Published on September 28th, 2012 | by April Streeter0
“Prepatinated” solar panels are prettier
Solar panels | Winter is lengthy and cold in Pori, Finland, so the district’s pool complex is a welcome respite when summer is still a ways away. What visitors to the new Pori pool probably won’t notice are the complex’s solar collectors – not only hidden on the rooftop but also tucked behind the “prepatinated” copper panels of the building’s façade.
Part of the Aurubis Nordic Solar system, the roof and façade panels will contribute about 3 percent of total annual electricity needs of the site and 5 percent of the heating needs. Solar water heaters also help warm the pool. In the summer, when outdoor swimming closes the complex, the solar collectors cover most of the site’s energy needs.
While Aurubis’ solar specialist Petri Konttinen admits that the return on investment for the total Pori system (which cost 595,000 euros) is “longer than usual,” the ability to hide the collectors gives architects new possibilities in designing with solar. Nordic Solar is a flexible system, and Aurubis is investigating the possibility of having it include solar cooling options for buildings.