Qatar 2022 World Cup stadiums may not need cooling
Organising committee exec says demand for cooling in stadia will be lower for a winter World Cup tournament
A senior technical advisor working for the 2022 world cup organising committee has said that a winter tournament in Qatar may not require the stadium cooling systems proposed in the bid for a summer competition.
FIFA earlier this month ruled that the 2022 World Cup will be held in November-December, with the final being staged on December 18. That means the tournament will be held in the Middle East winter where average temperatures in the Gulf state are around 23-26°C, vastly cooler than the summer months which average 39-41°C and can peak in the high 40s – with humidity hovering at 91%.
Speaking to newswire Reuters, Dario Cadavid, technical assurance and integration manager at Qatar’s 2022 Supreme Committee for deliver and Legacy said; "The temperatures are lower in the winter so the demand for cooling will be lower.”
"It's very possible that during that time of the year that cooling isn't required for the winter," he added.
While many critics suggested that holding the tournament during the summer would present huge challenges, Qatar officials have maintained that it had the technology in hand to deal with the issue. The country even took the unprecedented step of having a 500-seat scale model stadium, called the Qatar Showcase, built to show how they were going to tackle the issue.
The system used solar panels outside to collect energy from the sun which was then used to power an absorption chiller to cool water to 6°C. That was then used to cool air before it was blown through the stadium – through perforated seats and outlets which then allowed cool air to flow from top level seats, down to the pitch where temperatures could be maintained at below 27°C.
A rotating canopy also helped to keep the sun off spectators. While players in peak condition can condition themselves to work at almost any temperature, fans are unlikely to do so.
"In order to provide safety for the players we need to provide a temperature between 26 and 29 degrees... our target is 26 degrees," he said.
Work on the system will continue regardless of whether it will be used or not. Cadavid said that the cooling systems were the “legacy” part of the bid, and that Qatar wants the stadiums to be available for local leagues throughout the year.
He also said that each of the stadiums used will be fitted with the system when constructed.
"It's more difficult to put in the systems after the stadiums are finished... it becomes more expensive and complex because the cooling system is integrated so that needs to happen now."