From pv magazine France
French wooden frame provider Azélan has developed a solar carport made of Douglas wood, a kind of wood with pink to reddish brown hues from the Massif Central, a highland region in south-central France.
“Douglas wood has the advantage of being naturally rot-proof, so it does not require any treatment product and can resist for decades,” the company's sales manager, Rémi François, told pv magazine France. “Another advantage is that the CO2 footprint over the entire life cycle is 25 times lower than that of steel. For a 100 m2 carport, you avoid the emission of 3.34 tonnes of CO2.”
The carport structures are fixed to the ground using galvanized steel. The additional cost of the wooden structure alone is approximately 30% more than its steel equivalent.
“However, the cost of the structure only represents 25% of the total price of a photovoltaic carport project, the rest being devoted to roads and various network work, masonry, connection of the systems to the electrical network,” François stressed. “The capex is only 10% higher in the end.”
The company has already developed several projects with its solar carport structure.
Bordeaux-based real estate company Société de Création Immobilière et d'Aménagement de l'Université de Bordeaux (SRIA) recently deployed a 2,500 m2 carport that was installed in eight months. On this project, the carbon footprint was 36.7 kgCO2/tonne, whereas it would have been 937 kgCO2/tonne for recycled steel.
An unspecified installer of fast charging stations for electric vehicles also called on Azélan for the construction of an 820 m2 solar carport with charging stations on the A62 motorway in the Garonne area. “Many of our customers are looking for the aesthetic appearance of our products and the integration of wood into the landscape, particularly in natural areas or in city centers,” said François.
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