World’s tallest tower goes solar saving 3,200 KW a day

DUBAI, Apr 4th, 2010: In one of the region’s landmark sustainability initiatives, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building developed by Emaar Properties in Dubai, is tapping solar power for meeting a bulk of the water heating requirements of residents.

A perfect complement to the sustainable development initiatives spearheaded by the UAE, Burj Khalifa uses solar panels to heat 140,000 litres of water every day, which will be distributed to homes and commercial entities within the tower. The solar powered water brings energy savings equivalent to 3,200 kilo watts per day and 690MWh of energy per annum.

The thermal energy initiative at Burj Khalifa highlights Emaar’s commitment to partner in the Government’s sustainable development goals, according Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director – UAE, Emaar Properties.

“Energy efficient measures, especially through use of renewable sources, are not an option but an imperative for sustainable growth. By leveraging solar power, Burj Khalifa is setting an example as well as creating a referral mark on how urban developments can effectively integrate energy-friendly initiatives,” he added.

The solar heating system is installed and operated by SOLE UAE Solar Systems, the oldest solar thermal company in Europe. “Burj Khalifa presented us a remarkable opportunity to use solar energy to meet the water heating needs of residents in the tower. The significant benefits include cost savings on energy uses – not only for the tower but the Government utility provider too – as well as reduced pollution levels leading to a healthier environment,” said John Owen of SOLE UAE.

The solar panels of Burj Khalifa serve as solar collectors, as against photovoltaic electricity generation technology. Located on roof of The Offices, the annexure of Burj Khalifa, 378 collector panels, each 2.7 sq m in area, can heat the entire 140,000 litres of water in approximately 7 hours of day time solar radiation.

Among other key sustainable energy and water use measures, the condensate from all the air-conditioning equipment in Burj Khalifa is reclaimed to cool the potable water from Dubai Electricity ‘&’ Water Authority. The condensate is then collected in an on-site irrigation tank and used for tower’s landscaping. When operational, this system will provide about 15 million gallons of supplemental water per year.

Within the confines of Burj Khalifa’s architectural design – that of a tall building with a fully glazed fa ade and little solar shading – a concerted effort has been made in the design and construction to make it environment-friendly.

To ensure energy efficiency, Fresh Air Handling Units have been fitted with thermal wheels and, wherever possible, economizer modes. Additionally, there is extensive use of variable speed drives on the air-handling and water-circulating equipment to also add to energy efficiency. The air-conditioning and water systems also incorporate extensive energy saving control systems to reduce part load energy consumption.

Burj Khalifa’s cladding system is constructed to high standards with a high shading co-efficient and a low U-value to reduce the transfer of external heat gains. Additional energy use efficiency measures in place include automated solar shading at entrance pavilions.

Burj Khalifa also features several measures to reduce water consumption (WC) including water flow restrictors and low water volume WC installed in all public areas.

Burj Khalifa is a mixed-use tower featuring luxurious residences, commercial suites and the world’s first Armani Hotel and Armani Residences. The tower also has a rich array of luxurious amenities including four swimming pools, an exclusive residents’ lounge, health and wellness facilities, and At.mosphere, the world’s highest fine dining restaurant at Level 122. At the Top, the world’s highest observatory with an outdoor terrace, is already one of Dubai’s most popular attractions.

Burj Khalifa anchors Downtown Dubai, the 500-acre self-contained mega-development by Emaar Properties. Home-owner orientation is currently ongoing.