Careful planning a must
The size, design and type of a PV system depend on local conditions, requirements and power demand. The range of customized solutions for roofs, facades, balconies, patio covers and carports is correspondingly large. Special solutions for mobile homes or boats round off the system variety. Each PV system is individually designed to match the size, shape, covering and load-bearing capacity of the roof. For a pitched roof, for example, the orientation of the system is crucial and an inclination of 30 degrees is considered optimal. For flat roofs, a substructure is used that allows any inclination and orientation. Different types of PV modules with thick-film or thin-film cells leave nothing to be desired in terms of performance, robustness, weight, homogeneity of appearance or color. For rigid thick-film cells, millimeter-thin solar cells are alternatively inserted between two films, between glass and glass film, or even between two sheets of glass. Thin-film cells, on the other hand, consist of amorphous silicon that is vapor-deposited onto a carrier made of glass or stainless steel. This type of production allows flexible, curved, folded or even transparent solar modules that can be integrated particularly inconspicuously into the existing architecture of a building.
These solar cells, which are vapor-deposited onto flexible substrates made of thin stainless steel sheets of grades 1.4510 or 1.4401, are also a proven solution for metal roofs made of stainless steel. Due to their low manufacturing costs, these low-maintenance amorphous silicon cells are most commonly used in commercial, large-scale solar farms.
Frames and mountings critical success factors
Against the backdrop of an expected durability of 30 years or more, the demands on the metal components of solar panels are also high. Widely used are rails and mounts made of aluminum. However, their relatively low tensile strength makes them more recommended for low wind loads. They also require surface treatment for greater corrosion resistance. Stainless steel frame profiles ensure the required robustness and durability through superior strength and corrosion resistance, even under demanding environmental conditions.