The solar park constructed for the Sauber F1 Team in Hinwil by premium partner Oerlikon is now on stream after being officially opened today (Monday).
The project is one of the largest solar car ports in Switzerland, consisting of 1573 technically-advanced and aesthetically-appealing thin-film silicon photovoltaic modules, stretching over an area measuring 2249 square metres. A roof of one of the factory buildings has been fitted with solar modules and large sections of the company's car park are now covered, which brings a number of benefits.
It took just six weeks to construct the solar park thanks to the innovative and cost-efficient way the modules are fitted. The installation delivers 155,600 kilowatt hours of power per year – equivalent to the electricity needs of 44 households – and generates peak power of 173 kWp. The energy payback time for the thin-film silicon solar modules is less than a year.
“We are extremely proud of this sustainable extension to our company headquarters,” Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn commented, “For us, local power generation via a photovoltaic installation not only represents another contribution to fulfilling our environmental responsibilities, it also makes financial sense. The installation is cost-efficient and also allows a large number of vehicles to be parked under cover. On top of that, it fits in well visually with our factory as a whole, which is already highlighted by the modernistic glass architecture of the wind tunnel building's façade.”
The impact of the installation in terms of sustainability is clear – and neither can it be ignored by anyone passing by the Hinwil factory on Zürichstrasse. A display panel shows information on the system's current output and the energy produced both on that particular day and in total so far.
“We're delighted to be able to support the Sauber F1 Team with these concrete steps as part of its commitment to protecting the environment,” Oerlikon CEO Michael Buscher added, “This solar park fully showcases the specific advantages of our solar technology, such as low costs, high operational effectiveness even in cloudy conditions, and a short energy payback time.”
The solar park represents Sauber Motorsport's third major step of 2012 in terms of environmental protection. In April, the group's environment management system was awarded ISO 14001 certification and, since early May, the F1 team has been greenhouse gas neutral. Meanwhile, the team supports a wind park project in India, which saves more in greenhouse gas emissions than the F1 team generates by around 30 per cent.