school's owner.

The turbine, a white structure nearly 30 metres tall, is not yet generating power but is expected to start in between two and three weeks.

Electricity produced will power three of the school's science laboratories.

Sockets in the labs will be a different colour to those in the rest of the school to remind students that clean power is being used.

Its power will also be used to cool a 20-square-metre service room, where the system's batteries and control panels will be placed.

Sheikh Sultan decided to install the turbine, the first in a UAE school, in May. Five consultancies submitted designs, with Makan Consulting Engineers winning the tender.

The school covers a built-up area of 13,000 square metres and includes a science and art laboratories, an indoor swimming pool and two libraries.

The school meets the one-pearl criteria under the Estidama green building system by the Urban Planning Council.

Initially, 700 students will move into the new school from an old campus in Abu Dhabi. The building has a capacity to handle as many as 1,200 pupils from kindergarten to Grade 12.

Construction started in September last year, with Nurol appointed the main contractor. The company that designed, supplied and installed the wind turbine is Dubai's Vista Eco Solutions.

While the UAE may have greater potential for solar energy, harnessing wind power takes up less space and can be more eye-catching, said Ashraf Taha, a director at Eco Solutions.

"Something as high as this will be seen by everyone passing by," said Mr Taha. "I think you can even spot it from the highway, driving between Dubai and Abu Dhabi."

Wind speeds at the site range between three and eight metres a second, so the turbine is expected to be working at least 70 per cent of the time, he said.

"It will provide good information for other wind-power projects in the country," Mr Taha said.

About 700 workers are putting the finishing touches to the school. Construction is expected to be completed next month.