The attractiveness of a new Hiedanranta residential area in Tampere will be developed with an impressive work of photovoltaic art. Naps’ white modules serve as a background for Arvo Yli-Kerttula’s art.
The city of Tampere aims for carbon neutrality by 2030. An experiential and vibrant new residential area will be built in old industrial area Hiedanranta located on the lake shore, attracting 25 thousand inhabitants and 10 thousand employees. The development of the area into a carbon sink district involves several different implementations of sustainable development. One of these is a photovoltaic work of art built as a landmark of energy and low carbon, which will have a parade place on the facade of the Cooking Factory in the 1920s and on the water roof of Peeling House, both old constructions for a prior pulp mill.
The solar system is a work of art, literally, as the 63 Naps all white modules were installed on the red brick wall of the Cooking Factory building. Although the white utility element that produces clean renewable energy is awesome itself, the wall will only become a work of art when the wonderful “black hole” work by Arvo Yli-Kerttula (4 years), the winner of the Hiedanranta energy art competition, is reflected on it.
“In this project, the technology, responsibility and visual aspects were taken into account in the implementation of the project. White is naturally lower in efficiency than black solar modules, but as an investment, the white modules also include a payback period, which is not the case with traditional white facade materials”, says Naps CEO Timo Laakso.
The Hiedanranta solar system uses module-specific optimization, which means that the power plant’s control system optimizes the operation of both the facade and the roof modules and thus the production of solar electricity as efficiently as possible for the prevailing conditions.
“Optimization is a necessary and justified solution in this case. It should always be considered on a case-by-case basis. Interest for photovoltaic systems integrated into facades has increased in Europe, and demand is likely to increase in Finland in the coming years. Utilizing facades enhances the potential of buildings for the use of solar electricity. In facade solutions, aesthetic issues are emphasized, so we offer spectacular alternatives to traditional solar modules” , says Laakso.
Photo: Three facade power plants with a white Naps panel were installed in the Uppsala solar city project in 2019.
A full white solar system is still a rare option
The white solar module is rare and the implementation made for Tampere is only the second larger wall integration for Naps with its own factory product. Naps has designed and implemented facade-integrated photovoltaic systems for over 15 years with black, coloured and glass-to-glass modules. The first all-white system was built in 2019 to Sun City Flogsta project in Uppsala, Sweden. There the white Naps systems were installed on three facades of the student dormitory properties.
Naps also manufactures modules with dyed cells in other colours at its own EU factory in Estonia. The most widely used Naps panel is a powerful all-black standard-sized option, other colours are made in different sizes and shapes based on custom orders in addition to the basic sizes.
Light colors, especially white, reflect the sun’s radiation more than black, by the laws of physics, which is why the choice of white modules in a solar power plant is always based on visual or architectural needs.
Photo: Naps’ green and white Saana modules.
“Facade integrations are becoming more and more interesting in Finland as well, due to both economic benefits and the visual attractiveness. The solar system can be integrated into the façade of the property either during the construction phase or retrofitted, just like when installed on the roof. Visual look has been emphasized in public construction and in high design sites, but traditional systems are still used in, for example, housing companies, warehouses and logistics properties. However, we are confident in the development of the domestic market and the growth in demand for visually pleasing solar systems with the growing awareness of existing alternatives” states CEO Laakso.
Main photo: Hiedanranta Tampere, White Night Lighting
Other photos: Naps Solar Systems Oy
More information: CEO Timo Laakso, Naps Solar Systems, firstname.lastname@example.org