3 Solar Powered Stadiums

The necessity to incorporate energy efficient systems into new developments with the aim to obtain green building certifications is a common practice these days.

Stadiums around the world offer a great opportunity to implement solar power systems. Firms behind the construction of new stadiums seek to create iconic masterpieces, not only because of its design, but also for a public recognition in terms of applied sustainable solutions to the project.

Today, thanks to the development of technologies related to Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), there are numerous possibilities of implementation of PV systems into vanguard architectures.

Here are three references of stadiums that use solar power installations as a solution to cover their energy needs. From a relatively “simple” implementation of standard solar panels to a fully customized solution.

Mineirao Stadium. Belo Horizonte (Brazil) – 1965 (renewal in 2013)

This stadium was originally built in 1965 and it had a deep renovation to host several football matches for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014. The capacity of the stadium is around 62,000 seats. Minas Arena Consortium and BCMF Architects are the responsible for the renovation of the New Mineirão.

One of the main changes to the original stadium was the incorporation of sustainable solutions such as reusing rainwater, efficient lighting systems, intelligent control of energy… and an integrated solar PV system around the canopy.

The roof of the stadium has been filled with up to 6000 solar PV panels. In total, the installation produces around 1,600 megawatts-hour per year that feeds the grid.

Kaohsiung National Stadium. Kaohsiung (Taiwan) – 2009

With capacity for 55.000 people, this is the biggest stadium in Taiwan.

Designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito, the stadium makes use of solar energy to 100% supply its power needs. For this reason, the also known World Games Stadium can be considered the first self-sufficient of its class.

The integration of the solar component (8844 solar PV modules) has been internationally acclaimed, earning the nickname “Dragon” due to the characteristic shape of the canopy and the “snake skin” effect thanks to the distribution of the solar panels.

The solar canopy produces up to 1.14GWh of electricity per year. Enough not only to supply the stadium needs, but also to sell the surplus.

Education City Stadium. Doha (Qatar) – 2022

The capacity of the stadium will be around 40,000 seats for football fans attending the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Its design has been inspired by traditional Arab tents and it will be built to be a multi-purpose venue. ASTAD Project Management is the project manager and FIA Fenwick Iribarren Architects serves as the lead design consultant for this project.

The roof of the stadium will implement a solar PV installation that will act as an integrated glazing skylight system. The diamond shape will be created by a series of customized triangular panels of different sizes. Due to the scale and the high degree of customization, this project is a challenge for the PV system supplier.

Still to be specified the final amount of power to be installed, however, the complex will incorporate additional standard solar installations surrounding the stadium, with the aim to obtain the highest certification in green building construction.

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