The 87 panels occupying Docklands’ Harbour One can generate sufficient electricity to power the equivalent of 11 apartments annually, save the occupants $6000 every year in total and offset 27 tonnes of carbon, says Winconnect.

The company established Melbourne’s tallest solar array and inserts panels at the top of apartment buildings to empower common areas, relieving the expense on owners’ corporations.

Sustainability manager Craig Ashdown stated they’d been asked to add solar power to the structure but could not locate room on the roof, so they opted for a vertical installation.

Ashdown says that the manner in which the panels create electricity is the same, only these panels are a third of the weight, as well as flexible and technologically advanced.

Ashdown hoped that the Australian-first would motivate others to install vertical panels to help decrease grid energy consumption—thus demonstrating the benefits of solar photovoltaic cells on a building, through different means of design.

Green Energy Markets director Tristan Edis said that the addition of solar panels to high-density buildings was a primary area of progress for renewables in Australia.

Edis pointed out that, while nearly one in four detached homes have solar panels, not much progress has been made in high-density housing. He believes this needs to change, and also notes that the lowering price of photovoltaics had broadened the possibilities of vertical panels on apartment buildings—as has the fact that you no longer have to align these panels with the sun.

These panels still deliver inexpensive electricity relative to purchasing it from the grid. And the more economic any option, the more likely it will be used.

Problems with owners’ corporations in apartment structures being stacked with investors meant it might take legislation or regulation to hasten the uptick of solar power on high-density structures, Edis said.

 

Source: Architecture and Design.Com.Au