The Solar Ark – An Innovative Steel Structure
The Solar Ark is an ark-shaped solar power facility in Japan owned by Sanyo. With over 5000 panels cladding to the structure, it produces approximately 530,000 kilowatt-hours on an annually. The maximum system power is630 kW. It is one of the largest solar buildings in the world.
- Length: The structure is 315 m
- Construction area for the Solar Ark is 3294.48 m2
- Reinforced concrete was used for the foundation
- The height of the Ark is 31.6 meters at the centre of the structure.
- The Ark is constructed from structural steel, the weight of the actual body of the ark alone is 3,000 metric tonne.
- Steel used is about two times stronger than normal steel and is comparatively thin to steel.
- Diameter of the column is 2 meters and length of column is31 meters.
- The entire Ark chassis is supported by four G-Columns , these pillars weigh approximately 5,000 tonnes.
- The Ark has been designed to resist winds of up to 34 m/sec.
- The Ark can withstand level 7 earthquakes on the Japanese scale.
- There are 5,046 solar panels in total.
The ark is surrounded by 5-meter high water fountains and two ponds, each having their own cascade. The entrance to the Solar Ark has solar wings which are composed of HIT solar cells that generate electricity on the topside and underside while also functioning as awnings that allow sunlight to filter through. Between the individual solar panels, there are, in total, 75,000 red, green, and blue computer controlled LEDs which are activated at night to produce images and words across the ark.