One of the UK’s largest and most complex building integrated solar PV systems goes live. The much publicised 240kWp solar glazing system at King’s Cross railway station was officially switched on today.
The iconic £1.3m award-winning project is one of the UK’s largest and most complex building integrated solar PV systems to date and is part of Network Rail's wide-ranging green building programme. Now live, the projected output of this ground-breaking system is expected to be around 175,000kWh of electricity each year, saving over 100 tonnes of C0₂ emissions per annum.
Solar PV cells that convert sunlight directly into electricity are integrated into 1,392 custom made glass laminate units that now form part of two massive new barrel vaulted glass roofing structures spanning the main platforms of the grade 1 listed building, covering more than 2300 square metres.
The solar PV installation is part of the overall redevelopment programme for King’s Cross station. All the detailed design, specification and supply of key components for the PV system and the DC electrical installation were undertaken by Sundog Energy, working to the main contractor Kier, in collaboration with Network Rail. The custom made glass-laminate solar PV units were manufactured by specialist PV manufacturer Romag in the North East of England. Installation of the solar PV glass laminates was undertaken by roof glazing specialist ESB Services Ltd and AC electrical works were carried out by the rail division of NG Bailey, one of the UK’s independent engineering, IT and facilities services businesses.
According to Martin Cotterell, founder and technical director of Sundog Energy, “King’s Cross has been a fantastic project to work on – but also a labour of love. The sheer scale of the installation has presented many major technical and aesthetic design challenges from day one and there has been no margin for error as the work had to be undertaken whist the station remained fully operational. We are very proud of our involvement as we believe the project combines the very best in modern design, technical excellence and sustainability with the grace of one of the UK’s most iconic grade 1 listed buildings.”
Simon Matthews, senior project manager for Kier Construction, stated: “The works have faced various challenges which have been dealt with in an open and collaborative manner to deliver this spectacular achievement, which combines the best of Victorian engineering with a modern sustainable solution. The switch on of the PV system is the culmination of a massive effort by the project team, working with specialists in the renovation and refurbishment of the structure, using innovative methods which have allowed the works to be undertaken above the live station.”
Phil Murray, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Romag, added: “King’s Cross is a fantastic example of how renewable technologies can be integrated into the fabric of a building and is testament to what can be achieved to reduce carbon emissions, particularly in a listed building in an urban area. As one of only a few companies equipped to manufacture this type of PV, Romag is proud to be associated with this flagship project and is even prouder to have manufactured the bespoke panels here in the UK.”