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ABB powers Dubai sustainable city

Dubai’s sustainable city gets power from the sun through ABB string inverters

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ABB single phase string inverter
ABB single phase string inverter

Dubai’s first city to be fully powered by solar energy will rely on ABB string inverters to harness the power of the sun for residents.

Inverters are used to convert the direct current (DC) output from the panels in to the alternating current (AC) needed in homes.

ABB has supplied 400 string inverters to harvest solar energy for 400 villas in the Sustainable City, the region’s first fully integrated sustainable community.

“ABB is excited to be part of Dubai’s first wholly sustainable city and help reliably harness the power of the sun. We share Dubai’s vision of building a world-class smart city and we firmly believe for this to happen, it also needs to be energy-efficient,” said Mostafa AlGuezeri, Managing Director, ABB in the Middle East.

The inverters were installed by City Solar, one of the leading companies specialising in solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation in the UAE.

Conceived and built by Dubai based Diamond Developers, the Sustainable City will be home to some 2,000 people in an area of nearly 500,000 square meters. It will eventually generate 10 megawatt-peak (MWp) of power from solar panels on private and public buildings within the city.

As well as solar powered homes, the plan for the Sustainable City features solar powered chargers for electric cars, a hotel powered 100 percent by solar power and the Diamond Innovation Centre, the first educational institute to use net zero energy over its lifetime. 

“We are one of the pioneering engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies that supply grid connected PV solutions to this growing regional market," said Anwar Abdel of City Solar. “This means we are responsible for procuring all equipment and materials necessary for the project and verify that it’s functioning perfectly.”

The Sustainable City provides a complete suite of amenities and environmental features. With the initial phase completed in December 2016, the city comprises five residential clusters, a buffer zone, a green ‘spine’, an equestrian club and a multipurpose development. The second stage, to be completed in 2018, will include the hotel, innovation centre, school and country club.

 “The Sustainable City is based on innovation, energy efficiency and a commitment to combat the effects of climate change. With its own commitment to innovative technology to make efficient use of renewable energy, ABB was the ideal partner to help us realise our vision of building the first net zero energy city in Dubai,” said Faris Saeed, engineer and CEO at Diamond Developers.

Working closely with the developers to design the solar power system for the villas, ABB supplied a string inverter demonstration unit at the start of the project to prove it could cope with the high outdoor temperatures experienced in Dubai. Models supplied under the contract were the PVI 5000, PVI 12.5, TRIO 7.5 and TRIO 8.5.

ABB also supplied inverters for a 1.4 megawatt (MW) parking lot solar roof project. This will charge the electric cars, which are the only powered vehicles allowed within the city limits.

ABB has one of the broadest portfolios of solar inverters in the industry, ranging from small single-phase and three-phase string inverters up to megawatt-sized central inverters.

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