New Solar Projects Show Technology's Full Spectrum

From practical to visionary, two new solar applications have caught the eye of Pure Power editors since our last edition. The first, located in Fresno, Calif., is being called one of the largest installations on the West Coast. The $4.125 million project will cover the city's football-field-sized bus canopy, along with several other canopies at Fresno's Municipal Service Center, with solar pa...

03/01/2004


From practical to visionary, two new solar applications have caught the eye of Pure Power editors since our last edition. The first, located in Fresno, Calif., is being called one of the largest installations on the West Coast. The $4.125 million project will cover the city's football-field-sized bus canopy, along with several other canopies at Fresno's Municipal Service Center, with solar panels capable of generating up to 665 kW. Berkeley-based PowerLight Corp. will install the system and carry out an additional $600,000 worth of energy-efficiency upgrades at the facility.

The project is planned to provide nearly all the electricity required by the center during summer months. The center employs several hundred city workers.

At the visionary end of the spectrum, a British architect is giving new meaning to the concept of an "islanded" power source. Alan Phillips, principal at Alan Phillips Associates, Ltd., has developed plans for a manmade resort off the coast of Brighton, England, that would be fully powered by photovoltaic cells. The structure would be constructed on a huge concrete platform, and would include a conference center, hotels, bars and restaurants, along with some low-cost housing.

Phillips has named the facility "Pleasure Island," and his plans call for topping the new geographic body with a glass dome, covered on its exterior by thumb-sized photovoltaic cells. These units would power tiny fluorescent cells embedded into the dome's interior to provide 24-hour lighting, along with heat.





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