CIS Solar Tower - The solar panel covered skyscraper

Nov 13, 2008 3 comments

Green technology has always fascinated and inspired me. The solar tower of Seville, air-powered cars and now an entire skyscraper covered with solar panels. The office building of Co-operative Insurance (CIS), an insurance company, in Manchester has been transformed into Europe's largest vertical array of solar panels, designed to convert daylight into electricity.


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The sides of this CIS owned skyscraper was original covered with small mosaic tiles, but after only six months, they began to fall of. They needed a solution and eventually came up with a brilliant and unique idea. After spending £5.5 million, three faces of the building was clad with a total of 7,244 solar panels generating 390kW of energy. The building also has 24 wind turbines on the roof, which provide 10% of the total power used by the building.


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Close-up of the solar panels


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The building when still under construction

Incidentally, this building is the tallest in Manchester and the 400 feet high solar panels is the largest in Europe. Also, this is the worlds' first and only such project.

Source: MetaFfficient, SkyscraperNews


  1. Based on the two buildings that flank the main structure, I'm going to assume that this is where most people work? Sounds like a very cool idea, but the thought of working in an office building with no windows is a severe downer.

  2. Looks a little ugly but the costs they save must be simply amazing...

  3. okay, thats dumb. All of that expense for solar panels and wind thingys and they get a pathetic 10% of their power. The rest of their power comes from "evil" coal plants. Well at least somebody gets their ego stroked. Then they can feel judgemental/superior to somebody that doesnt hold their holier-than-thou enviromental beliefs.


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