Ajman University Students Take Top Honors for Sustainable Home in Global Solar Decathlon

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Ajman University’s “Team AquaGreen” won top honors in two separate categories in the prestigious  Solar Decathlon competition held November 14-28, 2018, in Dubai. AquaGreen took first prize in “Engineering and Construction” and first prize in “Energy Management.” AquaGreen was the only team from the Middle East to win first place in any of the 10 contests.

The Solar Decathlon is an extremely competitive and challenging international competition. Established through an agreement between the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and the Department of Energy in the USA, the Solar Decathlon invites students from universities all around the world to design and build a solar, sustainable, zero-CO2 emission, smart house. Earning an opportunity to participate in the event is highly selective. This year, 15 teams were chosen to showcase their creations.

AU’s team of 61 engineering students – led by faculty members  Sahar Kharrufa, Mrs. Sahar Makky, and Mr. Iyad Abdaljawad – worked diligently for 18 months to design and construct their house on AU’s campus before building it on the Solar Decathlon site in Dubai.

Two team members lived in the house throughout the two-week competition during which time it was tested for emissions and efficiency. The testing results led AU to win the “Energy Management” category after earning first place in “Engineering and Construction” on day one.

Team AquaGreen’s approach was to design a home that would be suitable for the UAE and similar arid conditions. The students focused their efforts on solving the most pressing regional sustainability problem – air-conditioning energy consumption – using materials and technology common to the Middle East. The system they created resulted in the 60% conservation of cooling energy.

“Our students’ remarkable efforts resulted in a huge win for the future of sustainable living as well as top honors for Ajman University,” said Chancellor Karim Seghir, Ph.D., of the outcome. “We are very proud of their innovative contribution to the UAE and the world at large.”