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More to this window than meets the eye

by
06 September 2013

by a staff reporter

© SARAH HALL

A CATHEDRAL in Canada claims that it is the first place of worship to generate solar power directly from a stained-glass window. The window (above), named Lux Gloria, has been created by the Canadian artist Sarah Hall for the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon.

Ms Hall used a building-integrated photovoltaic system (BIPV), which integrates the solar-collecting elements directly into the pieces of coloured glass, which in Lux Gloria are all trapezium-shaped, but are of different sizes.

The facilities manager at the cathedral, Jim Nakoneshny, said: "First and foremost, this is a stained-glass installation. But the window's location as a prominent architectural feature allows us to showcase the integration of the solar-energy component as a beau- tiful element of the building, as opposed to a necessary eyesore.

"Since stained glass of some sort would have been going in anyway, the difference to include the solar element was negligible."

All the electricity generated by Lux Gloria is expected to be used by the cathedral, he said. "The amount generated will be relatively small - about 2500 kWh annually - compared to the total consumption of our 65,000-square-foot facility. But tying it into our electrical system, and therefore the electrical grid, allows us to use all the generated power, as opposed to keeping the two power systems separate, and trying to find a dedicated use for the solar electricity."

Ms Hall has executed BIPV projects for schools and universities, but this is is her first in a place of worship.

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