dewa - R&D Centre in Dubai



Dubai Electricity and Water Authority will open soon its new Research and Development Centre in Dubai. “This center aims to support DEWA’s vision to promote sustainability in energy supply, diversify energy sources, and create a business environment that encourages innovation”, according to Mr. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. The R&D center was launched in 2014 and is currently in the construction phase.


dewa r&d centre photovoltaic façade onyx solar



Energy cost

Reduction in HVAC energy demands

Internal Rate of Return

<5 years 




  • superficieTotal Area - 1,000 M2
  • electricidad generadaElectricity generated in 35 years  - 490,597 kWh
  • puntos de luzTotal lighting points operating 4 hours per day in 35 years - 963 lighting points
  • emisiones CO2 evitadas CO2 emmisions avoided in 35 years - 329 Tons of CO2
  • barriles petroleo ahorradosBarrels of oil saved in 35 years - 289 barrels per m2




The center will focus its work in four main areas: Solar Power, Smart Grid Integration, Energy efficiency and water. The building will host labs for electronics, programming, electrical and mechanical testing, and prototypes.


The building is designed by Stantec International; the consulting company responsible also for the construction of the $136m R&D center along with GBH International Contracting.


As part of the sustainability commitment of DEWA, the building will incorporate 1000 sqm of photovoltaic glass manufactured by Onyx Solar, 100% customized to fit the design requirements of the building. The four facades of the building will implement Onyx Solar amorphous silicon glass with transparency degree XXL and 6 different colors (orange, yellow and green tones), creating a multicolored façade that provides a unique effect to the building. The PV fins are made of three layers of glass with semi-transparency, letting 30% visible light to pass thru the fin. 



 dewa r&d centre photovoltaic façade onyx solar



The PV glasses offer a nominal power of 28 Wp per sqm and they will be installed in the façade in a frameless system. Each fin is composed of several photovoltaic glasses, with a fixed width dimension of 800 mm and a variable length, adapting each fin to the design of the façade.



 dewa r&d centre photovoltaic façade onyx solar



The PV fins are fixed to the façade through a steel tube structure with a staple system provided by Lilli Systems. The fins are tilted and rotated 31º from the vertical façade, to optimize the performance of the system and avoid self-shading situations. The location of the junction boxes was designed to ease the electrical installation of the system.



The two entrance canopies on north and west facades will also integrate Onyx Solar semitransparent glass to maintain visual continuity in the complete building envelope. Due to the multiple irregular glass sizes composing the canopies, the glass is inactive but maintaining the same aesthetic look than the active units.



Client: Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, Government of United Arab Emirates.

Architect: Stantec






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