Dubai’s Sustainable City gets power from the sun through ABB inverters

2017-05-02 - ABB string inverters deliver power for the residents of Dubai’s first all- electric city

Dubai’s first city to be powered completely by solar energy relies on ABB string inverters to harness the power of the sun for residents. Inverters convert the direct current (DC) output from the panels in to the alternating current (AC) needed in homes.


ABB has supplied 400 string inverters to harvest solar energy for 400 villas in the Sustainable City, the region’s first fully integrated sustainable community. The inverters were installed by City Solar, one of the leading companies specializing in solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation in the United Arab Emirates and Dubai. “We are one of the pioneering engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies that supply grid connected PV solutions to this growing regional market," explains Anwar Abdel of City Solar. “This means we are responsible for procuring all equipment and materials necessary for the project and verify that it’s functioning perfectly.”

Conceived and built by Dubai based Diamond Developers, the Sustainable City will be home to some 2,000 people in an area of nearly 500,000 square meters. It will eventually generate 10 megawatt-peak (MWp) of power from solar panels on private and public buildings within the city.

As well as solar powered homes, the plan for the Sustainable City features solar powered chargers for electric cars, a hotel powered 100 percent by solar power and the Diamond Innovation Center, the first educational institute to use net zero energy over its lifetime.

The Sustainable City provides a complete suite of amenities and environmental features. With the initial phase completed in December 2016, the city comprises five residential clusters, a buffer zone, a green ‘spine’, an equestrian club and a multipurpose development. The second stage, to be completed in 2018, will include the hotel, innovation center, school and country club.

Faris Saeed, engineer and CEO at Diamond Developers, says: “The Sustainable City is based on innovation, energy efficiency and a commitment to combat the effects of climate change. With its own commitment to innovative technology to make efficient use of renewable energy, ABB was the ideal partner to help us realize our vision of building the first net zero energy city in Dubai.”

Working closely with the developers to design the solar power system for the villas, ABB supplied a string inverter demonstration unit at the start of the project to prove it could cope with the high outdoor temperatures experienced in Dubai. Models supplied under the contract were the PVI 5000, PVI 12.5, TRIO 7.5 and TRIO 8.5.

As well as supplying the inverters, ABB provides training, ensuring the client’s own engineers can install and maintain the inverters. ABB is providing replacements in advance, delivering new inverters before collecting any faulty units.

ABB’s global sales and marketing manager, Alireza Mehrtash, says: “ABB’s innovation and wide ranging experience in solar power projects was clearly a major attraction to Diamond Developers when choosing a partner for the Sustainable City. We are glad to be involved with such a pioneering project that demonstrates how solar power solutions contribute to sustainably energy.

“The Sustainable City project is a benchmark and inspiration for other similar projects in the region.”

As well as the inverters for residential use in the Sustainable City, ABB also supplied inverters for a 1.4 megawatt (MW) parking lot solar roof project. This will charge the electric cars, which are the only powered vehicles allowed within the city limits.

ABB has one of the broadest portfolios of solar inverters in the industry, ranging from small single-phase and three-phase string inverters up to megawatt-sized central inverters. This extensive range of solar inverters is suitable for the smallest residential photovoltaic (PV) systems through to multi-megawatt PV power plants. ABB solutions are complemented by monitoring systems to ensure optimum performance of the PV installations, backed up by a global service network.

About ABB

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees. www.abb.com

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