Melbourne Office Building Clad Entirely In Skala Solar Power Panels - CleanTechnica

2022-06-15 14:49:19 By : Mr. David LU

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Solar power is coming to a new office building in Melbourne, Australia, thanks to architect Peter Kennon. The building will be clad entirely in Skala thin film solar panels from Germany’s Avancis. The 8-story building will cost $40 million and will be covered in 1,182 solar panels the same thickness as a regular glass facade, according to a report in The Guardian.

Although the Skala solar skin has been approved for use in Europe, it has never before been applied to a building in Australia. It is undergoing a final round of testing before it can be approved, at which point the technology would be available for use in other buildings in Australia. A decision of the building appeals board in April found construction of the building could go ahead and that “the use of PV panels on the building…complies with performance requirements.”

An artist’s impression of the proposed ‘solar skin’ tower in West Melbourne. Photograph: CUUB/Kennon Achitecture

Since construction relies on heavy machinery as well as transport and manufacturing processes powered by fossil fuels, most buildings start with a significant carbon footprint, which is referred to in the industry as “embedded carbon.” According to the World Green Building Council, cement production is responsible for 7% of all emissions globally, while steel production is responsible for between 7% and 9% of emissions.

With its solar power skin and a solar roof that will be added once the structure is completed, the new building is expected to generate all the electricity it needs, which will avoid 70 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Over time, those avoided emissions will more than offset the embedded carbon from construction and allow the building to be carbon neutral within a few years without relying on offsets and other accounting measures.

Peter Kennon says, “These things are possible and the fact a building can harness the sunlight from its own skin – it sounds like something you dreamed of, or you saw in a cartoon.” He first learned of the Skala solar power skin in 2019 and has been waiting for a chance to introduce the technology to his home country.

“Australia has one of the most, if not the most, strict building codes in the world so there’s a huge amount of due diligence that needs to go into proposing a product like this. We did not invent the product but we’ve invented the way it can come to our country, and our country is such an enormous market because of the access to sunlight,” Kennon says. “I can’t believe it hasn’t been done already.”

Avancis says about its Skala thin film solar power panels, “For architects, façade planners and investors, Skala offers the opportunity to realize individually designed solar façades with the highest aesthetics and also the highest energy output. The technical basis is an aesthetic thin film solar module that is unique in terms of design, energy efficiency, performance, quality and product safety.”

The modules are frameless with no attachment hardware visible and are available in 9 different colors, including black, grey, green, blue, gold, and bronze. To learn more, take a moment to view the video below.

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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