Barcelona’s Solar Pergola

By Paul Gipe

Barcelona’s 444 kW Pergola solar del Forum was inaugurated May 4, 2009 at the site of Barcelona’s World Forum of Culture.

The solar pergola becomes one more dramatic architectural element of Catalonia’s capital, which is replete with stunning buildings. In a city known worldwide for the fanciful modernist architecture of Antoni Gaudi, the solar pergola is another contribution to public art and architecture.

The solar pergola, or shade structure, is massive. It comprises nearly 2,700 monocrystalline modules covering a total area equivalent to a soccer field (3,700 m²). The array is expected to yield 1,250 kWh/kW for a total 554,000 kWh per year. The yield seems low for a site in Spain but Barcelona may have more cloud cover than, for example, Andalusia.

Solar pergola on Barcelona’s waterfront.

According to Phönix SonnenStrom, one of the project designers, the site will eventually include up to 1.3 MW of solar PV.

Adjoining the solar pergola is a more conventional shade structure also covered with 850 kW of solar panels that is used for markets and craft fairs.

Phönix SonnenStrom