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Solar Panels Prove A Success At The At-Bristol Science Centre

The At-Bristol science centre is renowned as being one of this country’s largest and most interesting science centres with several hundred exhibits some of which are interactive. There is also a Planetarium and a number of live shows to enjoy.

(image credit: rbrwr)

Twelve months ago, At-Bristol had solar panels fitted on the roof of the science centre and they have proved to be a huge success, far exceeding performance expectations. Originally it was forecast that the solar panels would be capable of generating enough electricity to provide power for 12 homes. In fact, they have actually produced enough electricity to power 14 houses for a year.

The solar panel installation was a big project with 208 solar panels being fitted to an area that was capable of siting 2 tennis courts. Not only has the solar power system provided a substantial amount of electricity for the At-Bristol science centre but it has also had a large impact in the reduction of its carbon footprint.

Interestingly, it was discovered that the solar panels perform at a higher level when the weather is cool but sunny as, when the temperature is particularly high, the solar panels almost seem to have difficulty coping with the heat.

According to Chris Dunford, who is the sustainability manager for At-Bristol, May 2012 saw the best results being produced with 6,791 kWh of electricity being generated with 358 kWh being generated on 26th May alone. The targeted amount of electricity for the first 12 months was 47,000 kWh but the figure achieved was an impressive 48,637 kWh.

At-Bristol science centre has been awarded with a number of awards for sustainability following the solar panels being fitted. When the centre holds workshops for school children they include a session covering how the solar panels operate. They have even installed a solar panel in the centre’s foyer that incorporates a live reading of the electricity being generated by the solar panels located on the roof.

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