Power supply is under pressure throughout the world due to the increase in electricity consumption in addition to this we have increasing energy prices which are unprecedented.
Power supply is under pressure throughout the world due to the increase in electricity consumption in addition to this we have increasing energy prices which are unprecedented. This has been caused by many geo-political reasons and the need to move away from fossil fuels to greener methods of energy creation was one of the key conclusions of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) that was held in Glasgow in 2021.
Q-Park is developing its parking facilities into vital instruments to help realise urban accessibility, sustainability and liveability. To achieve this goal the car parks are transformed into mobility hubs that provide much more than just parking with car sharing, electric vehicle charging, last mile logistics and retail space all offered through the existing national footprint of locations. Q-Park are also pursuing this policy when it comes to the design and construction of new parking facilities such as the car park at Sandwell General Hospital in Birmingham that opened in 2022. In this particular location situated on the roof level a solar panelled canopy was added above numerous parking spaces.
Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells that convert the sun’s energy into electricity. Photovoltaic cells are sandwiched between layers of semi-conducting materials such as silicon. Each layer has different electronic properties that energise when hit by photons from sunlight, creating an electric field. This is known as the photoelectric effect – and it’s this that creates the current needed to produce electricity. Solar panels generate a direct current of electricity. This is then passed through an inverter to convert it into an alternating current. This current can then be used to power the premises they are installed on or fed back into the National Grid.
Q-Park and Sandwell General Hospital have benefitted from the installation of solar panels within the parking facility. The energy created has been used to power the majority of the appliances within the car park, this includes the parking equipment, energy efficient LED lighting and the large number of Electric Vehicle charging points onsite. Any spare energy created is sold back to the National Grid which allows the property owner, in this case the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, to benefit from reduced energy costs at a time when the health service really needs to reduce its costs. Q-Park are committed to creating carbon-neutral parking facilities and this scheme in Sandwell General Hospital is just one aspect of a strategy for Q-Park to deliver on its sustainability plan.
To find out more about Q-Park's Sustainable Mobility Hubs click here