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15 oktober 2012

Photovoltaic cells on the walls – solar power from Ålidhem's balconies

This week, the next stage of the PV-cell expansion for Sustainable Ålidhem kicks off. New for the autumn is that one building will also have PV-cells fitted along its balconies.

Solceller på Pilothuset på Matematikgränd, Ålidhem
The image shows the PV-cells on the roof of the pilot building on Matematikgränd. The balconies in the image are the same as those at Matematikgränd 1, which is now being fitted with PV-cells.

The plans for Sustainable Ålidhem's solar power investment are now being expanded. Within a week or so, some of the residents of Matematikgränd 1 will have solar panels installed on and above the balconies, as a trial for how the facades can be used for locally-produced energy.

"The PV-cells are in a prime position, facing directly south, and seeing as there's little to shade from the sun, it'll be really exciting to see how much we can get out of them," says Jörgen Carlsson, Project Manager for Sustainable Ålidhem at Umeå Energi.

"In a photovoltaic plant, the PV-cells are normally connected in series, meaning they are no better than their weakest link. This means that if a tenant hangs out a mat and covers up a solar panel, the entire facility's production can almost go right down to zero. For this reason, each solar panel has been given its own module which converts the electricity to alternating current and the installation is connected in a way that minimises the impact of an individual panel being obstructed.

"There will be a total of nine panels; with none on the lowest balconies. But we're also putting up solar panels above the balconies on the top floor. They're high up and are perfectly positioned for sunlight," says Fredrik Westerlund, Bostaden's Project Manager for the redevelopment for Sustainable Ålidhem.

On the roof of Matematikgränd 1, an additional 400 or so square metres of PV-cells will be installed, which means that Sustainable Ålidhem is now on its way to becoming one of Sweden's largest photovoltaic plants.

The Sustainable Ålidhem project is a collaboration between Bostaden, Umeå Energi and Umeå municipality. Its focus: to make a safer, more pleasant and more energy-efficient suburb.

Facts: PV-cells – Sustainable Ålidhem

  • The best exchange is obtained from south-facing solar panels angled at 45 degrees.
  • With solar panels installed on south-facing facades, an exchange corresponding to around 80 per cent can be expected, compared with horizontal solar panels.
  • The PV-cells installed on the balconies have a combined surface area of 28 m2 and a maximum output of 4.3 kW.
  • When fully expanded, the Sustainable Ålidhem installation will have a total surface area of more than 2,800 m2; possibly Sweden's largest photovoltaic plant.


Further information:

Fredrik Westerlund
Projekt manager, Bostaden
Tel: 070-600 38 91
Jörgen Carlsson
Projekt manager Hållbara Ålidhem, Umeå Energi
Tel: 070-348 48 65