The largest self-consumption rooftop solar array in Europe has been completed, and it is of course located in Germany. It is eleven hectares in size, consists of 33,000 solar panels, and has a generation capacity of 8.1 MW (which could power up to about 1,846 homes).
The record-breaking solar roof is on top of the Pfenning Logistics distribution centre named multicube rhein-neckar, which is located in the Heddesheim municipality, a bit south of Frankfurt. The building was recently constructed and has been owned by Union Investment as of 2012.
Dennis Seiberth, president of international large-scale projects at the project development company Wirsol, said: “In this size we usually build solar parks.” He added that Wirsol was ambitious in its aims to build the plant in four weeks.
“We are happy that we can now partially generate electricity by ourselves,” said Karl-Martin Pfenning, owner and managing partner of the Pfenning group. “With the photovoltaic installation we can annually save up to 5, 171 tons of CO2.”
Germany has one of the most successful solar markets in the world, and while many now know that, it is still quite impressive that a cloudy country could have such a successful solar market. It also makes one rethink the misconception that solar panels only work in direct sunlight.
I own a solar panel, which I have been running numerous tests on for over a year. It works in all weather. However, power production does decrease to an extent when the weather is cloudy. The darker the sky is, the less power the solar panel generates. The good side to this is that air conditioner power demand decreases along with solar power production when the weather becomes cloudier, reducing the need for solar backup.
The results of some of my tests can be found here.
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