Clad in a total of 5,200 shimmering blue solar panels, Sanyo's Kasai Green Energy Park compound makes even the largest rooftop PV systems look like small potatoes. Located in Kasai, Japan, the cutting edge green research facility is decked out in Panasonic's HIT bifacial PV panels like Christmas lights on a very enthusiastic holiday decorator's home. And these super high efficiency panels aren't just for show - the 1MW system generates enough electricity for about 330 standard households. Earlier today, Inhabitat stepped into this normally very guarded building (to give you an idea of how high the security is, we had to wear not one but two clearance badges and apply tape over our camera phone lenses) to see some of the extremely advanced technology being researched and implemented inside - from Eneloop electric bikes to HIT double facade photovoltaic panels to lithium ion street lamps to the solar powered gadget-charging table, and of course, the incredible solar energy system that powers it all.
Kasai Green Energy Park‘s administration building is quite possibly the most solar-paneled out building ever with double-facade panels (these are able to absorb solar rays from both their backs and fronts) not only on its roof but also right on its facade. According to Sanyo reps, this vertical array is the only one in the world of this size. But the solar goodness doesn’t end there. PV panels also adorn the sculptural Solalib “tree” that sits in front of the building as well as atop the rectangular power storage building and two additional buildings in the compound. There is also a solar parking lot which charges the electric bikes parked there.
The 1MW system, in conjunction with a 1.5MWh Lithium-ion Mega Battery System (with the world’s largest level of capacity) helps power many of the park’s activities and also serves as a real-world experiment for the researchers working there. This Smart Energy System technology, which also includes sensors and clear visualizations of energy usage targets and real-time data is all part of Panasonic and Sanyo’s goal to reduce CO2 emissions at the Green Energy Park by 2,480 tons every year (the amount that would be absorbed by 177,000 cedar trees).
Check out our photo gallery for more amazing photos from our trip to the Kasai Green Energy Park. We’ve honestly never seen so many sun-powered goodies under one (solar powered roof) before in our lives!