UK’s Largest Solar Installation Due for Completion

Eighty-seven thousand state-of-the-art PV cells supplied by BP Solar are to be used in the construction of the new TXU-Europe building in Ipswich. The 200 kW project represents the largest solar installation in the UK and is scheduled for completion in December.

Ipswich, England – September 9, 2002 [] The PV cells, which are housed in glass panels and serve the dual purpose of replacing conventional materials while simultaneously harnessing energy from natural light to produce clean energy, will provide an output of over 200 kW at peak performance. This is over 10 percent of the maximum power requirement of the building. The building will be a showcase for Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) technology, widely regarded as a key feature of buildings of the future. “The project is significant because it proves that the technologies are available to deliver practical solar energy systems,” said BP Solar Business Executive Manager Ray Noble. “It is also meeting the Government’s challenge to the construction industry to integrate Renewable Energy into buildings, and because we have been involved in the design process from the very beginning of the project, we have been able to develop a design that will maximize the benefits of PV, in terms of performance and substitution of conventional cladding material.” The £35 million (US$55 million) building project, which is beginning to take shape in the heart of the Ipswich Village redevelopment area, is effectively creating a new sustainable ‘clean energy’ headquarters for TXU-Europe, the UK’s largest domestic electricity supplier. All 1,000 of TXU-Europe’s staff based in five existing offices in the Ipswich area will be relocated to the new building. High performance grid-connected mono-crystalline silicon PV panels will be incorporated in the design of the buildings, replacing conventional cladding materials on roofs and façades. The installation of the PV package will be completed and commissioned by November. Four types of glass-to-glass PV modules are being incorporated into the actual fabric of the six-story building structure (four types of glass-glass module are being manufactured for installation into the façade and four types for the atria) and will be fixed using a standard curtain wall system. There are also over 600 standard BPS laminates being installed as screening around the rooftop plant areas and to utilize otherwise ‘spare’ roof space for additional PV generation. The solar modules will be integrated on the south facing facades, spandrel panels, modesty panels and on the atrium roof.
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