Sheffield’s Role in Qatar World Cup

How a Yorkshire and Qatar based partnership has delivered an air conditioning solution for the 2022 World Cup

Sheffield city centre, where one of its two universities will be cooperating with Qatar University in the design of a state-of-the-art air conditioning system. Image by Shahid Khan (via Shutterstock).
Sheffield city centre: where one of its two universities will be cooperating with Qatar University in the design of a state-of-the-art air conditioning system. Image by Shahid Khan (via Shutterstock).

In five years time, we could be seeing an England side, managed by John Terry (or Gareth Southgate), in the Qatar World Cup Finals. Whoever’s going to be in the dugout in 2022, an Anglo-Qatari partnership is set to play an important role.

Instead, the pre-match preparation will be taking place off the A57 road to Manchester, at the University of Sheffield. Both the University of Sheffield and Qatar University are developing a state-of-the-art air conditioning system that will keep Qatar’s World Cup venues cool. Not only to the fans sat in the baking temperatures, but also to the players.

Dr. Ben Hughes and his Qatari research partners have opted for an air conditioning system, which is based on Middle Eastern methods from centuries ago. Air is captured from wind towers, which is passed over pipes of cold water in underground chambers. These are placed in central locations and pumped to cool groups of buildings.

With a sports complex (using the Etihad Campus in Beswick for arguments sake), the training pitches as well as the main stadium are part of the cluster. This system is known as positive cooling. With conventional air conditioning systems, 21°C is the norm in the UK, compared with 17°C in Qatar. Neither temperature, nor any normal HVAC systems would work at any of the World Cup venues due to its climate.

ST Maintenance Solutions, 02 June 2017.

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