Questacon goes solar for sustainable energy

Solar panels on the roof of Questacon

Questacon is committed to reducing and monitoring its environmental footprint. Questacon’s Environmental Management Policy (EMP) helps us to commit to a more sustainable future and pursue initiatives that are based on the philosophy of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

To support our EMP, we have implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) that meets the requirements for the international standard for environmental management systems, ISO 14001:2004.

Questacon has recently extended its investments in new technology and energy sustainability with an innovative and high-tech photovoltaic (PV) solar power station installed on the roof top of the Centre in the Parliamentary Zone.

It is anticipated that the solar power station will generate around 10 per cent of the total annual energy usage of the building and fulfil the renewable and sustainable energy requirement of the EMS. As well as meeting these power reduction targets, the solar installation will serve as an opportunity to educate our visitors about the operation and benefits of renewable energy technology.

The solar system uses over 360 WINAICO PV modules, having a nominal generation capacity of 94 kW.

Substantial planning and design was required in preparation for the installation of the system. There were a number of challenges to overcome; such as the aesthetic design considerations regarding Questacon’s location in the Parliamentary Zone; the building’s unique roof area shapes and access points; meeting the delicate structural loading requirements of certain roof areas; as well as substantial shading and solar access management around the iconic structures of the Questacon building. Solutions were found by the supplying company to all these challenges.

Prior to the installation , Questacon was committed to continually reducing electricity and gas usage, with usage figures from the last decade showing a reduction in electricity consumption of 32 per cent and gas consumption down by 50 per cent.

Questacon has now been equipped with a solar power station that will make an efficient and reliable clean energy contribution to its electricity needs for decades to come.