Photovoltaic Building Facade for University of Cantabria | Spain
The University of Cantabria’s engineering school is one of the most prestigious engineering schools in Spain. The campus is located in Santander, along the northern coast of the country.
When the engineering school expanded its building complex, they sought a renewable solar power solution that would supply power to the expansive classroom and laboratory space for the school's Department of Electronics Technology, Systems and Automation Engineering (TEISA).
Louis Berger was contracted to conduct a feasibility study, prepare a detailed design and provide construction supervision for a 65 kW photovoltaic energy system integrated with the TEISA building's new 8-story façade. The alternative energy solution is a system of 432 fixed solar panels held together by a galvanized steel structure made of bolted pillars and beams. The south-facing panels, distributed in eight rows, are angled for maximum sun exposure.
The photovoltaic panels convert solar energy into electrical energy, generating a current proportional to the solar radiation received. The photovoltaic generator that completes the system was designed with a series of modules that are electrically connected.
The structural design is based on vertical pillars and inclined columns with horizontal bracing that also supports the weight of the photovoltaic panels. Additional horizontal and radial connectors support and attach the façade to the curved face of the building, providing protection from the sun's rays while the panels collect and convert its energy.