Survival Television Program Is Powered by Solar

The popular reality television show in Britain, Big Brother, uses solar electricity to power the London home featured on the latest season of the program.

NEWARK, Delaware, US, 2001-08-06 [SolarAccess.com] The popular reality television show in Britain, Big Brother, uses solar electricity to power the London home featured on the latest season of the program. A 16.5 kilowatt PV system from AstroPower Inc. has provided electricity. The system was designed and installed by Solar Century Holdings Ltd. and features 144 modules fixed into a 1,400 square foot wall on the front of the house. The system can generate 12,500 kWh a year, enough for four homes, and power not consumed inside the Big Brother home is used to power floodlights surrounding the site. Ten contestants entered the home in Bromley, East London, on May 25 and have been filmed 24 hours per day in the solar-powered house. At the end of each week, viewers vote to evict one contestant and the contestant remaining on the 64th day will receive a prize of £70,000. The contestants monitor the solar PV power system via a meter located inside the house. The meter indicates how much power is produced by the modules, as well as the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that has been displaced by the use of solar energy. The system has already displaced 2.4 tons of CO2 and, by the end of the season, it will have produced enough electricity to power a toaster every day for more than 200 years. In addition to generating electricity, the wall of PV modules serves as a backdrop for the credits at the end of each show, which is viewed by millions of viewers each week across Europe. “Viewers can’t help but be intrigued by the spectacular appearance of the wall of AstroPower modules but, what is not as obvious at first glance, is that solar electric power technology is a clean, renewable and reliable,” says Jeremy Leggett, CEO of Solar Century. “Therein lies the true value of solar electric power.” “This is truly an innovative application by our partner, Solar Century,” says Allen Barnett, president and CEO of AstroPower. “Europe has long been a leader in the promotion and adoption of solar energy.” “The U.K. has recently launched a major subsidy program which, as the government says, will lead to tens of thousands of solar roofs installed in the U.K. over the next few years,” he adds. “We believe that projects like the Big Brother home will further enhance Solar Century’s already considerable brand recognition, and position the company well to capitalize on future large-scale consumer-focused European solar programs.”
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