The roof of the building houses a 60 KW conventional on-grid solar power plant. It is interesting to note that the efficiency of Solar Panels is optimal when the panel temperature is 25°C and it reduces 1% for every 2°C increase in plate temperature. The need for cooling of the panels is better justified when people realize that the panel temperature will always be around 25-30°C higher than ambient temperature. There is a device mounted alongside the solar panels which is to sense the irradiation and solar panel temperature. This data is continuously reported to the Building Automation System which operates a sprinkler system once the plate temperature touches a certain temperature doing a small spray for a few seconds which cools the panel by 3-5°C for every spray and this continues every few minutes through the day. The sprinkler is also operated for a few minutes daily in the morning and evening to clean any dust settling owing to the dusty conditions in this region. This ensure that the efficiency of the solar panels are maintained at its best. The water used for this purpose is collected, filtered with the rain-water filtration system and reused.
The façade is fitted with Amorphous Silicon (thin-film) – Building Integrated Photo Voltaic (BIPV) glass panels that can produce solar power in lowlight conditions as well though the efficiency is lower. However, by replacing the regular glass used in the façade with these panels, the building generates additional solar power. This is South India’s 1st and India’s 2nd Amorphous Silicon (thin-film) – Building Integrated Photo Voltaic (BIPV) installation for Onyx Solar, Spain.
Renewable Energy Certificates or RECs have been additionally purchased by SIERRA to achieve carbon neutrality.