Lightweight PV system solution for commercial buildings with limited load-bearing capacity


Solarge, a Netherlands-based module manufacturer specializing in lightweight, low-carbon footprint designs for commercial and industrial rooftops, has completed a 225 kW rooftop system on the new headquarters of Eindhoven-based garage door manufacturer, Different Doors.

Solarge focuses on developing lightweight products suitable for installation on rooftops with limited load-bearing capacity, eliminating the need for extensive roof reinforcement. It claims strong and light polymers result in a module weight per square meter of 5.5 kg. Instead of glass, it uses a novel polymer material developed in collaboration with petrochemical manufacturer Sabic.

Project partner Soltronergy, a Dutch installer, deployed the modules on mounting systems from Utrecht-based Sunbeam BV. The modules are installed back-to-back with ballasts and have both East-West and North-South orientation.

“Because the building is brand new the customer preferred a ballast solution. If we had used roof anchors, we could have realized the project at 7 kg/m2,” Solarge CEO, Jan Vesseur, told pv magazine.

The modules belong to the company’s Solo line, which ranges in size from 480 W to 490 W. They are made with PERC cells, Staubli connectors, and weigh in at just 5.5 kg/m2 without ballast.

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Earlier installations this year include an Alcochem rooftop system with 72 solar panels installed by Solarge partner Youen, and a 120-panel rooftop installation at Fruitbedrijf De Groen, a Dutch fruit grower, which was installed by Megaproject.

“Our biggest project to date is coming up at Sabic’s plant in Genk, Belgium with 5,000 modules for 2.3 MW capacity,” said Vesseur.

Solarge’s products are available through distributors and directly. “Our scope is worldwide, we have already shipped panels to New Zealand,” said Vesseur.

Solarge inaugurated its first large-scale production line for lightweight solar panels with a low carbon footprint in May. Situated in Weert, the Netherlands, the facility can manufacture 200,000 panels per year.

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