See how Cornell Tech’s New York campus is adding solar power to move toward being one of the first campuses built for the digital age

by Brianna Crandall — October 6, 2017 — Solaria Corporation, a global provider of solar module technologies, recently announced it was selected to provide solar modules for the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City, said to be the first-ever campus built for the digital age.

Cornell Tech brings together faculty, business leaders, tech entrepreneurs and students in a catalytic environment to produce visionary results grounded in significant needs expected to reinvent the way we live in the digital age. The campus features innovative architectural designs that leveraged a number of green building strategies to maximize energy efficiency

Cornell Tech visualization

The new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City is said to be the first-ever campus built for the digital age. Image from Cornell Tech.

Solaria was selected to provide 2,300 PowerXT and customized PowerView modules for two new buildings on the Cornell Tech campus — The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Center and The Bridge. The Bloomberg Center is the campus’s first academic building, and is aspiring to net zero energy (NZE) status. The Bridge is a “first-of-its-kind building where an extraordinary mix of cutting-edge companies from diverse industries will have the opportunity to work alongside groundbreaking Cornell academic teams.”

The two buildings combined will utilize 47,000 sq. ft. of Solaria PV panels, the equivalent of a 900 kW system. Solaria’s architectural solar installation was said to be a valuable contribution to the strategy to generate on-site power for The Bloomberg Center. Solaria was selected for its ability to deliver the unique combination of attractive aesthetics, a high degree of customization, competitive cost performance, and high power generation in the quest for NZE.

Ung-Joo Scott Lee, principal architect, Morphosis Architects, explained:

When designing the Bloomberg Center, we knew we needed to leverage the most innovative, yet proven, technologies available to help us achieve our building performance goals. Through our team’s collaborative design and research, we developed multiple site-specific strategies, including solar. Solaria offered important customizable options, an affordable solution and a great looking product — addressing key criteria in the design of modern green buildings and overcoming the challenges of traditional construction practices.

Udi Paret, GM Building Solutions, Solaria Corporation, remarked:

Solaria is honored to have been a part of such an inspirational project. The Bloomberg Center model represents a commitment to innovation and sustainability, the same philosophy that drives Solaria’s mission to achieve mainstream adoption for architectural solar. By pushing the boundaries of energy efficiency and raising the bar for building in New York, Cornell Tech is working towards creating a Net Zero building with the right partners, products and big thinkers. It is clear that architectural solar is a critical part of a new sustainable standard in the built environment.

Solaria’s rooftop solar solutions provide high-performance solar panels engineered to produce up to 20% more energy than conventional modules. These high-density solar panels are optimized for rooftop applications and leverage a highly refined manufacturing process that reportedly results in a significantly higher energy yield than typical PV modules. The technology is said to not only deliver high power but also improved shading tolerance, premium appearance and durability.

Solaria says its architectural glass solutions deliver the unique combination of high performance and high power density. This enables the optimization of thermal performance, effective daylighting, glare control and power generation. Solaria’s solar windows are easily customizable and offer design flexibility to adjust for a wide variety of sizes, glass type dimensions, coatings, Vt, and voltage.