Solarsiedlung, solar energy project in Germany

Posted by on Jul 1, 2013 in Alternative Energy Projects | No Comments
solarsiedlung1

Photo from Inhabitat.com

Solar Settlement (Solarsiedlung), Freiburg
Installed Capacity: 445 kWp

The Solar Settlement is a 125m (410f) block of solar-powered buildings which offers residential, office and retail space. The project was the brainchild of architect Rolf Disch, who had the idea from his own experiences in the 1990s at his private home that he installed with solar panels.
The conditions for building the Solarsiedlung were perfect for Freiburg, which for decades has been known for its concerns for protecting the environment. It was designated as Ecological Capital of Germany in 1992 and Sustainable City of Europe in 2004. With more than 1,800 hours of sunshine each year and an annual radiation intensity of 1,117 kilowatts (kW) per square-meter, Freiburg is one of the sunniest cities in Germany. The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) of 2000, which required grid operators to pay fees for electricity from renewable energy sources, made the project even more feasible and attractive to private citizens.
The settlement consists of 59 homes. The residents are investors in the electricity that is produced. Each home has a 3kW–10kW peak output. They generate 2,800-9,600 kWh of electricity per year. The houses themselves are constructed with environmentally friendly materials. The roofs are covered with large-scale semitransparent Photovoltaic (PV) laminates with the capacity of 445 kWp. They are integrated into a plane above the south facing roofs of the buildings. The PV-modules are mounted on 30 mm RHS (rectangular hollow section) stainless steel profiles which themselves rest on hot-dip galvanised 100 mm I-beams. The roofs water barrier consists of a plastic-sheet sealing layer.
The settlement incorporates other aspects of sustainability such as car-sharing and public transportation, making it an exemplary example of sustainable development.
Since the roofs generate more electricity than they use, residents actually get money back from the utilities—usually €6,000 (about $7,800).

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