Sunday, November 25, 2007
Arup to Build Solar City
Arup, the global design and engineering firm which has garnered headlines in the sustainability world in recent years for its ambitious and ground-breaking eco-city project in Dongtan (东滩）near Shanghai, China, has announced plans to build the world's first solar city in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The solar city will consist of a 33,000-acre mixed-use development of housing for 300,000 people as well as high-tech and commercial schemes. As the article points out, it will be interesting to see how Arup deals with the efficiency limitation that the PV panels will run into with the high ambient temperatures in Arizona. This is really the paradox of PV--while conventional wisdom would suggest that the sunniest regions are ideal for the utilization of PV, there exists a trade-off as PV efficiencies decline when ambient temperatures,which are high in sunny regions, exceed a certain point.