Computer modeling helps build solar-powered stadium

The 8th World Games will open in Taiwan on Thursday in a new stadium designed to make the most of the weather


When the 8th World Games opens in Taiwan on Thursday, the event will inaugurate a bold new stadium designed not only to power, cool and water itself, but also to withstand the tropical island's typhoons and earthquakes.

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During events, the roof supplies 70% of the stadium's electricity needs, the other 30% coming from the state power company.

When not in use, most of the power generated by the solar roof goes to surrounding neighborhoods in the city. Officials estimate the stadium will generate an average 1.1 million kilowatt-hours per year, and at the current cost of electricity in Taiwan, NT$3 per kilowatt-hour, the structure will save NT$3.3 million per year for the city.

Sensor chips on the roof keep track of all electricity intake and distribution, sending the information to servers in the control station, which is similar to a small power station inside the facility.

Another kind of sensor chip keeps track of the rooftop solar farm by troubleshooting for broken or damaged panels. There are 20 to 30 sensor chips per row of solar panels, and around 200 rows on the roof.