The array, mounted on the canopy of the filling station, consists of 126 panels of Sharp's single crystal silicon solar cell modules, NT51A85. Each module is 1,200 mm long, 530 mm wide and weighs 8.5 kg, with a power
generating capacity of 85.5 Wp and a conversion efficiency of 13.4% under standard test conditions (AM 1.5, 1.0 kW/m2 solar intensity and 25 oC module temperature). Seven sets of 18 modules, connected in series, are arranged in
parallel, giving a total capacity of 10.77 kW. The battery bank consists of forty-eight 100 Ah, 6 V sealed lead-acid modules connected in series (288 V in total) and can supply electricity required in the filling station for one
completely sunless day.
Direct current (dc) power generated by the PV power generation system is converted to alternating current (ac) power by the inverter and is either used to operate the station or is stored in the
battery bank. When the energy generated by the PV system exceeds the power use in the station and the battery is also fully charged, the surplus power is sold to an electric utility company. Electrical power is automatically
supplied from the utility company at night and on rainy days. The control unit operates the whole PV system fully automatically, by constantly monitoring the output of the PV array, thereby making manual manipulation of the system
unnecessary during ordinary grid-connected operation.
IMPACT OF THE SYSTEM
The southern district of Sakai City, where the Senhoku New Town and its Life Spot station are located, is a densely populated
residential area. Hence, it is anticipated that the amounts of petroleum products demanded by emergency vehicles, medical facilities, disaster refuges and other public facilities would increase considerably in a natural disaster.
It is also highly probable that a devastating disaster such as a large earthquake would destroy the ring road surrounding the New Town and other trunk roads, cutting the area off from supplies and outside help.
disaster cuts the power supply from a public grid, this disaster-ready filling station can continue in its basic function of supplying fuels to ambulances, fire
engines, police cars and other emergency vehicles and can
contribute to disaster relief operations in the area