Energy saving University switches on with SCHOTT Solar

A new £59 million construction project known as AMPPS (Astronomy, Mathematics, Physics and Photon Sciences) at The University of Manchester includes the UK’s largest solar shading array using thin film technology.

AMPPS is a new innovation in cross-departmental working, which has been deliberately designed to encourage collaboration between departments, most symbolically represented in the large glass atrium which will dominate the building's usage. The structure also integrates cutting edge environmental technologies into its design with photovoltaic shading arrays to create an alternative source of power.

SCHOTT Solar ASI® Glass semi-transparent photovoltaic panels, which convert daylight into electricity, have been fitted onto the roof to help to make the building carbon friendly. Designed by Manchester architects Sheppard Robson, the building incorporates a canopy spanning the three component structures featuring a 'rack' mounted louvre photovoltaic system to provide shading. The light shining through the ASI® Glass semi-transparent thin film photovoltaic laminate modules will also produce a striking effect when viewed from below.

The energy output from the 1,100 ASI® Glass modules will be used to offset the site's power demand. The installation means potential savings of over 17,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions each year and annual savings for the university of thousands of pounds in energy bills. In addition to generating electricity, ASI® glass will allow up to 20% light transmittance and markedly reduce solar heat gain.

The placement of renewable energy technology so visibly in such a prestigious educational establishment will enhance its public image and should also inspire future scientists' interest in the field.

Architect: Sheppard Robson Main Contractor: HBG Specialist PV installer: Solar Technologies Completion date: mid-2007

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