Keeping fans and players cool at Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Published: 23 May 2017


Engineers from the University of Sheffield have co-designed a unique system to keep football fans and players cool at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Although the competition has been moved from the summer to November and December, the average temperature during this time ranges between 25 - 29℃.
Dr Ben Hughes’ team from Sheffield’s Energy 2050 institute worked with colleagues from Qatar University to design the system which cools the outside air and and pushes it through to the pitch, stands and concourse areas.

Energy 2050 says the district cooling technology is more sustainable and environmentally-friendly than traditional air conditioning systems and uses recovered heat in a mixed mode to deliver a stable, comfortable indoor environment.

Innovative technology
The 40,000 seat Khalifa Stadium was first opened in 1976 but has undergone extensive renovations for the World Cup.

Dr Hughes said: “One of the main challenges in holding the World Cup in Qatar is maintaining the thermal comfort of players and spectators. By using innovative cooling technology, we are able to reduce temperatures and the energy needed to meet carbon neutral commitments.”

The project was made possible by an National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) award from the Qatar National Research Fund, a member of the Qatar Foundation. 
  • ​Energy 2050 is one of the UK’s largest energy research institutes. Based at the University of Sheffield, it focuses on energy innovation and knowledge exchange and brings together more than 120 academics, and 250 PhD students.