Jorge Chapa

MANCHESTER'S CIS TOWER'S Solar Face Lift

by , 05/08/07

CIS Solar Tower solar panels green power

What do you do when your 40 old building tower is in need of a facelift? This was the dilemma that the owners of the CIS tower in Manchester faced after the original facade of the building became in serious need of repair. Their solution? To cover it in solar panels to provide electrical power to the building.

The original facade of the service tower was composed of small mosaic tiles which had over time begun to fall exposing the concrete structure to the weather. After looking at the available options, the owners of the building decided to cover the 120m. tall service tower with over 7,000 photovoltaic panels. The panels, as well as calling back to the original facade of the building and weatherproof the service core, are also expected to provide the equivalent energy needed to power about 55 homes for a year.

The total cost of the project ended up being about 5.5 million pounds (about 10 million dollars). And was recently finished, making it the largest vertical solar array on Europe.

+CIS Tower

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6 Comments

  1. bearsta August 6, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Serious stuff aside for a minute, there is no sun in Manchester!

    (A salfordian)

  2. J December 6, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    Its going to take some time before costs are driven down…you can do yourself as well as the solid companies a favor and invest in them… stock market tickers FSLR and TSL are two of the many good choices to go with..

  3. RideTheFuture May 13, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    What is this ongoing debate about “recoupment” of solar cost?
    Who came up with the idea that “I’ll only invest in the future” if it pays for itself..”
    What strangem stubborn expectancy has been created here??

    We live in a time, where money invested into a renewable energy source, that gets you off the grid, is essential, not just a cute gimmick that “may pay for itself” in such and such time….

    You don’t buy houses under that premise, because of mortgage.
    You essentially buy it for the next generation since you probably never pay it off in your lifetime. Why should it’s energy system do double duty here?

    1) Solar panels are part of the building and an investment into the future, with lifespans above and beyond 35-50 yrs.!
    2.) Energy can be sold to the grid at sometimes higher-than-market prices (see germany)

    3.) While you still have money and”relative” social stability, invest it within the next 5 years, because a lot of stuff may be come tumbling down as ecological instability becomes the norm!

    That is how I feel and conclude and feel after seeing “Inconvenient Truth” (Al Gore), “The End of Suburbia” and other related documentaries as well as the IPCC report that leaves us about 8 years max. for GHGas curtailment.

    My guts tell me it will be surprisingly less!!

  4. Bryan May 10, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    I hear it takes 200 years to recoup the cost of solar panels, mostly because of the high demand for them. Hopefully costs will drop soon.

  5. Architect Leo Mac Ender May 10, 2007 at 10:24 am

    Very good solutions.
    We like to be in contact with architect´s who like to present how to build and construct 100% Self Supporten Buildings.
    Brand New Wind and Water technique is aviable.
    lemak@telia.com

  6. Dr. Ali H. Khan May 10, 2007 at 4:20 am

    We like to contact the people or the company who designed and supply the slar panels. We have a project in mind where we may seek collaboration.

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