uit de ruimte -
Solar panels on Earth out of space
photographs Google Earth except where indicated
Pergola and World Forum site in Barcelona (Spain)
Pérgola fotovoltaica na esplanada Fórum
Technical and General data
Detail photographs (Google Earth)
photographs (Polder PV) ADDED July 2008
Links (updated/checked July 2008)
while ago (April 2006), with Google Earth I visited
I thought the incredible "Solar Pergola" should be
situated, on the
the World Forum
of Culture in Barcelona (Spain) that was open to the public from
May till September 2004. I had seen a photograph of
this "Solar World Wonder" and was curious if I could
find this incredible PV-system with Google Earth.
However, to my disappointment, the satellite photographs available
be taken during
the preparations of the site, which is part of large-scale restoration
projects to upgrade the coast-line in and around Barcelona. Hence,
no "Pergola" could be seen at that stage.
another peek in the backyard of our Spanish fellow citizens with
Google Earth in December 2006, there it suddenly stood out as a
beautiful PV-Carré in a very interesting architectural setting
Spanish developers have created in the incredible "World City of
Architecture", Antonio Gaudi's beautiful Barcelona. In addition,
two extra, large PV-arrays were
"building" on the Esplanade direct west of the Pergola
image> Solar Pergola (right, dark
gray and standing on almost white background) and
on Esplanade Building on the site of the 2004 Forum
de les Cultures (left, light blue, in two arrays)
as given by Google Earth in December 2006 (mouse pointer
and in April 2006 (mouse pointer over image). Note the incredible
changes in the landscape, and the complex architecture of the surroundings,
new buildings, etc. Harbour at upper right corner,
with long pier and small footbridge direct north of the Solar Pergola.
Motorway* overlay, in blue, on the left, with a fraction
South is on the bottom of the photographs unless otherwise
of Barcelona urban renovation planning area with locations
of Solar Pergola (1) and Esplanade building (2) with 2 photovoltaic
sub-systems (red circles). (3) is the triangular Forum Building.
South in this map is approximately in the left lower corner.
(map source unknown - portion from off-line image)
and general data
Solar Pergola and PV-array on new buildings
on former Barcelona Forum site:
on location of former Besòs sewer plant (total urban
renovation area 100 hectares)
- All public
buildings in this new area are heated and cooled by
the municipal waste treatment plant.
by the European Commission through its Sustainable
Energy for Europe 2005-2008 programme (EUPRES project).
- Height of
Pergola up till 50 metres
provided shade for exhibition of hybrid vehicles during World
area of Pergola 112 by 50 metres (5.600 m², "approximate
size of one soccer field")
- 2.686 frameless Isofoton monocrystallin I-165 PV-modules, hence 443,19
have a power tolerance of 5% and have a transparent
to high voltages used (> 600 Vdc), a permanent
insulation monitoring device is installed
the DC protection and control boxes of this high-yield PV-generator.
125 kW ACEF inverters in master-slave configuration
performance ratio of Pergola system: 1.250
yield app. 554 MWh/year)
PV-surface incl. new Esplanade system: 10.500 m²
- Separate Esplanade system 850 kWp
PV-power installed on site (Pergola inclusive): 1,3
MWp (Spain's biggest urban system sofar)
on site will cover electricity consumption of app. 1.000 Barcelona
households (1.900 MWh/year***)
ENDESA: utility private company
execution and management of turn-key projects
INABENSA: installation company
ISOFOTON: manufacturer and project engineering
of PV systems
SONNENSTROM (Germany): planning, design, technical evaluation
and monitoring concept
has an average of 2.800 hours sunshine each
- The city has 55
projects to establish a more sustainable city
model, whilst reducing environmental impact through energy savings,
an increase in the use of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
The Motorway is, on the Google Earth pictures, named, B10 and runs
parallel to the coastal road called "Avingu da Litoral"
"Ronda del Litoral") that, in
this section, has the prosaic name "Carretera de la Planta
Incineradora d'Escombreries" on the GE overlay (referring to
the incineration plant north of the Forum site)y.
** More details in the Isofoton
publication on this PV-generator.
*** Number from MedioAmbiente
pdf document. This would mean that average Barcelona household consumes
Pergola = SonnenSegel (German) = Pergola Fotovoltaica (Spanish)
Placa Fotovoltaica (Catalan)
photographs (satellite images © Google Earth)
World Forum site (GE photo Dec. 2006) with, on the white
surface on the right the gigantic Solar Pergola (shade indicating
photo was taken in the morning). On the left two large, light-blue
arrays of presumptive 850 kWp photovoltaic system on the
flat roof of new
on the "Esplanade" (one source refers to this building
as a "Sailing
School", but that appears to be situated underneath the pergola
For details, click on the separate PV-arrays on this photograph.
Detail of the Solar Pergola, with, indicated by the red arrow,
a car, to comprehend the enormous scale of this PV-Monster
of westernmost half of the 850 kWp Esplanade undulating roof
PV-system that seems to be fixed on a complex metal roofing
frame structure. More details of this separate PV-array are
as yet unavailable or not yet
on a web page [see however also new photo
on-site photographs: Polder PV visit of pergola fotovoltaica site,
May 17-18 2008
of our goals for our petit cycling trip
Avignon (Southern France) - Barcelona - Avignon, more than 2.000
km in over 3 and a half weeks, was, of course, a three-day visit
to Gaudi's town. And, naturellemente,
included in this cycling adventure was an obligatory photovoltaic
addict visit to the pergola
fotovoltaica site (on the official Catalan city map it is
called "placa fotovoltaica") in the coastal
area of Barcelona's Sant Adrià de Besòs suburb. Having first bewildered
our senses in the magnificent Parc Güell
from master architect Gaudi in the western part of the city, we
took the metro
of Barcelona which has been drastically altered and upgraded, for
the most part due to the Forum festivities in 2004. Having passed
the equally mind-boggling triangular Forum building,
we went "through" the central esplanade "building",
which at that time was completely empty and that turned out to
be a huge
free-standing, undulating/zig-zag solar
roof without "walls"
underneath which various activities can take place. The
in a distant manner a little reminder of our own unique solar
roof at the Floriade terrain near Hoofddorp (west of Schiphol)
in the Netherlands, is standing totally free on several rows of
pillars. Directly east
of this huge PV-battery, towering over the new harbor, Marina
and including a sailing school in its base, is the stupendous pergola
follow some pic's from both PV-arrays, taken on May 17, 2008. The
series is concluded with a
view towards the pergola fotovoltaica site (May 18th)
from a balcony with phantastic panoramic views over the commercial
harbour at the huge Castell
de Montjuïc at
the far southern end of Barcelona's coastal boulevard, over 6
south... All pictures are by Peter Segaar/Polder
PV, Leiden, the
Netherlands. For a close-up from the west, see also the beautiful
picture made by my partner on the main Polder PV website
(click on picture for full-scale size).
enlargement: click on
red-squared images and, if necessary, click again on appearing
view of a small portion from the peculiar "esplanade" PV-system,
standing free on a lot of steel columns. The right hand side
facing south is the solar part of the roof, the left hand
(north facing) side, having a slightly lower inclination,
consists of big glass panes without solar cells. The whole
structure is naturally ventilated without enclosures - an
important factor to consider in regions with high solar irradiation
levels such as in Barcelona (crystalline solar cells produce
considerable less power at higher environmental temperatures).
Underneath the central esplanade PV-roof, photograph taken app. in SE direction.
The south-facing façade
has glass laminate PV-modules in two rows per segment. The
north-facing roof parts are made up of normal glass panels. Hence, maximum
to the open floor whilst at the same time the roof produces over a thousand
MWh of solar electricity on a yearly basis. From a sustainable, on the
human scale everlasting energy source that falls out of the sky for free.
towards the sea underneath the esplanada roof. The south-facing
PV glass laminates can be clearly seen (note the different sloping
angles of the south- and northern-facing roof parts, most
probably to avoid shading of one roof segment upon the others),
as well as the many pillars that keep the roof in the air.
the DC cabling is fed through the steel support structures into
a separate small building alongside this roofing structure.
were taking place underneath this gigantic PV-roof.
Detail of one of the glass laminates. At large magnification of the picture,
the label on the module reveals its source: the succesfull German producer Schott
these beautiful modules. The glass-glass modules have 10 x 12 = 120 multicrystalline
(square) solar cells
underneath the Esplanade PV-roof one can already see the
fotovoltaica standing at the edge of the harbor for
tourist boats, Marina Forum.
Astonishing architecture is the trade mark of Barcelona. Not only "old style"
like Gaudi's unique and timeless buildings that still are a three-dimensional
nightmare for most modern architects. Also industrial architecture
can be found in various shapes,
fotovoltaica, on the right. Even the vicinity was provided with modern
creative touches, like the colourful street tile arrangements (even visible
Google images), bizarre street lights, and the modern "stone arena" in front.
The spacious area is a heaven on
earth for skate-stunters. In the center the foot-bridge over the marina,
at left the 3 brownish chimneys of the city's huge incineration plant.
of pergola fotovoltaica from the front (southern)
side. Because the pergola has a strong inclination, and the
picture is taken almost parallel to this angle of inclination,
perspective wrongly suggests that the solar modules risk
being shadowed by the narrow
in front of each row. Not so: the balustrades (safety measure
for technical personnel) are placed at a sufficient
distance from the modules. It is well
line-shaped shadows on serially interconnected PV-arrays
can have drastic negative consequences for the power output
(local shading). The engineers from Phönix Sonnenstrom apparently
have planned this
installation such that this type of shadowing does not occur
on the Isofoton modules.
Three types of energy production: electricity from the burning of waste (incineration
plant at far right), autonomous solar electricity combined with accu storage
beacon with horizontal and vertical placement of solar cells), and net-integrated
solar electricity on a grand, "Gaudi-worth" scale through Barcelona's pergola
fotovoltaica from the "lower right" corner (SE), the
lowest point of the obliquely placed huge PV-array. Underneath
array, in the basement of the concrete structure, a sailing
school has found an interesting home base. Through a series
of concrete stairs one can walk underneath the pergola. At
right the southern end of the walking/cycling bridge over
The pergola from its eastern side facing the Mediterranean sea. Note the safety
balustrades along the margins, the narrow "footpaths" between the PV-segments,
and the overall very "airy" construction of the whole system, supported only
by four seemingly fragile concrete pillars. A wonderful technical achievement
by the builders.
the concrete stairs one cannot be left unimpressed by this
huge glass, steel and concrete pergola directly overhead.
Eastern "entrance". The walking "paths" separating the PV-"fields"
each consisting of three rows of module blocks, are made
of steel gratings. In addition, the Tedlar foil supporting
the solar cells
between the glass laminates is transparent, so that sunshine
that is not falling onto the evenly spaced solar cells can
penetrate through the whole pergola structure. The slightly
Photograph taken from underneath the pergola straight into the sun.
The frameless glass laminates (Isofoton I-165 Wp) have been prefabricated
in blocks of 4x3 (12) modules on steel frames that were moved into the pergola
laminate appears to have two junction boxes in opposite corners. Each module
has 9x12 (108) monocrystalline cells (at high magnification of the original
pic's: rounded corners of the cells). Note the big space between the module
and enabling good natural ventilation of the PV-modules.
(back-)side from the pergola (highest point), facing and
actually dwarfing the new skyscraper skyline along
Barcelona's Ronda Litoral causeway. In front of the skyscrapers
the Esplanade roof, with the north-facing half (without solar
cells, of course) directed to the right in the image.
whole beautiful thing from a slightly larger (walking) distance.
South from the pergola there is a small double pier made up
of big concrete blocks, like those in the foreground (watch
your step on these irregularly dumped blocks!). From this pier
the whole structure can be seen in its full glory. In the background
the three pipes of the huge incineration plant.
a distance of app. 6,4 km (!) the oblique shape of the pergola
still be seen, here slightly left from the middle of the horizon. This image
is a "shot" from one of the panoramic balconies on the huge fortress
on Montjuïc, in the green mountain parc with the same name (also
including the Olympic Parc) at the southern coastline of Barcelona, bordering
The skyscraper directly left from the pergola is one of two lining the coastal
entrance of the important Marina road, which leads directly to the most
famous building of Barcelona: la Sagrada Familia initiated by the visionary
Antonio Gaudi. This skyscraper includes the Casino of Barcelona. In front: Port
All photographs in this section © Peter J. Segaar/Polder
^^^ <ROLLOVER image> ^^^
When moving mouse pointer over the button bar above, you will
aerial (top) and local (bottom) views change.
Direction of local view indicated with red arrowhead in aerial views.
Note the spectacular views from, especially, the Solar Pergola.
taken and reorganised from the Ajuntament de Barcelona bcn.es site
Visit that site (link above) for on-line virtual tour with mouse-controlled
and checked July 2008; dead links removed)
website with many internal links, a selection following below)
description of Pergola/PV project and some photo's)
photographic tours of 2004 Forum site)
Barcelona 2004 Protecting the Environment Educator’s
map of Barcelona)
tour of Barcelona2004 World Forum site)
release on opening ceremony)
http://www.tvlink.org/vnr.cfm?vidID=146 (extensive description of
Barcelona sustainable energy policies)
PICTURES/PHOTOGRAPHS of Solar Pergola
of the underside of the Solar Pergola)
taken from cruise ship on sea; Solar Pergola from nrs. 719-722)
photo, front view)
lateral view, both from THIS site)
photograph from below Solar Pergola)
below; sun shining through the solar modules!)
http://www.e-architect.co.uk/barcelona/esplanada_forum_lapena_torres.htm (Torres & Lapena,
lens from behind)
article, two nice photographs)