One of the advantages of trade shows like Intersolar 2022 is the opportunity to run into just the person you’re looking for. Soon after our interview with paXos, Meyer Burger Gunter Erfurt spoke to pv magazine on the show floor. Erfurt was unable to provide a definitive date for the market debut of its new solar tiles, which had previously been earmarked for a 2022 launch.
However, Erfurt was able to say that the company has determined that in the DACH region – Germany, Austria and Switzerland – the company sees a “theoretical market of 2 GW for solar tiles. In France we saw an additional market of 1.6 GW … after seeing so much potential, we didn’t see the need to keep counting.”
The solar tile market is famously difficult to crack, as demonstrated by the Tesla solar roof. In 2021, Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted that the company had made “significant mistakes” in its solar roof projects, and conceded that rooftops are actually a lot more complicated than he initially thought.
Erfurt said the key to unlocking the solar tile market will be quality and flexibility. That means not simply gluing Chinese solar cells to existing roof tiles, as has been done in the past, and certainly not making one of Tesla's mistakes, which was to make their solar-tiled rooftops a single complete system.
“Unlike Tesla, we can replace tiles individually in the unlikely event that they are damaged or need replacement, rather than integrated tiles, which can be replaced individually,” said Erfurt.
What Meyer Burger is able to do is take quality solar tile technology and incorporate its solar cell expertise to ensure quality.
“Whereas some competitors’ cell-efficiency hovers around the 6% t0 8% mark, our solar tiles are almost on par with our traditional modules,” said Erfurt.
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