Monday, 9 July 2012

4,400 solar panels to power Blackfriars station.


Anybody remember the science fiction film 'Blade Runner'?

A blend of science fiction and noir detective fiction, Blade Runner (1982) is one of the most fascinating, brilliant conceived, boring films ever made. 
What did it for me were the scenes of decaying, futuristic cityscapes, mixed in with towering skyscrapers and hi tech everyday life. The creation of the solar bridge at Blackfriars station fills me with a similar sense of awe. It's a glimpse into the future of mankind, and for once it looks good.


I bet there was fierce competition to supply the 4,400 PV panels. Panasonic were the successful bidder, hardly surprising based on their sales record in the UK. I suspect if there was a 'Which' magazine review of solar products, Panasonic would feature heavily in their highly rated category.

The solar panels will generate 900,000kWh a year, up to half of the station’s energy needs, saving over 500 tonnes of CO2. It's hard to compare my 2,185 kWh with their output, but can you imagine the FiT cheque each quarter....

Although the video is a bit of an advert for Panasonic, its worth 3 minutes and 16 seconds of your busy day as it gives an overall view of the project and scale, in addition it gives a simple explanation of how PV panels work. 


My only reservation of the whole scheme relates to when it's completed and handed over to the new owners... As someone whose daily commute was dependant & controlled by Network Rail I shudder to think what excuses they'll come up with for the panels on their property.
They won't work because:
  • They're covered with the "wrong type of snow". 
  • Output is down due to "leaves off the trees".
  • Dew on the panels.
  • Sun - In September 2010, the Office of Rail Regulation and National Rail blamed the balmy temperatures that summer for delays and disruptions saying that a rise in temperature means that some equipment – including cabling, signalling systems and electrical items are subject to overheating when temperatures rise above 30C (86F).
I'm more than happy to publish any comments they have in their defence!
Icarus  
Twitter: (@solaricarus)

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