French company unveils new rooftop PV mounting method


From pv magazine International

Axter, a French waterproofing system supplier, has developed a new process to deploy rigid solar modules on several different kinds of buildings.

The company said its technique has been validated by the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batiment, which is a French certification organization for the construction industry. The Surfa 5 Topsolar process, which was developed at Axter’s R&D center in Courchelettes, northern France, makes it possible to install rigid PV modules on buildings and roof terraces that are coated with bituminous waterproofing.

The system is a turnkey solution for installers, waterproofers, and building owners, Axter claimed. “It combines different types of insulation, single-layer or double-layer bituminous waterproofing processes, and several versions of couplings for installing flat or inclined modules,” the company said.

Surfa 5 Topsolar is suitable for three types of load-bearing elements: concrete, wood, and steel. It can be installed on rooftops with a slope of no more than 10%, with the modules laying parallel to the waterproofing plane or inclined by 10 degrees. This solution is designed to optimize the exposure of the panels and thus the performance of PV installations. In addition, the technique is said to facilitate strong wind resistance.

Axter manufactured the waterproofing membrane for the Surfa 5 Topsolar solution at its production site in Courchelettes. The aluminum components that make up the hitch were assembled on the same site. Five types of standard PV modules can be used with the Surfa 5 Topsolar system, including panels produced by France’s Voltec Solar.

“It seemed important to us to be able to associate a French supplier and manufacturer of photovoltaic modules with our Surfa 5 Topsolar solution,” said Axter CEO Peter Fleischmann. “The photovoltaic roofing sector is booming, driven by the ambitious objectives of the multi-year energy program which sets a target of 20.1 GW of installed photovoltaic power in 2023.”

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