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Coober Pedy Airport Terminal

Oceania Commertial

  • Location:Coober Pedy, Australia
  • Date onstream:2010-08
  • System Capacity:9.4 kWp

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Theo Strecker

Theo Strecker
Project Engineer
Solar Shop Australia Pty Ltd

The area around Coober Pedy is hot, dry and dusty. In conditions like these, CIS thin-film panels are the perfect solution for dependable and economical solar energy.

Site Overview

Coordinates 29.0° S, 134.7° E
Average Global Irradiance 2,190 kWh/m2/yr
Average Temperature 20 °C • 69 °F
Average Precipitation 156 mm • 4.7 in/yr

Technical Overview

Panel Type SC82H-EX-B (82 W)
Number of panels installed 72
Panel angle and Orientation Tilt 10°, North 135°
Output 6 kW
CO2 reduction 10,400 kg/22,928 lbs.
Inverter SMA 6000A

Coober Pedy Airport Terminal

The airport terminal’s curved roof and the remoteness of Coober Pedy presented challenges to EnvironArc Design’s engineers.


To connoisseurs of the precious stones industry, Coober Pedy is well known as the world’s largest source of opals. Its remote location deep in Australia’s Outback – 850 km from the nearest major city – makes air travel the preferred means of access. And naturally, being situated in the middle of a massive desert also means the town gets more than its share of sunshine.


To take advantage of the abundant sunlight, the Town Council of Coober Pedy decided to install solar panels on the roof of its airport, with the help of Solar Shop, Australia’s largest provider of solar panels. After consulting with Solar Shop, the architects opted for Solar Frontier’s CIS panels, due to their strong performance characteristics under intense sunlight conditions. Solar Frontier’s CIS modules consistently exceed factory output specifications after prolonged exposure to sunlight.


One of the challenges of the installation was mounting the panels to the curved roof of the building, but as Solar Frontier’s modules are fully framed, the engineers from architectural firm EnvironArc Design were able to adapt the system to the building’s structure. The durability and performance of CIS modules will enable the town of Coober Pedy to supply its only airport terminal with all the power it needs.

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