Dhofar varsity readies for Solar Decathlon

By Kaushalendra Singh — SALALAH: Dec 28: The students and faculty members of the College of Engineering of Dhofar University (DU) are busy doing an interesting project titled SoLLite to compete in Solar Decathlon for which DU has the distinction of being the only university from Oman to take part in this international competition. Solar Decathlon is a global competition in which universities from around the world meet to design, build and operate a grid-connected, energetically self-sufficient house. “The houses use solar energy as the only energy source and are equipped with all the technologies that permit maximum energy efficiency.”
The first competition was held in 2002. Since then the Solar Decathlon expanded in several countries and currently it has four additional worldwide competitions named as Solar Decathlon China, Solar Decathlon Europe, Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean, and now Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME). Aliasgar Contractor, Dean College of Engineering, termed the participation a major achievement of the department and a great learning opportunity for the college students. “Moreover, such activities give university international recognition. It is important for a university to be known globally for important researches and projects.”
Principal Investigator Dr Liudmila Cazacova is equally excited for the university’s participation in the competition. To have a greater outreach, the students and faculty members of the university gave a presentation to the representatives of leading industries in Salalah to invite the industry organisation to be a part of the SoLLite, a Solar Decathelon Middle East team.
“Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) is an international collegiate competition made up of 10 contests that challenge student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses. This year Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) will organise the event and has selected 22 teams from 16 countries to challenge in this competition,” said Dr Liudmila.
“The goal of the SDME 2018 is to raise awareness of the students participating in the competition on the benefits and opportunities offered by the use of renewable energy, encourage professionals from different industries, educate the general public about responsible energy use, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the technologies, and promote architecturally attractive solar system integration. Several industry organisations have joined hands with the SoLLite, which is the only team from Sultanate of Oman to participate in the prestigious competition,” she said.
The likely impact of the project is “awareness of the students and community to use renewable energy; technologies; energy management; sustainable construction and parametric design. “It challenges students to think creatively and develop innovative solutions that contribute to energy savings. It encourages professionals for new architecture and engineering solutions and demonstrates that a shelter can be easily created and assembled in a short period of time and can be of affordable cost.”