Naps’ White Solar Power Station Used as a Background for Art in Heidanranta, Tampere

17.03.2021

The attractiveness of the new Hiedanranta residential area is promoted with a great-looking photovoltaic piece of art. Naps’ white panels serve as a background for art by Arvo Yli-Kerttula.

The city of Tampere intends to go carbon neutral by 2030.

Turning the area into a district functioning as a carbon sink requires numerous sustainable developments. One of these is the photovoltaic piece of art placed on the façade of Keittämö and rooftop of Kuorimo, built in the 1920s. The artwork serves as a landmark for energy and low-carbon emissions.

The art-heliostation literally means that as the old Keittämö factory building’s red brick wall was fitted with a white background comprising of 63 full-white solar panels manufactured by Naps.

The white renewable energy producing module is impressive on its own but is turned into art when Arvo Yli-Kerttula’s “Black Hole”, selected in the Hiedanranta energy-art competition, is projected on it. 

“This project considered technology, sustainability and visual impact. White panels have a lower efficiency rating than black solar panels but as an investment they still have a repayment period that no traditional facade material can offer,” claims Timo Laakso, CEO of Naps Group.

The Hiedanranta solar thermal power unit is optimised for each individual panel. This means that the heliostation’s control system optimises the operation of the panels on Keittämö’s facade and on Kuorimo’s roof to adapt solar power production to prevailing conditions as efficiently as possible.

“Optimisation is a necessary and justified solution here. It must always be a case-by-case decision. Demand for photovoltaic power systems integrated into facades has increased in Europe and will likely also rise in Finland over the coming years. Using façades promotes the exploitation of buildings for solar electricity. Aesthetics are prominent in façade solutions. Therefore, we offer great-looking alternatives to traditional solar panels,” explains Laakso.  

White solar power stations are a rare option

White solar panels are rare, and the solution used in Tampere is only Naps’ second larger wall integration with own products. Naps has designed and implemented façade integrated photovoltaic power systems for over 15 years, with black, coloured or glass on glass panels. The first all-white heliostation solution was built in 2019. The sun city project in Flogsta – Uppsala, Sweden – used all-white solar modules provided by Naps for three student dormitories’ facades.

Naps produces panels in other colours by tinting and implementing colour-film technologies in their own EU factory in Estonia. The most common Naps-panel is an efficient all-black standardised option, but coloured options are also produced to measure and form for custom orders.

Light colours, especially whites, reflect more solar radiation than dark products. This means that the choice of white panels for a solar power station is always based on visual or architectural requirements.