From pv magazine International
The first heterojunction Smartwire solar modules have just come off Meyer Burger’s production line in Germany’s Saxony, and the Swiss company is already planning its next step.
It announced Thursday that it plans to add innovative solar PV roof tiles to its portfolio. The product will be a roof-integrated, high-performance PV system that can be installed like traditional roof tiles.
To accelerate the market launch, Meyer Burger has acquired a highly developed solution from an unnamed German engineering service provider that has already been certified and approved by the German building authorities, in accordance with IEC 61215 and IEC 61730.
The purchase agreement includes all intellectual property rights to the PV roof tile solution, including all associated patents, certifications, and building authority approval, as well as technical knowhow, said Meyer Burger. The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
The roof-integrated solar PV system will expand Meyer Burger’s portfolio in the premium rooftop segment. The manufacturer plans to present its solar roof at Intersolar Europe in Munich at the beginning of October.
Meanwhile, first deliveries of the PV tiles to customers are scheduled for the second half of 2022, according to the company. They will be designed in such a way that they can be easily installed and maintained by a roofer, it added.
“Integrated solar roof systems still represent a market niche today,” said Gunter Erfurt, CEO of Meyer Burger. “With our novel solar tile solution, we plan to take roof-integrated solutions out of the niche and into a larger market.”
Moreover, expanding the portfolio in this direction is a “consistent step within our growth strategy,” Erfurt added. With the integrated roof system, it will also be possible, in the future, to develop roof areas that are not suitable for the installation of standard PV modules.
The company added that it also intends to rely on its heterojunction smartwire technology for the tiles.
To date, Meyer Burger’s most prominent competitor in the PV tile market is probably Tesla. The CEO of the Californian electric car manufacturer, Elon Musk, presented his vision of a solar tile for the “solar roof” back in the autumn of 2016.
Since then, he has remained rather quiet again about the solution and it is relatively unclear how many roofs are equipped with Tesla’s PV tiles. There are also several other suppliers on the market, such as Autarq, Sunroof, and Midsummer.
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