The Co-operative Insurance (CIS) office building is the tallest building in Manchester, UK. But the most interesting feature isn’t the height of the building, it’s the 400 foot tall solar panels covering the three faces of the CIS Tower that makes the building unique.
The unique project is the world’s first and so far, only such project where solar panels were used on such a large scale to provide power for a metropolitan building. The solar panel arrangement is the largest in all of Europe and consists of 7,244 80 Watt photovoltaic panels that generate 390kW of electrical power. The solar panels generate enough power on an annual basis to power 55 homes with power for one year.
The project, costing £5.5 million, was a creative solution that came about when the mosaic tiles placed on the face of the building started falling off after only six months. Besides the solar panels, the roof of the building has 24 wind turbines that generate 10% of the building’s power requirements. The CIS Tower is an excellent example of green technology in modern times, and the title of Europe’s largest vertical array of solar panels is an added bonus. Images of this unique skyscraper can be seen below.