UK Welcomes First Solar Glass Petrol Station Canopy

A SUPERMARKET petrol canopy in Southampton is to be built using groundbreaking solar glass, for the first time ever in the UK.

The glass is fully photovoltaic, and produces energy from the sun, but unlike traditional solar panels, it is translucent, making it much more aesthetically pleasing as well as allowing light through.

The canopy is due to be built this summer using Polysolar glazing and will generate more than 400MWh of electricity over the 25-year lifetime of the project and take just five years to pay back.

The solar glass can also be used on a much smaller scale such as houses.

Polysolar founder Hamish Watson said: “We are delighted to be able to showcase how cost effective and genuinely practical our renewable technology is.

“Our products cross the domain of renewable energy and building materials and are ideally suited to this application. The translucent glass can create clean energy in low light conditions and also from both sides of the panel, capturing much more of the sun’s energy.”

He added the solar glass canopy had more benefits than just generating electricity.

He said: “By allowing natural light through to the forecourt area, the glass can significantly reduce the amount of lighting energy required during the day.”

The company was founded six years ago and there are many more innovative projects in the pipeline.

A new fully black glass module to work with slate buildings should be MCS accredited by summer, and completely see-through solar glass is being worked on right now.

Hamish said: “We are developing the future. Hopefully in three years time we will have developed see-through solar window. We want to get to the stage where there is no reason not to have solar windows in new builds.”

The Polysolar glazing is available as part of the government’s energy saving initiative, the Green Deal, and is also eligible for the feed-in-tariff.

Polysolar director Alastair Gadney added: “Unlike other renewable energy sources, our product is completely free from heavy metals and rare earth metals. While it is at the cutting edge of green technology, it is also a truly green product.”

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