Japanese University Builds Photovoltaic Wall on Campus

Apr 11, 2012
Tetsuo Nozawa, Nikkei Electronics
The "Green Hills 1st Building" in the Ookayama Campus of the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Photo courtesy of the university.
The "Green Hills 1st Building" in the Ookayama Campus of the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Photo courtesy of the university.
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The Tokyo Institute of Technology disclosed the "Green Hills 1st Building," a new building constructed in the Ookayama Campus of the university, to mass media.

The university installed 650kW of photovoltaic (PV) panels on the south and west sides and the roof of the building like a wall. Also, the building is equipped with a variety of power-generating/saving facilities such as 100kW of phosphoric-acid fuel cells (PAFCs), refrigerator using the high-temperature exhaust heat of the PAFCs, desiccant air conditioner using the low-temperature exhaust heat of the PAFCs and heat pump using soil heat.

The length and height of the wall, which the university calls "Solar-wall Envelope," are about 100m and 30m, respectively. It not only generates electricity from sunlight but also blocks solar heat.

The wall can provide almost all of the electricity necessary for the building, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 60% or more, the university said.