BUILDING INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAIC (BIPV) SYSTEM
UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA
Following the award of the respective tender, Blue Green Engineering was involved, together with Taylor Brammer Landscape Architects, in the conceptualisation, design and construction of a building integrated solar array (BIPV) for a free-standing roof in the McKinnon Precinct of the University of Wollongong. This sine wave-form roof is a key feature of the area and has now become, with the newly installed solar system, a sustainability statement for the University.
Prior to the design, Blue Green Engineering investigated several innovative technology options and paid close attention to the restrictions of the site. Options, such as semi transparent glass with photovoltaic cells and thin film silicon on glass, were investigated. The final recommendation, however, included a thin film flexible panel that could follow the sine wave. This panel kept to the architectural waveform of the roof, and added to its functionality.
The newly installed system can produce up to 20kWh of renewable energy per day, that can be fed into the Administration building. It uses 44 Uni-Solar PV panels, that give a total installed system of 5.89kW. Each panel was adhered to the metal roof sheet in a similar fashion to contact paper. In order to preserve the clean line aesthetic of the structure, cabling was hidden in integrated ducting on the underside of the roof and in the steel support columns. Finally, the roof became also part of a system of rain gardens which feeds rainwater into a 500,000L tank.
Installation and commissioning of this renewable energy (BIPV) system was performed by the fully accredited team of Blue Green Engineering to standards exceeding industry best practices. Blue Green Engineering provided an end-to-end service, leaving the University of Wollongong with a high quality, turn-key installation. Their system will generate 7775kWh of renewable energy each year for the administration building, thus offsetting 7308.5 kilograms of CO2 annually.