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Ernst Schweizer AG

Solrif

In-roof system for different module sizes

photo: CSEM

Ernst Schweizer, based in Hedingen, Canton Zurich, has developed Solrif’s in-roof system to use solar modules not only for electricity production, but also as roofing. The system turns frameless standard modules into a solar roof tile. It thus replaces the classic roof covering. To use the Solrif, only a wooden substructure analogous to the normal tiled roof or a vertical counter batten is required. A standard foil subroof should also be used as a protective layer. In this way the Solrif can form the covering of roofs with an inclination of ten to 70 degrees.

Manufacturers offer the necessary modules

The precondition is that the modules used have a special Solrif frame. However, since the system has been on the market for a long time and is very popular, there are a number of manufacturers who have modules with such frames in their portfolio. These modules also have the specified thickness of 5.2 millimetres so that they fit into the substructure. In the meantime, the first manufacturers such as Sonnenstromfabrik in Wismar are also offering glass-glass modules with Solrif frames. The Solrif covers edge lengths from 500 to 2,000 millimeters and areas from one to 1.7 square meters.

Flexible connection to the roof environment

In the meantime, Ernst Schweizer has also developed flexible connections between the solar system and the roof environment. In the past, it was necessary to create connections to the roof environment for each module size using individual metal sheets. Because not all modules, even if they have the same number of cells, are exactly the same size. With the new solution, the Swiss company covers entire groups of modules with the same number of cells but not exactly the same size with one metal sheet solution. In other words, there is one sheet for modules with 60, 54 and 48 cells each. This is because the trend among module manufacturers for in-roof solutions is towards the addition of smaller modules. Aleo Solar has expanded its range of Solrif modules to include a panel with 48 cells. Sonnenstromfabrik and Axsun also have Solrif modules with 60, 54 and 48 cells in their portfolio.

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