Buildings to Generate Heat and Electricity from Solar Energy

The UK’s Swansea University has designed energy-positive classroom with their expertise, which is able to generate more than one and half times the energy it consumes. This new building is named as Active Office. These buildings consume about 40% of UK energy consumption. Researchers launched the next phase of project hence data regarding the first phase of project was announced.

Active Office is a new way to generate low-carbon offices which help to produce their own requirement of clean energy. Its design of SPECIFIC, a UK based Innovation and Knowledge Centre. Professor at Swansea University College of Engineering and Research Director for SPECIFIC, Dave Worsley, explained the work of SPECIFIC and link between research and application in real world. Involvement of SPECIFIC is for developing advanced solar technologies and its processing expand to full-scale buildings.

Testing is done on the building to demonstrate the ‘buildings as power stations’ can be real. This obtained data from demonstration is fed into fundamental research data for solar energy technologies and further used to propel development. Active Office utilizes numerous advanced technology to generate, store, and utilize solar energy whenever needed.

A roof of the building is curved and integrated with solar cells which are a photovoltaic panel. This photovoltaic thermal system is able to generate heat and electricity by absorbing sunlight. They are equipped with Lithium Ion batteries to store generated energy and water tank is connected to store solar heat.

Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, said this building is living example that one imitative can make difference to the environment. Not only it will fulfill energy requirement by itself but it will create numerous jobs in Wales too. Also, the government is a prime supporter and investor for the project. A surge in investment on the new concept will stimulate the economy. Swansea Bay City Region project of government will create more than 9,000 jobs and investments for £1.3bn.