Footy finals and photovoltaics: when too much sun and sports is barely enough

solar stadium

Sports stadiums are going solar.

Laid low for the past week with a virus readers. Unkind friends have called it footy finals fever which seems to strike your sports-mad correspondent at this time every year. But with the excitement of the AFL final series (just completed) and last weekend’s Rugby League finals, with a touch of netball, Rugby Union and A-League pre-season included, perhaps they have a case? What a great way then to introduce the rising use of photovoltaics in sports stadiums.

Photovoltaics are increasingly becoming a major part of stadium design. Many new facilities are designed to incorporate the power of the sun to provide their energy needs. One example is Taiwan’s delightfully futuristic National Stadium in Kaohsiung. Originally built to host the 2009 World Games, the stadium is a multi-purpose which has hosted a variety of sports.

There are a total of 8,844 solar panels covering an area of 14,155m2 are integrated into the roof construction of the sports facility, which occupies a total of 19 hectares, according to this article. The photovoltaics generate a total of 75 percent of the punters’ needs but more interestingly perhaps is what happens when there’s no game scheduled.

For the super photovoltaic stadium doesn’t just shut down. It continues to generate power on days when games aren’t on and pumps this back into the Taiwanese grid. The sports stadium acts as a kind of solar powerhouse. A source of clean, renewable energy for the country’s grid. The mind boggles readers. Can the same thing be applied to sports-mad Australia?

How does that sound sports-mad solar fans? Imagine quaffing your favourite beverage from the bar or chowing down on a delicacy (pie or chiko roll springs to mind:) knowing that it has been kept cool/cooked using photovoltaics? Maybe helping your team to play better is out of their range yet (give it time) but at least you’d feel happier knowing that you were watching the sport of your choice powered by the sun, the way the Good Lord of Photovoltaics intended?

If this isn’t enough, your sports stadia of the future may act as a photovoltaics-driven powerhouse. Does anyone have any similar stories of facilities in Australia? Please let us know here or dive in over at our Facebook Page.

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