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BI PV Project Details
Name projectBlackpool Solaris Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom
Year2004-08 (Start operation date)
PV applicationInclined roof - transparent roof
PV power total18.067 kWp
LocationBlackpool, Lancashire
Latitude/Longitude53°47'0"N 3°3'27.56"W
© Blackpool Council

Project summary
A derelict seafront solarium in Blackpool has been renovated and refurbished to act as a Regional Centre of Excellence in Environmental Sustainability in the North West of England. Sustainable energy is a key element of the refurbished building with onsite energy generation from a photovoltaic (PV) installation, two wind turbines and a combined heat and power (CHP) plant. This innovative project, which cost a total of £1.75 million, provides a focus and platform for delivering and promoting sustainable development across the tourism, manufacturing, commercial, education and community sectors, both locally and regionally. The wind turbines, CHP and PV system have been sized to provide sufficient energy to power the building totally from renewable resources. The PV array supplies up to 44 per cent of the building’s annual electricity requirements.

Best practice project
The building was designed to meet best practice guidelines and has attained an excellent rating from the BREEAM environmental assessment. The building is of passive design, and the building fabric comprises of recycled and sustainable materials. The energy usage within the building is monitored and optimised via real time monitoring.

Special PV project info
PV architecture and building integrationThe PV system is integrated into the 10 degree pitched roof above the building’s entrance and exhibition areas and in the glazed roof of the rear corridors. It is a double glazed PV canopy with the 12mm void between the two glass panes filled with argon. There are two sizes of modules, with 36 and 72 polycrystalline cells. The system, which is installed into a conventional double-glazing frame, is the first of its kind in the UK. Due to the translucency of the panels, the systems provide visually-striking day lighting to the building.
PV ownershipThe Centre for Excellence in the Environment, also known as Solaris, is a sub-regional multi-agency partnership. The project was commissioned by Blackpool Borough Council and is intended to contribute to tackling the major regeneration challenge facing Blackpool. Other partners in the project include Lancaster University, Blackpool and the Fylde College and Blackpool Environmental Action Team.
Tariffs and metering
Remarks and recommended reading

Other project data
Type of projectDemonstration Project
Other relevant aspectsOther RE
Start of PV project2003
Start operation PV system2004-08
Project leading companyBlackpool Council
Project contact personAndy Duckett
Contact email
Contact addressBlackpool Council, Technical Services, Westgate House, Squires Gate Lane, Blackpool FY4 2TS
Part of Urban Scale project

Building data
Use and function of the buildingOffice buildings - public
Building typeNon-residential buildings - 2 floors
New/Retrofit/AddedRetrofit building integration
PV building addressThe Solaris Centre, Harrowside, New South Promenade, Blackpool FY4 1RW

PV system
PV applicationInclined roof - transparent roof
PV power total project18.067 kWp
Number of dwellings/units1
PV power per dwellings/units18.067 kWp
PV system typeGrid-connected - demand side
PV module typeLaminates - transparent laminate
PV cell typeCrystalline silicon - multi
PV module brand and typeSaint Gobain Glass/Glass double glased bespoke
PV inverter brand and typeSMA (SWR1700, SWR2500, SWR3000, SWR850)
Includes PV database product(s) 

PV cost and energy production
PV system investment306054 Euro
PV modules only costs
PV energy yield12776 kWh Calculated
PV energy user ownerThe Solaris Centre

Names and Addresses
Building OwnerPV ownerArchitectMain PV manufacturer
NameBlackpool CouncilThe Solaris CentreSaint Gobain
AddressWestgate House, Squires Gate Lane, Blackpool FY4 2TSHarrowside, New South Promenade, Blackpool FY4 1RW

Projects websitewww.solariscentre.org
Other websites www.est.org.uk/solar
Webpage Educational Tool

1. BlackpoolSolarisCentre.pdf (language: English)

(bipv) building integrated pv, (PV) transparent modules, case-studies