Summer sun lights up ‘Solar Sparks’ at W5
Just in time for the summer holidays, SSE Airtricity and W5 have launched a brand new interactive exhibit, ‘Solar Sparks’, which explores the amazing power of solar energy.
Visitors to the new permanent SSE Airtricity exhibit at W5 this summer can find out how a Photo Voltaic Cell, or PV for short, actually works and try their hand at harnessing the rays of the sun to get the maximum output from solar panels on the roof of a model house.
Visitors can also learn interesting facts about the 1,400 solar PV panels recently installed by SSE Airtricity onto the roof of W5 and The SSE Arena, Belfast. To mark the launch of the ‘Solar Sparks’ exhibit SSE Airtricity customers can enjoy 25% off admission to W5 for the month of July.
Solar energy, which is one of the world’s most sustainable sources of electricity, is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity through PV Cells – also known as solar panels.
Last year SSE Airtricity installed 1,400 solar panels onto the roof of the Odyssey Complex, home to The SSE Arena, Belfast and W5. Covering an area of more than 2,300m2 – the equivalent to 12 tennis courts – the 420 kilowatt peak (kWp) development generates enough renewable energy from the sun to offset roughly 200 tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide emissions annually. SSE Airtricity’s new ‘Solar Sparks’ exhibition also features an ‘Up on the roof’ time-lapse video showing how the 1,400 solar panels were installed onto the roof of W5 and The SSE Arena, Belfast.
SSE Airtricity, Northern Ireland’s greenest home energy supplier and largest provider of renewable energy, is the official partner of Education at W5. The W5 SSE Airtricity Education Programme, which is delivered in-centre in W5 as well as in the classroom through an Outreach Programme, places learning in context with hands-on, curriculum-linked workshops.
Speaking at the launch of the new exhibition, Leanne Sheill, SSE Airtricity, said: “We are delighted to launch the new ‘Solar Sparks’ Exhibit at W5, and especially today when we’re in the middle of one of the best sunny spells we’ve ever enjoyed! Over the summer we will hopefully have lots more sunshine, and our solar-powered exhibition will help visitors understand how we can harness the sun’s rays and energy to make green electricity. The PV cells on the top of W5 and The SSE Arena, Belfast are the perfect example of how we can utilise our natural resources to make clean, green energy.
“SSE Airtricity is proud to sponsor the education programme at W5, and our new ‘Solar Sparks’ is just the latest exiting part of the wonderful programme of work that teaches us all about the importance of renewable energy. Over the coming months visitors to W5 will be able to learn how solar power works, and throughout July SSE Airtricity Customers will be able to benefit from a 25% discount on general admission to W5. Let’s hope that while we are all finding out about solar energy in W5, the sun is shining and creating clean, green energy for us all.”
Adrian Lutton, Head of Exhibitions, Design and Marketing at W5 said: “We’re delighted to introduce this brand-new interactive exhibit with our Education Partner, SSE Airtricity. As Northern Ireland’s largest provider of renewable energy, our new SSE Airtricity ‘Solar Sparks’ Exhibit is a fantastic way for visitors to learn about solar energy in an engaging and fun way.
“Solar energy is becoming crucial for our economy, environment and society and offers huge potential for natural resources and climate protection. With our new SSE Airtricity exhibit we hope to show visitors the great benefits of solar energy and inspire the next generation of renewable engineers.”
The SSE Airtricity ‘Solar Sparks’ Exhibit is open now and is located on 'Go' Level 2 of W5.
SSE Airtricity customers can redeem their 25% discount off admission to W5 for the month of July by visiting SSEReward.com/W5Solar.