Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Solar cells facade of a Manchester skyscraper

The facade of this Manchester skyscraper (owned by CIS, an insurance company) was original covered with small mosaic tiles, but after only six months, they began to detach and fall.

A solution was needed, and a company called solarcentury came up with a clever idea replacing the failing tiles with solar cells. Not only do the solar cells provide a weatherproof barrier, they also generate about 390kW of power for the building. In total, 7,244 Sharp 80W modules are used to cover the entire service tower (but apparently only 4898 of these modules are "live" the others are "dummy modules" — strange). The building also has 24 wind turbines on the roof, which provide 10% of the total power used by the building. (from

There’s even a peregrine falcon nesting box up on top with a camera installed to keep an eye on the birds’ comings and goings – this isn’t just a normal office block, this tower could soon be an ecotourism hotspot!

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