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<JUN, Issue, 2012>
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Component & Power

A Self-Financing Roof

SOLARWATT Easy-In system?a weatherproof investment with first class tax benefits

With its in-roof system SOLARWATT Easy-In, SOLARWATT AG, Dresden, Germany, is introducing a new product, which replaces conventional roofing tiles and, at the same time, uses eco-friendly solar energy to produce electricity. In this interview, Michael Neumann, Product Manager of Easy-In, explains the system’s specialties. The 30-year old sales engineer, who cooperated in developing Easy-In, is responsible for all in-roof systems at SOLARWATT AG.


What makes SOLARWATT Easy-In system interesting for your customers?

Easy-In is what is typically referred to as an in-roof system. An owner profits from it in two ways: On the one hand, the solar system replaces conventional roofing tiles, which eliminates costs. On the other hand, Easy-In produces eco-friendly solar energy, which can be used on-site or fed into the local grid. The owner of such a solar system is compensated according to the Energy-Feed-in-Law (EEG).


Which roof types does the Easy-In system fit?

SOLARWATT Easy-In is a solar system especially developed for pitched roofs with wooden skid. It fits many different roof types and pitches between 22 and 65 degrees. The system fulfils all technical standards for fire prevention, rain-proofing as well as the impacts of wind, snow loads and hail. It has, in addition, significantly less weight than a classic roof cladding. Conventional roofing tiles weigh about 40 kg per square meter; when a solar system is mounted it adds the additional weight of the modules and installation system. Our solar modules, on the other hand, put only a light 15 kg per square meter on the roof, which presents a significant advantage for structural integrity. The SOLARWATT Easy-In system was developed in cooperation with Saxony’s roofing trade and follows the guidelines of the Central Association of the German Roofing Trade (ZVDH).


Other module manufacturers also offer in-roof systems. What distinguishes Easy-In from these systems?

Easy-In is different from all other in-roof solar systems currently available. It does not require any additional mounting system. This function has already been integrated into the module frame, which is mounted with suction anchors screwed directly to the roof battens. The modules replace traditional roofing tiles. The installation is very easy. The upper module frame is hooked over the roof battens and all additional modules are pushed together with a tongue-and-groove connection, screwed together, then you are done. You only need a few tools and you will save materials, installation time and costs. The entire module field is incorporated into the roof with flashings in the same manner as skylights.



When the sun hits the roof, the roof is cladding heats, which is undesirable for solar modules because energy output decreases with rising temperatures.

Therefore, the Easy-In system is not only weather- and rain-proof, but also optimally ventilated, as the air behind the solar modules heats up, rises and escapes through the ventilation openings at the roof’s ridge. This creates a chimney effect, which continuously allows cooler air to flow from air inlets located in the eaves. Additional ventilation openings in the module frames optimize this conventional ventilation system, which increases efficiency and energy production even further.


In what form is the Easy-In system available?

Of course, installers can configure the system on their own, if desired. But we also offer the new in-roof system as complete packages including all necessary parts, inverters and cables. These kits are available in three sizes?3 kWp, 5 kWp and 10 kWp, coming in packs of twelve, twenty and forty modules. The packaging expedites delivery and decreases logistics. In addition, SOLARWATT supports installers through direct on-system training. The Easy-In system is available in three basic varieties?with polycrystalline and the more powerful monocrystalline modules, as well as the more sophisticated version called ‘Black’, where the entire module is designed in black. And since roof areas are limited, the solar modules have a high power density of up to 138 watts per square meter.


Where do you see the most important potential markets for the new SOLARWATT systems?

Our new in-roof system is not only interesting for new buildings or roof restorations in Germany. We also intend to enter other solar markets like France and Italy, because these countries specifically subsidize in-roof systems. France, for example, specifically promotes in-roof systems, with systems of up to 3 kWp receiving higher subsidies. We, therefore, see our best chances in the kit-package-business. Also Italy bets increasingly on building-integrated photovoltaics and provides higher incentives for systems that innovatively integrate into the building surfaces.



For more information, please send your e-mails to pved@infothe.com.

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