DEWA supports Dubai’s future leadership by adopting the latest innovative technologies

22 May 2024

DEWA supports Dubai’s future leadership by adopting the latest innovative technologies

DEWA supports Dubai’s future leadership by adopting the latest innovative technologies

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) supports the vision and directives of the wise leadership to transition Dubai into future leadership and enable it to be ten years ahead of other cities in the world through government innovation and updating the concepts and technologies of work mechanisms. In line with its vision to be a globally leading sustainable innovative corporation committed to achieving Net-Zero by 2050, DEWA consolidates a culture of innovation throughout its journey to prepare for the next 50 years and build a sustainable future. This supports the UAE Centennial 2071 to make the UAE the world’s leading nation, and is in line with the National Innovation Strategy to make the UAE one of the most innovative nations in the world.

DEWA utilises the latest innovations and advanced technologies in space, cyber security, robots, drones, solar photovoltaic panels, smart grids, clean and renewable energy, and sustainability, among other technologies, to provide innovative solutions to face the challenges in energy and water production as well as increase the efficiency of its operations.

Programmes and innovations in space and robotics

DEWA’s Space Programme (Space-D)

DEWA’s space programme (Space-D) aims to enhance its networks’ operations, maintenance, and planning using nanosatellite and remote sensing technologies. The programme also focuses on training Emirati professionals to utilise space technologies for electricity and water networks. It further seeks to capitalise on IoT, AI, and blockchain technologies. As a ground-breaking initiative, DEWA has successfully launched two nanosatellites, DEWA SAT-1 and DEWA SAT-2, making it the first utility worldwide to utilise nanosatellites for improving the maintenance and planning of electricity and water networks and enhancing operational efficiency. The programme also provides real-time responses in addressing the impacts of extreme weather events on the energy and water desalination infrastructure.

R&D Centre labs

DEWA’s Research and Development (R&D) Centre has various internal and outdoor labs to study the performance and reliability of photovoltaic solar panels. The outdoor labs include testing different solar panel technologies and performance, as well as the Robotic and Drone laboratory, which contributed to DEWA achieving a Guinness World Records title for the first 3D-printed lab in the world. The lab is the first building in UAE to be fully printed onsite.

The lab houses rovers and drones that are designed and built in-house. Key internal labs include the Electrical Characterisation Lab, the Mechanical Characterisation Lab, the Materials Characterisation Lab, the Solar Simulator Lab, and the Accelerated Aging Lab.

DEWA uses 3D printing technology as one of the innovative solutions to produce prototypes and spare parts for its generation, transmission, and distribution divisions, and to support the digitisation of its inventory. The R&D Centre supports rapid developments through its advanced 3D printing features. It also provides technical solutions, training, knowledge sharing, mechanical testing, techno-economic analysis, and research and development in additive manufacturing.

Innovating an Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) charging system

DEWA’s R&D Centre innovated a UAV drone charging system that enables continuous charging for UAVs and thus provides longer flying hours with a large storage capacity. This is in addition to improving the charging efficiency and facilitating the charging process. The system uses a group of UAVs to charge the main one through electromagnetic induction. The innovative system can be used for government, military, commercial, and personal operations. The system also increases the efficiency of operations that use UAVs and supports the development of the energy and water sector.

Innovative solar panels

DEWA uses innovative technologies at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world, based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. These technologies include single-axis solar tracking to increase energy generation. It also uses other innovative technologies, including cleaning robots for photovoltaic panels without using water, which increases the plant’s efficiency. DEWA also uses the latest solar photovoltaic bifacial technologies with Single Axis Tracking to increase energy production.

Solar PV panels robotic carrier

DEWA’s R&D Centre has created a user-friendly robotic carrier to transport solar photovoltaic panels lifting them smoothly from any surface. It can also transport glass panels or any sensitive materials requiring extra care. The carrier is self-balancing and has a 90-degree wheel locking hinge mechanism that allows the wheel to move along the transported product, minimising human interference.

Automatic Smart Grid Restoration System (ASGR)

Among the programmes launched by DEWA under the umbrella of the smart grid is an Automatic Smart Grid Restoration System (ASGR), the first of its kind in the MENA region, to enhance the control, management, and monitoring of its power network. The system works around the clock without any human intervention. It uses a smart, innovative, and central system that locates the fault in the power network, isolates it, and automatically restores the service. This improves grid automation, fault detection and retrieval of connections.

Advanced technologies that support water transmission grids

Smart Ball technology

The smart ball system consists of a small diameter sphere that is inserted into the water network, where it travels freely, driven by the water flow. Sounds generated by a leak, gas pocket or anomalies have unique characteristics. The system captures the sounds from inside the pipeline to detect the leak’s location. Since its utilisation in April 2021 and until the end of 2023, the Smart Ball technology detected 81 leaks in the water transmission network in Dubai. This technology reduces operational expenses, as small cracks in the water transmission pipelines are treated before they increase in size and cause further water wastage.

Mirzab Pipes

In the Mirzab Pipes system, each pipe can detect internal water leaks inside itself when a device is added from the outside. This device sends alerts from the pipe to a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system.