The completion of the construction of the single-roof photovoltaic solar array at telecommunications group Vodacom’s Century City building, in Cape Town, is well under way but with some expected delays as a result of adverse weather.
“The completion of the project has been slightly delayed because of heavy rain and wind,” says engineering and consultancy firm WSP Group principal associate Evan Pedlar.
The project started at the beginning of June and was set for completion by mid-August. WSP expects the project to be com- pleted by the end of August, depending on the weather.
Meanwhile, Pedlar points out that the structural capabilities of the pitched roof section, as well as potential problems with damage to the waterproofing on the flat section of the roof, were restricting factors.
“The existing ceiling tiles allowed very little additional load to be added to the structure.
“The existing tiles have been replaced with Solar World Sun-deck roof sheeting, on which the panels are directly mounted. This has reduced the loads on the roof structure.
“The existing stone layer on top of the waterproofing and insulation on the flat section of the roof will be used to hold the Solar World Suntubs down, avoiding the penetration of water through the waterproofing,” he says.
“The Solar World Suntubs are made of 100% recyclable mate- rials and the old roof tiles will be recycled and used in community projects,” says Pedlar.
Engineering News reports that the project is said to be the largest array of solar panels on a single building in Africa.
Vodacom plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 20% by March 2013, which will trans- late into an estimated 79 000 t saving.