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Expo pavilion to put solar energy on exhibit

2009. 28 October

Photo taken on Aug. 23, 2009 shows the solar power-generating panel roof of the Shanghai-Expo 2009 Theme Pavilion, the largest of its kind in single unit which was just finished for installation, in east China's Shanghai Municipality. The solar power-generating panel extends to a total area of 30,000 square meters, accounting for a half of the 60,000-square-meters roof of the Shanghai-Expo 2009 Theme Pavilion. (Xinhua Photo)
by Yvonne Chan

( Shanghai has unveiled a green Theme Pavilion for next year's World Expo 2010, which it claims boasts the nation's largest rooftop solar energy system.

The 2.83MW rooftop solar array will be used to power the 143,000 square meter building and other on-site pavilions via the municipal power grid. Use of clean power generated from the panels is expected to save an estimated 2,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

The system features large solar panels cut into geometric shapes, with 18 rhomboids and 12 triangles placed over 30,000 square meters – about half the total roof area.

Joseph Shi, an Expo project manager, told the Shanghai Daily newspaper yesterday that renewable energy systems had been installed on site to fit in with the Expo's main theme: Better City, Better Life. "Solar energy is the best choice," he added.

The Theme Pavilion, which is one of the site's permanent structures, also has live "green walls", comprising potted plants placed on metal shelves on the exterior of its east and west walls. World Expo organisers hope the plants will absorb up to four tonnes of carbon dioxide annually while reducing the need for air conditioning in the summer.

Construction on the Theme Pavilion was completed late last month. The rooftop solar system is operational and is expected to be connected to the grid within the next few months.

Several other Expo buildings will also make use of green technology. The China Pavilion and Expo Center will feature solar panels and rainwater capture systems. Meanwhile, the Expo Performance Center will maintain a comfortable internal temperature using a heat pump system that will draw on water from Shanghai's Huangpu River.

The World Expo will run in Shanghai next year from 1 May to 31 October.