Our clients’ experiences in interviews.
An interview with the designer couple Regula Trachsel and Sascha Schär about their project: their home/office building.
New construction of a residential and business building according to the cradle-to-cradle principle, in Zweisimmen, Bern.
Solar roof with an area of 130 m2, a capacity of 14 kWp and an annual output of about 12,000 kWh.
SUNSTYLE AG: Ms Trachsel, why did you choose this solar roof?
Ms Trachsel: We came across SUNSTYLE® while researching simple and flexible PV modules. As we were planning an unusual roof shape, the connections to the eaves and barge board with SUNSTYLE® seemed very easy and inexpensive to solve.
SUNSTYLE AG: What was your first impression?
Mr Schär: At first glance, the roof just seems to be a roof and not a photovoltaic installation! We like this a lot!
SUNSTYLE AG: Which characteristics were important for you?
Mr Schär: For our home and office building, which we built according to the cradle-to-cradle principle, it was important for us to choose a product that could be dismantled and recycled easily. I see great potential in the simplicity of the system with its wood counter battens and glass modules.
SUNSTYLE AG: Your installation has been in operation since June 2014. Does it produce as much energy as was projected?
Ms Trachsel: Yes, the winter months have been a pleasant surprise! In contrast to nearby PV installations, our roof has had hardly any snow. The snow just slides off the eaves after a short time.
SUNSTYLE AG: Thank you for the interview and the good collaboration.
An interview with building owner Peter Rohrer in picturesque Melchtal.
The roof of the new detached house in Melchtal in the canton of Obwalden withstands the weather conditions.
Solar roof with an area of 170 m2, a capacity of 23 kWp and an annual output of about 21,000 kilowatt hours.
SUNSTYLE AG: Mr Rohrer, which key criteria persuaded you to go with the SUNSTYLE® solar roof?
Mr Rohrer: I immediately noticed the shape of the solar tiles on the internet. The criteria for me were the aesthetics and the water-tightness at a low pitch. In terms of appearance, the solar roof should not be too different from conventional roofs – it’s the first photovoltaic installation in our mountain village and it should not stand out in a negative way. I wanted the largest possible roof area and that meant using a pitched roof. Due to the angle of incidence of the sun’s rays, it had to be quite flat, so water-tightness at a low pitch was a criterion.
SUNSTYLE AG: Was the solid and accessible construction also a criterion?
Mr Rohrer: Yes, the photovoltaic installation is a part of our house’s building envelope, so it should last a long time. We are 1,000 metres above sea level and our house is very exposed when it comes to the weather. The shallow pitched roof is put under a heavy strain from snow in winter, strong winds and hail. We experienced a violent storm over Christmas 2014, which swept across Switzerland – our solar roof weathered the storm easily.
SUNSTYLE AG: How have people around you reacted to the solar roof?
Mr Rohrer: They were interested in terms of the roof’s appearance and form. It appears more dynamic than a roof made from conventional materials. But they were sceptical when it comes to the cost-benefit ratio. A solar roof is simply a building envelope and electricity producer in one; therefore it’s a long-term attractive investment and not just a money-making machine. It also contributes to sustainable energy production.
SUNSTYLE AG: Has your property increased in value with the solar roof?
Mr Rohrer: Yes, particularly as we chose a long-lasting and integrated installation. But merely talking about such products doesn’t help future generations: they should be integrated into today’s standards.
SUNSTYLE AG: Thank you for the interview. We wish you and your family many hours of sunshine and happiness under your solar roof.
An interview with farmer Hanspeter Knüsel from Hünenberg.
The barn is located in a protected visual environment. Thanks to meticulous integration of the solar roof into the roof surface, the Swiss historic preservation authorities gave the green light for the renovation.
Solar roof with an area of 600 m2, a capacity of 90 kWp and an annual output of about 90,000 kWh.
SUNSTYLE AG: Mr Knüsel, how did you come to learn about our solar roof?
MR KNÜSEL: At a trade fair. I knew right away that this was the roof for me. I always look at things with a practical eye. With this roof, I was persuaded by how the solar tiles overlap, that it doesn’t require an aluminium construction and that it consists of 6 mm safety glass. So I thought to myself, if a craftsman can stand on it, then it can also withstand the weather. It was also clear to me from the outset that only a roof-integrated installation would do for the barn.
SUNSTYLE AG: Does it produce as much energy as was projected?
MR KNÜSEL: The projected mean values have been exceeded.
SUNSTYLE AG: Would you renovate your roof today with SUNSTYLE®?
MR KNÜSEL: Yes, I have only praise for the beautiful roof. I often talk with pedestrians or bikers about it because they aren’t sure if it’s actually a solar roof as it fits so well into the surroundings. And of course the costs and benefits have to be in balance.
SUNSTYLE AG: Thank you for the interview and the good collaboration.
An interview with roofer Mathias Schmid and carpenter Gunar Liebchen from the roofing firm Gebrüder Schmid in Gipf-Oberfrick.
Gebrüder Schmid AG, a third-generation roofing and timber construction company, has implemented numerous solar installations with the SUNSTYLE®solar roof and have already installed more than 10,000 solar tiles.
Pictured here is Mr Liebchen installing a solar roof with an area of 1,500 m2, a capacity of 220 kWp and an annual output of about 200,000 kWh.
SUNSTYLE AG: What do you find most convincing about the SUNSTYLE® solar roof?
Gunar Liebchen: The solar tiles produce electricity using renewable energy. The solar roof is no way inferior to conventional roofing. The super appearance, easy installation, solid workmanship and high quality convinced me.
SUNSTYLE AG: Mr Schmid, is the 6 mm thickness an important product requirement?
Mathias Schmid: As a basic rule, having a roof that you can stand on is very important, otherwise it can be very expensive to install.
SUNSTYLE AG: If a solar tile were to break, would it be expensive to replace it in an installed roof surface?
Gunar Liebchen: That depends on the roof pitch, weather-related accessibility and the area of the roof in which the broken tile is located. It takes about 10 minutes to replace a solar tile on a flat roof, but it could easily take around an hour on a steep roof.
SUNSTYLE AG: Would you recommend the SUNSTYLE® solar roof to others?
Mathias Schmid: Yes!
SUNSTYLE AG: Thank you for your time.