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Posted in Ecoculture
29/07 2012

Blackfriars, the world’s largest solar bridge

Blackfriars bridge, the world’s largest solar bridge right in the heart of London.

Blackfriars station, one of London’s busiest train stations will see 4,400 photovoltaic panels installed on the roof in a bid to reduce the carbon emissions produced by the station, as well as cutting down on its energy bills.

Network Rail has stated that the roof which will be situated above the Victorian bridge, and once completed and fully operationa,l it is set to generate 50 per cent of the power that the station requires. The panels will cover a 6,000 sq m area which will make it the largest solar bridge in the world. It is set to have a capability of 900,000 kilowatts of power, the Victorian bridge, that was built in 1869, will save around 511 tons of carbon emissions every year (CO2).

It has been rebuilt Blackfriars on a 125 year old rail bridge, creating a 21st century, solar-powered station on Victorian foundations.
This architectural element represents an incredible example of “solar on the water”, an incredible example of renewable power, a natural choice for reduction of bills and carbon.

Moreover, it is important to underline that in addition to the carbon reduction, other energy saving measures are being introduced, such as rain harvesting and sun pipes to let in natural lighting.
Another characteristic of this project is that the bridge was being reinforced and widened, without any disruption to service, now the solar panelling is about half-way complete, and is being installed over the top of the live railway.

The Blackfriars PV project being “one of the world’s great solar-power installations, demonstrates, from the architectural point of view, just what is possible with this versatile technology in dense urban areas.
Also the feedback from the public has mostly been encouraging, and positive about the ambitious new design of the solar roof and wider platforms, people want more projects of this nature, people want project that generate energy rather than devour it, designed for the benefit of the people.
From a solar point of view so far Blackfriars is a success story.



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