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Light-weight Panels Realize Japan's Largest On-roof Solar Plant (page 4)

Mountable area expanded on roof of glass substrate plant

2013/12/28 19:15
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Roof's heat insulating effect unexpectedly improved

At this mega solar power plant, not only the state of power generation but also the amount of solar irradiation, wind speed and the temperature of the roofs and solar panels are measured and verified. The verification tests include how much the crystalline silicon solar panel output declines in the high-temperature environment.

Since the operation started, the amount of power generation has outperformed the initial estimates. As factors behind this, Asahi Glass cited the solar panels that have generated more power than the manufacturers' estimates and the amount of solar irradiation that exceeded the average, primarily in spring.

Asahi Glass also revealed that the heat insulating effect of the roofs had unexpectedly improved. Given many high-temperature processes at the glass factory, the company cools down the roofs by setting up sprinklers, watering the roofs and lowering the temperature inside the factory using air-conditioning systems mainly in the hot summer months.

Although the sprinklers were removed from the roofs where the solar power generation system was installed, the solar panels have worked as a heat insulating material, making the temperature inside the factory lower than that before the panel installation. This effect is expected to cut the cost for air-conditioning inside the factory.