SoloPower Systems has completed its first commercial-scale deployment in South Africa.
The PV company, which specializes in the design, manufacture and deployment of CIGS flexible thin-film solar technology, supplied its ultra-light weight photovoltaic (LPV) modules for the factory rooftop installation in the first in a two-phase project in the city of Port Elizabeth. Dumont Power, a SoloPower Systems distributor, commissioned the installation.
The installation itself was quite remarkable as the product requires no power tools, racking, special handling, or other common installation aspects, said Dumont Power Director Raymond du Plooy. The installation team, working at a normal installation pace, set a record of 1 W per second. There was no need for special rigging equipment to get the panels in place, no need for a large storage area to keep the panels before installation. It was really a very simple and fast installation.
SoloPower Systems says its LPV modules are up to 85% lighter than traditional PV panels, allowing for installation on rooftops with limited loadbearing capacity, including that of the Port Elizabeth factory.
SoloPower Systems CEO Rob Campbell added that South Africa represented a key market for the companys light-weight panels. We estimate that up to 30% of commercial and industrial buildings in the region have roofs that are not able to hold the weight of traditional solar panels.