Visited the Energy World Qatar expo in Doha, Qatar going on from 18 to 28 November 2015. An awesome display of information regarding Science and Energy aimed towards the kids and people. What was interesting was while people were having a great time playing with different equipments they were also learning the science behind it. Even the parents were enjoying themselves. Qatar should seriously consider setting a building for this kind of stuff. Wonder why no Schools were invited to attend the Expo? Most of the volunteers were very active and enjoying distributing information.
It started off with a short Movie show which explained the resource crunch that the world will experience in the coming years not on one front but on 3 fronts – ENERGY, WATER and FOOD. The world will be screaming for these three as more… cities are being developed there will be less energy, water and food for all and solutions need to be found at the earliest and if possible tomorrow. The Expo was hosted by Shell – Petroleum Company 😉 … whenever you discuss Solar energy being sponsored/displayed by petroleum companies always add a wink or a “LOL”.
There are a lot of information on display – a few that stuck to my mind was the below:
That of Wind Energy, which if channeled through a pipe with wider-enterance-and-smaller-exit the strength is enhanced and if it is concentrated the heated air expands and this air and multiplies the strength. Which got me thinking that could not wind turbines be at ground level and pushed by air blowing through converging pipes and the inside air heated by solar energy? Could not the energy of the wind be increased 2 or 3 times if channeled in the proper way, towards a wind turbine possibly by use of tall buildings in a row to direct the air and increase the pressure? Maybe possible maybe not possible… just positive thinking.
Qatar has already installed a few wind turbines a few photos of it and data about its performance would have been a great boost for research and more people installing it. Qatar being a flat landscape country and having good wind and periodic strong winds wind energy is not a bad investment.
That of Solar Energy. Quite a bit of information was there but what was missing was possibly more important than anything. Qatar has been installing a lot of Solar Panels in everyday use especially on the roads. They could have brought some of these or at least pictures to show the kids what and where Qatar is using these technology. For example:
Street Safety Lights on Road Barriers: it is being used on Safety Lights placed on road barriers to guide the motorist. For each project there are around thousands of such lights involved, and there are many such projects all over Qatar. Once can safely guess about 100,000 of these being installed on Qatar Roads to safeguard the nighttime drivers. Earlier each one of these had to be replaced and the original taken to be recharged and replaced again and each project had one person allotted for this work this was a tedious and dangerous task as one is operating on high speed roads which are unlit as they are either being constructed, repaired, footpath made or cable laying.
Street Lights: Qatar has started to install Solar Street Lights possibly under testing phase especially towards the north of Doha. These are shorter in height and bright-white in colour and personally I found them to aid visibility more than the existing amber lights that looks good under night-photography. But give me LED street lights anytime as the roads would be safer under their enhanced visibility.
Solar Bus Stops: Quite a few bus stops have been solar powered. This is an amazing thing to do as now they have become “smart bus stops” and display information. Currently they are displaying information based on the Bus but it can be used to display LED glowing, animated or even LED TV screen advertisement, play songs, messages etc. Advertisements could get the company installing the Solar Panels quite a bit of revenue. One anomaly I saw with the Solar Panel was the placement – the panels were placed around the height of the roof. If it was waist high and had sockets to connect multiple Phone chargers and a broom was hung people would have cleaned the solar panels with the broom to access the power in the panels to charge their phone while waiting for the bus. Even the waist high level place of solar panels are practical for cleaning and maintenance.
The PassiveHause Project: Qatar had done a big project. After visiting a Passivhaus in Europe in 2012 it was decided to demonstrate a project to test the applicability of the Passivhaus concept in the hot arid climate of Qatar and thewider GCC Region. Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) was selected as the technical and scientific partner for the project.The partnership included Kahramaa electricity and water utility providers in Qatar, and the Ministry of Municipalities and Urban Planning. In the project they constructed both a Passivhaus villa and a Business As Usual (BAU) villa (quicklynicknamed the Im-Passivhaus) that will act as a control for the experiment. The villas will be inhabited by two similar families with one or two young children and were supposed to be monitored. Wonder what happened to that project?
People might look at Qatar and say it is a desert country. But many people in Qatar have farms where they grow fruits, vegetables and even rice for 6 months of the year when the weather is cooler. Once Saudi was the 6th largest exporter of wheat in year 2006 but ran out of water so had to scale back. Qatar has also planned elaborate ways to grow food round the year through green houses and the SaharaForestProject. Other than that there are people who have already planned to grow food round the year with temperature controlled Greenhouse. It looks like anything can grow in Qatar provided it is given proper shade during the hotter time of the year.
Landscaping of Roads in Qatar over the years has made Qatar look quite green and over the past 2 years it has begun to look SERIOUSLY green so much so that it looks like a cool weather country. This is made possible by the use of TSE (treated sewage effluent) which are pumped through the drip irrigation laid each section of which include kilometers of pipelines.
I was wondering what if Qatar was farming fruits or vegetables on its Footpaths (those which are safer for planting and working) instead of the beautiful looking lawn grass and flowers it would have grown cheap and abundant fruits and vegetables too…. Just wondering.
Qatar is a country blessed with both abundant sun and wind energy right round the year. It would be sad if Qatar did not invest in it when it still can. With the games around the corner Qatar can pledge to put solar panels on each building in the country and provide energy for the FIFA games in 2022.
There could have been display about how Qatar uses the seawater to provide itself with Water and Electricity. The whole desalination process could have been explained. Water is after all one of the basic forces of nature without which nothing lives. The monsoon of Qatar last barely a week or sometimes two. It was only during the Doha Asian Games period that it rained most… probably a month. The amount of rainfall is usually drizzle and light showers but always a couple of days of strong rains. Actually Qatar gets more rain than a country like Egypt. But there are a lot of fruits and vegetable from Egypt. This is possible because of the river Nile in Egypt which originates 6,695 Kms away which makes it one of the most important rivers in the world because it supports so many life around it all the way from Burundi to the Mediterranean Sea.
One of the posters said Clouds contain so much water as a river…. Only if we could drink them. When this very cloud sends down pure drinking water what do we great people do?… we spend billions of dollars to lay complex network of pipelines to pump the same water right into the sea within minutes of its landing on earth… DO WE DESPISE RAINWATER SO MUCH? We hate flooding right it is such an ugly site right? The whole world is trying to set some record of who pumps the maximum water into the sea fastest… who has the best Surface Water Drainage systems in the world. I mean have we become like an ostrich living with our head in the sand? Qatar had devised EFA (emergency flooding areas) to collect such water so as to store them temporarily this would avoid flooding of the roads and at the same time collect the water. There is need for more such systems and Step tanks to be constructed for every mall constructed.
Earth no longer is able to retain the water that falls on it. You will see some regions in the world face bouts-of-droughts followed by boughts-of-floods… both phases killing a lot of people. This is result of people trying to hit the Earth… the Earth hits back harder. After all… one cannot lie down and spit upwards… without some of it landing on their face.
This is because people living near a lot of the cultivatable areas have killed their THE EARTHWORMs the Surface-Water-Drainage (SWD)-MANAGER by spraying the fields with fertilizers and pesticides. Now consider that 1 Acre of fertile land has a million of these Surface-Water-Drainage Managers’ working day and night to create 100 million pores of tiny pipelines in the field that will drain the water down every hour as the rain subsides and then rain again many times a day. Once the water reaches a few feet below the surface of the earth they are able to find the previous years’ tiny water channels that flow them to some local areas where the water collects… over the years as these water table rises they rise above the surface of the earth to flow as rivers.
If one considers that 1 earthworm has created enough network to send one cubic feet of water under the ground then 1 million of earthworms can save one million cubic feet of water per Acre every day of the monsoon!!!
Use of fertilizer and pesticide also kill bees or prevent bees from coming near the plant. This will lead to less pollination and less pollination means lesser crop yield and thus less food gets produced.
Rain is not the source of water… SEA IS THE SOURCE OF WATER… The Universe creates water from the Sea with the heating power of the sun. Creating water from sea is as simple as boiling seawater…. The steam can be channeled into a bottle which will percolate into pure water. Now how do we create the heat to boil the seawater? We can use the source of the sun and multiply it many times by the use of a concave mirror or convex lens. This can be done even when there is cloud cover… if too much cloud cover is there you could use a bigger mirror.
Such a Science Expo is very important in instilling in the kids a strong sense of science and reason behind the science. I have always fondly recalled my family & school trips, as a kid, to the Nehru Science Centre & Planetarium, Worli, Mumbai which is obviously much bigger in scale than this that a whole building, park and complex is devoted to the subject.