Photovoltaic Panels Arranged in Concentric Circles Around the Roof of City Hall

The solar panels on the roof of London's City Hall were officially unveiled today. City Hall now has a unique photovoltaic system designed to complement the rounded shape of one of London's most iconic buildings. The photovoltaic panels have a peak capacity of 67kW and are expected to generate about 50,000kWh of renewable electricity, saving up to 33 tonnes of CO2, each year.

The complex geometry of the roof required an innovative design solution. Normal photovoltaic panels are rectangular and aluminium framed whereas City Hall's panels are made-to-measure trapezoidal (four-sided shape of which two sides are parallel and two are nonparallel), bare unframed glass in a black colour. This allowed the 617 panels to be arranged in concentric circles around the roof in order to maintain and enhance the aesthetic integrity of the building.

To develop the glass-glass laminate array for the ‘eyelash' all 46 photovoltaic panels were of! different size and cell layout to adjust to the curved design of the building and changing pitch. The array includes some of the largest glass-glass laminated photovoltaic panels manufactured in the UK to date.

Photovoltaic technology is a safe, proven, efficient and economic way of generating electricity that does not release any emissions that contribute to climate change. Its benefits include:

  • a dedicated, clean and safe power source providing free and inexhaustible energy from the sun
  • no moving parts and near silent operation
  • no CO2 emissions
  • minimal maintenance
  • no toxic emissions.

Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: 'Reducing carbon emissions in order to tackle climate change is the biggest challenge facing this planet. This renewable energy scheme is an example of City Hall leading by example.' Deputy Mayor of London, Nicky Gavron, said: 'The solar panels for City Hall have been expertly designed in order to compliment the unique shape of the building. I hope that more organisations will follow su it and install solar panels on their own buildings.'

Grant Brooker, Senior Partner at Foster and Partners, said: 'The installation of photovoltaic cells on the roof of City Hall completes the building as originally designed. This would not have been possible without the direct help and support that we have enjoyed from the Mayor and the Greater London Authority, planners at Southwark, the LCCA and our clients at More London. The installation is the most apparent and physical manifestation of the building's sustainable design agenda. We totally support the Mayor in his goals and we hope that City Hall will act as an inspiration to others designing sustainable buildings in our capital.'

Allan Jones, Chief Executive of the London Climate Change Agency, said: 'This project has successfully integrated photovoltaic solar energy into the design of City Hall and provides an excellent example of a renewable energy flagship project which due to its iconic design and landmark locat! ion will be seen by over 3 million people a year.

'We are actively engaged in promoting and delivering more projects of this kind, as well as working with EDF Energy as the London ESCO, (a public/private joint venture pan-London Energy Services Company), to design, finance, build and operate de-centralised energy schemes for new and existing development, including large-scale renewable energy schemes. The London Climate Change Agency is currently working in joint venture with EDF Energy on a number of ESCO projects with developers and other stakeholders for both new and existing development.'

Source: London Development Agency

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