The community of the future is no longer utopian or something from the West – it can actually be realized in Malaysia. Natural resources are scarce but the sun will continue to provide free energy for millions of years to come. Solar energy can generate electricity for your house consumption and can be an important part of a community, a city and even the region. Solar townships offer its inhabitants an integral concept for the use of regenerative energy, as well as a lifestyle of comfort and environmentally friendly housing.
The following are some showcases from around the globe which are aimed to motivate local developers to realize solar townships in Malaysia. These showcases introduced innovative and environmentally sound houses to climate change conscious buyers
Examples from Germany
The Solarsiedlung am Schlierberg is reputed to be the most modern solar housing project in Europe. The development structure is focused on the sun path. Since the sun is always from the south, all the 50 terraced houses face south, and the distance between the rows of houses is designed to be in the sun path even through the winter. Rainwater is being collected and this interacts with the biotope to form a highly effective water retention system: part of the water is being used for the purpose of garden irrigation and for the toilet flush. The rainwater is being collected above-ground and thus contributes to the design of the open spaces.
- Construction timeframe 2000-2006
- Living area 6745 m2, resulting in 82 - 260 m2 per house
- Total energy consumption around 110 MWh per year
- Total PV capacity 233 kWp
- Total investment for Solarsiedlung (without land) 16 Million Euro
Solar Township Querdeich / Dannenberg (Germany)
The city of Dannenberg (8700 inhabitants) installed on all 81 zero-energy-houses close to 120 kWp amorphous PV modules. The construction was completed in 2003 and all houses were sold within 6 months.
Examples from Japan
2130kWp Ota City, Japan
860kWp Pal Town, Japan
1500kWp Hills Garden Kiyota, Sapporo City of the Hokkaido Prefecture
240kWp Kiyomino Solar Town near Tokyo
PanaHome Seishin-Minami Hyogo Prefecture
Example from USA
Solar township in California, USA
Example from Australia
629kWp Residential houses in Sydney for the Olympic Games 2000
Example from The Netherlands
Stad van der Zon - City of the Sun
The project was part of the HAL Project, an initiative of the cities Heerhugowaard, Alkmaar and Langedijk. One of the goals was to build the 5 MW “City of the sun” solar project. The described housing project in Langedijk was one of the first projects built. Part of the evaluation is the architectural aspects, integration with the grid, utility contract, tariffs and any other possible bottlenecks.
Remarks: Total project size 5 MWp. End of 2006 2MWp have been installed.
1. Location: Amersfoort, Netherlands
2. Type of project: Mostly residential buildings, some public facilities (a sports centre, a school and a kindergarten)
3. Type of application: BIPV
4. Timeframe for construction: Built in phases; from 1997 to 1999
Aim of the project is the full-scale demonstration of a 1 MWp PV system in an urbanised area through the realisation of 500 PV houses grouped together in Nieuwland, Amersfoort’s new housing area. The Project other objectives include:
1. Demonstration of technological and architectural potential of BIPV,
2. Reduced BIPV cost in terms of both PV module (economy of scale) and balance-of-systems (through optimised integration),
3. Enhanced system performance through optimised design, improved quality control and commissioning procedures,
4. Establishment of a framework for future co-operation between building companies, utilities, town planners and PV industry, essential for maturing BIPV technology,
5. Increasing the confidence of local authorities as well as project developers, architects and building industry of quality aspects of PV
The 1 MWp project has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the implementation of large scale, building integrated PV systems on a district level. Examples of important lessons on technical and organisational level which aimed to enhance future system performance of BIPV are:
1. Let performance guarantees be part of the contractual agreement with the PV subcontractor (rather than the price per kWp, the price is directly related to kWh);
2. A modular design concept (here “one house – one inverter”) features lower costs (large amounts of standardised flexible units, reduced cabling costs, low grid connection costs and low costs of spare parts);
3. Type tests prove to be necessary due to innovative PV techniques and new products being applied (once PV becomes mainstream, and components are well tested, such type tests can be omitted);
4. The design review is considered to be a preparatory step for the building inspection and commissioning (this will remain an important element of quality control programmes of future PV projects).
5. Testing before commissioning has proven to be essential: various faults by the PV installers were detected and corrected before commissioning could proceed.
As far as organisational aspects are concerned, PVs being implemented by property developers appear to run more smoothly than implementation by energy companies where the main reason being the latter is not accustomed to conventional building process. Effective communication is also essential in all the phases of the design processes.
The 1 MWp project has generated much awareness on building integrated PV and this in turn has increased the acceptance of BIPV. The acceptance is not only by the general public but also by professional parties like city developers, property developers, architects and building companies. The project has also persuaded property developers and architects to promote PV as a building component that increases the aesthetic value of the house. Some of the architects have already applied PV in other projects at their own initiative.
1. PV system power: 1323 kWp on 500 houses, monitoring of BIPV performance for 44 houses with 2.57 kWp utility-interactive
2. Type of building integration: roof-integrated
Project cost breakdown
Initial budget based on 1.0 MWp: € 8.6 million (due to overwhelming response, the PV capacity increased to 1.3 MWp).
o PV systems, turnkey delivery: € 7,441,542
o Building construction materials: € 451,965
o Installation: € 306,302
o Total housing project costs: € 9,227,621