Mu­seum re­duces its car­bon foot­print with so­lar pan­els

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KARINA ABADIA

Auck­land War Memo­rial Mu­seum is now har­ness­ing the power of the sun.

Sus­tain­abil­ity en­gi­neer Karl Satchell is thrilled the so­lar panel in­stal­la­tion, which has been two years in the plan­ning, is fi­nally com­plete.

It’s part of the in­sti­tu­tion’s sus­tain­abil­ity drive, which has seen its car­bon emis­sions drop by 50 per cent since it be­gan mon­i­tor­ing its foot­print three years ago.

The sav­ings have been achieved through im­prove­ments in heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and cool­ing sys­tems in the build­ing.

It will take about 10 years to see a re­turn on the so­lar in­vest­ment, Satchell says. Af­ter that time the pan­els are ex­pected to gen­er­ate at least $10,000 worth of elec­tric­ity a year.

‘‘The beauty of re­new­able en­ergy sys­tems is it isn’t af­fected by the volatil­ity of the mar­ket and we know it will keep gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­ity each year.’’

But be­cause it’s a her­itage build­ing there were chal­lenges to meet­ing coun­cil re­quire­ments, the CBD res­i­dent says.

The pan­els couldn’t be fixed in place be­cause of the po­ten­tial for leaks. In­stead, the sys­tem is weighted down. It’s been rated to 220 kilo­me­tres an hour, which is higher than the struc­tural engineers ad­vised so Satchell is con­fi­dent they will stay in place.

Pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to learn about so­lar en­ergy is an in­te­gral part of the project, he says.

‘‘We stand as an ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­ity. Our main role is to in­form, ed­u­cate and cre­ate dis­cus­sion around the col­lec­tions we have,’’ he says. ‘‘That in­cludes things like so­lar and other forms of re­new­able en­ergy.’’

Green fo­cus: Sus­tain­abil­ity en­gi­neer Karl Satchell project-man­aged the in­stal­la­tion of so­lar pan­els on the roof of Auck­land War Memo­rial Mu­seum.

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour news.co.nz to watch a time lapse video of Auck­land War Memo­rial Mu­seum’s so­lar panel in­stal­la­tion.

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