INTERVIEW

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.

the world’s largest building-integrated solar power plant  Saint Charles Solair Perpignan (France)

Development

«The continuous development of solar energy supply is what drives us.»
The large-scale launch of the SUNSTYLE® solar roof took place as part of the Saint Charles Solair power plant project in Perpignan (France). The existing solar systems were not attractive from either a design or technical perspective. To ensure the technical and economic feasibility of the Saint Charles Solair project in Perpignan, SOLAIRE SUISSE developed the SUNSTYLE® solar roof as a reliable and easy-to-use roof system. As a fully integrated solution, SUNSTYLE® replaced the existing roof membrane, thus ensuring lasting weather protection. The SUNSTYLE® solar roof was so persuasive that the entire 68,000 m² of warehouse roof surfaces in Perpignan were renovated. With an output of nine megawatts, the world’s largest building-integrated solar power plant gives an impressive demonstration of the potential of energy-producing building materials.

The continuous development of the solar roof and the integration of technical innovations has made available a patented solar roof that sets new standards.

Manufacture and quality

The SUNSTYLE® solar tile was developed as an energy-efficient, long-lasting construction element. The crystalline solar cells integrated into the tile are embedded in a flexible, stabilising layer of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). They are protected on the front by hardened solar glass, and on the back by either a layer of resistant plastic (Tedlar) or hardened safety glass (ESG). All these factors combined with many years of expertise make SUNSTYLE® an extremely long-lasting construction element.

The coloured solar tiles are pigmented on the inside of the front glass using a specially developed technology. Thanks to the use of UV-stable pigments, this enables long-lasting, colour-fast modules to be manufactured. The internal pigment layer also ensures that the self-cleaning function of the glass surface is maintained. The solar tiles are produced in both glass-film and glass-glass designs and are based on proven standard components.

Quality and Certification IEC 61215, IEC 61730 (protection class II)
External product validation CSTB (Centre Scientique et Technique du Bâtiment)
Snow load testing (SUPSI) Snow load: >15,4 kN/m2 at slope 0 – 30°
Coloured glas-glas tiles IEC 61215, IEC 61730, UL 1703, IEC 61701, IEC 62716

Aesthetic

«With its fish-scale pattern, the SUNSTYLE® solar roof is reminiscent of the centuries-old slate roof.»
With its fish-scale pattern, the SUNSTYLE® solar roof is reminiscent of the centuries-old slate roof.
Our aim is to ensure that appearance of the roofscape is maintained. The traditional slate and shingle roofs in the Alpine region inspired the design of the diamond-shaped pattern. This installation principle guarantees optimal water-tightness and stability of the roof. The installation pattern and the seamless adaptation to the individual roof shape create a harmonious structure. In addition, the new solar tiles in brick red and slate grey are an excellent match for roofs clad with brown-red clay tiles and grey fibre cement tiles. The SUNSTYLE® solar roof has an extremely low construction height and can be integrated stylishly into any building.

Function

Expectations of the energy performance of buildings will continue to increase. At the same time, we want to move away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy, and towards renewable energy sources. A fully integrated solar roof that converts clean and unlimited solar energy into electrical energy stays takes this trend into account. The SUNSTYLE® solar roof connects the two objectives in a harmonious manner: first, as a high quality construction element, it offers sustainable weather protection; and, second, it enables efficient electricity production over the entire roof surface.
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