King’s cross railway station in London has around 40 million people pass through it every year, but this year there has been an astonishing solar project happening over our heads – literally.
The £1.3 million iconic project is boasting a 240kWp rooftop system, and has carved out the King’s Cross railway solar launch as the biggest solar photovoltaic project in the UK.
This project is part of a much larger £550 million redevelopment programme ongoing at King’s Cross railway with 42 million assigned to the solar roof. To form the roof, 1,392 custom-made glass laminate solar panels were designed and supplied for the relentless and highly-skilled workers to install.
King’s Cross railway is a grade 1 listed building and is now covered with more than 2,300 square metres of state-of-the-art solar panels which will provide an estimated 10% of the total energy usage at Kings Cross. This estimated 10% is 175,000 KWh of solar energy output, and is a massive achievement that will go down in history.
The solar panels stretch across the roof of the main platforms, and are being called attractive, as they fascinate many visitors as they pass through the legendary railway station.
Two of the leading solar technology providers joined forces to supply, design and install the project. Roof glazing specialists ESB Services were contracted in to install the PV glass laminates.
What is most remarkable about the project is the precision of the execution of the installation, as the station had to remain open as usual and traffic 40 million people throughout the year – an epic achievement for the project develops on the frontline of the installation.
Now that the project is complete it is being cited as the most challenging solar achievement of our era, and a defining moment in sustainable history. On the back of the project we will likely see many more impressive installations taking place as the project goes on to inspire businesses, communities and homeowners to innovate.
As the project was underway, developers were faced with multiple issues, from shading to creating a design that could conceal the 10km of cablenecessary to make the installation possible.
What is causing particular interest in this project from solar enthusiasts is the fact there was no margin for error, as business was happening as usual below the team. This project has pushed the limits of design and technical expertise, and is helping to promote sustainable future thinking.
Tom Clark is a keen writer on various topics surrounding sustainability and UK solar power activity. Oskomera Solar is a UK solar panel supplier that provides solar pv equipment including solar panel kits.
Lead image: mattbuck4950 via Flickr