Germany-based SOLON SE, one of Europe's leading solar module producers, has achieved a breakthrough in the development of simpler and faster fitting processes. During the "Symposium on Photovoltaic Solar Energy" in Bad Staffelstein, Germany, the company was awarded a prestigious innovation award for its SOLON Black 160/05 in-roof module. The solar module is equipped with a frame with an integrated mounting system based on the polyurethane foam Bayflex® from BaySystems replacing the conventional installation system. By that a much simpler mounting and fitting is ensured. In contrast to the conspicuous box-like structure of solar systems with aluminum frames, a network of several solar modules with polyurethane frames provides the appearance of one continuous surface.
After working in close cooperation with Bayer MaterialScience - which has built up extensive experience in using the polyurethane system Bayflex® as sheathing for automotive glazing - SOLON, one of Europe's leading solar module producers, also decided to use this material system for the manufacture of photovoltaic modules. "The SOLON Black 160/05 solar module can be fitted in the roof without the need for conventional installation systems. Thanks to integrated installation elements in the plastic, it can be screwed directly to the roofing battens via installation boards, which means that costly substructures are no longer necessary", explains Dr. Hubert Ehbing, the project manager responsible for polyurethane applications in photovoltaics at Bayer MaterialScience. Further, the overlapping polyurethane frame in the system ensures that rainwater runs off easily and does not penetrate the roof.