Platinum Green Mark Award for Ocean Financial Centre

Singapore’s green drive is reaching new heights. It now boasts of having the highest solar panels in Southeast Asia at the Ocean Financial Centre.

The 43-storey building is the first office development in Singapore to be awarded the Platinum Green Mark Award.

Nestled in the heart of Singapore’s financial district, the Ocean Financial Centre stands out with its sloping roof.

But it is what is on its roof that is getting the green thumb of approval.

At 245 metres above ground, the panels make up the highest solar installation in Southeast Asia.

The height makes the generation of clean energy more effective.

That is because there are fewer shadows that prevent power generation. And the strong winds help clean up the surface of the solar panels.

The efficiency of the solar panels drops when the temperatures go up. But the makers of the HIT solar panels said they have found a way to make the most of Singapore’s hot climate.”

Hiroyuki Kuriyama, division president for Energy Systems and Solutions Sales at SANYO Asia, said: “Sanyo’s HIT technology is a unique combination of amorphous silicon type solar cell and crystalline silicon solar cell. The amorphous silicon solar cell has a less drop in high temperature, but could not get much conversion efficiency.

“On the other hand, crystalline silicon solar cell can generate much efficiency, but there is a big drop in high temperature. So Sanyo’s HIT technology (combines) both advantages of the technology. Sanyo has developed solar cells which have the world’s highest convergence efficiency, which is 23 per cent in R&D levels and 21.6 per cent at mass production levels.”

The roof’s unique design proved a bit of a challenge when it came to installation.

Albert Lim, managing director of SolarGy, said: “The sloping roof profile, which is about 19 degrees, requires special installation skills and extra safety precautions. Being that steep, I think the rate that we install per day is only about 4-5 panels. Compared to a flat roof, we could have done 20-30 pieces.”

The 366 panels can generate 86 megawatt hours worth of energy in a year.

That makes up about half a percent of the building’s estimated energy usage.

They can also reduce 45 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, saving 240 trees a year.

The solar panel system is just one of the eco-features of the Ocean Financial Centre which will be ready in the next few months.

It will also have an energy-efficient hybrid chilled water system and an innovative paper recycling system for all offices.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 21 Feb 2011

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