Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) marked a major milestone in its plans for Expo 2020 Dubai today with the launch of its ‘Service Station of the Future’.

The Official Integrated Energy Partner has incorporated a number of unique energy conserving and futuristic service features in its dedicated Expo site station, receiving the world’s first LEED platinum certification for such a project. 

Zaid al-Qufaidi, managing director of Enoc Retail, says that the cost of building the service station was “around three times the cost of a regular station”, estimating that the approximate cost of a regular service station is around AED25m.

The main consultant for the project is global architecture firm Aedas, while City Diamond Contracting was appointed as the main contractor. Netherlands-headquartered Arcadis provided design & construction supervision.

Innovative structure

The station is headlined by a uniquely designed canopy, shaped to resemble the exoskeleton of the UAE’s national tree, Ghaf. The 133 multi-layered canopy was built using more than 43,000sqm/37 tonnes of carbon fibre, a lightweight and sustainable alternative to steel, and a first in the region for a service station.

The canopy encloses a leaf-shaped ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cushion canopy, said to be 100 per cent UV ray-protected and corrosion-proof, and illuminated with more than 3,800 LED light modules that can change colour as needed. The nine tree “trunks” that support the station were built from another 22,500sqm of carbon fibre.

The canopy holds 283 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels capable of generating 143MWh of solar power annually. The station is also the first in the region to incorporate an on-grid wind turbine for power generation, which will produce 12.7 MWh of wind energy every year.

Energy efficient features

The station will provide hydrocarbon fuels (petrol and diesel) as well as electric charging stations. Non-commercial users will be able to avail free electric charging services until 31 December 2021, as per Dubai Electricity & Water Authority mandates.

Other sustainable features include the use of carbon filtration technologies to recycle and reuse grey water for irrigation, and drinkable air units that use ozonation techniques to convert water molecules from humidity in the air into drinkable water for staff onsite.

The service station also includes several applications of advance machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics technologies that play a role in customising services and retail offerings for customers, managing queue and waiting times at the forecourt, and improving the overall customer journey.

Vehicle mapping surface lighting is deployed to mark traffic flow to direct vehicles to the fuelling area, as well as entry and exits to the station. Occupation sensors and signals at fuelling positions will also manage traffic flow, redirecting vehicles to empty spaces at dispensers. Digital signage in the station consists of 12 million LED chips to illuminate the digital screens onsite, instead of using conventional printed stickers.

The Ghaf station will serve the logistical needs of Expo 2020’s fleet ahead of the global event and will serve the general public both during and after the event, as part of District 2020.

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