BACK 02 February 2016

Cape Composite - First SoloPower Rooftop Install

60kWp SoloPower Rooftop Installation in Port Elizabeth, South Africa



“We estimate that as much as 30% of commercial and industrial buildings with roofs are not able to hold the weight of traditional solar panels making owners and developers think that solar panels are not an option for their facilities. This is no longer the case since Dumont Power introduced the SoloPower lightweight photovoltaic (LPV) panel” said Director, Raymond du Plooy.

A leading SA manufacturer of fibreglass products, Cape Composite, recently installed a new factory roof, after a fire destroyed the previous one. “The new roof was unable to hold the weight of normal photovoltaic panels, whereas our LPV panels, weighing a mere 2.4kg/sqm were the only alternative. Phase One of the Cape Composite site has been completed with a total of 304 panels producing 60kWp of power’ said du Plooy.

Du Plooy added “The installation itself was quite remarkable as the product requires no power tools, framing, special handling and other common installation aspects. The installation team working at a normal pace installed 1 watt per second. There was no need for special rigging equipment to get the panels in place, no need for a large storage area to keep the panels before installation - it was really a very simple and fast installation. We even had two uninstalled panels blow off the roof and fall 30m to the ground and they were completely undamaged.”

Cindy Oberholzer, Financial Director at Cape Composite (Pty) Ltd said “As a company we continually strive to “go green”, to cut down on waste and curb costs. Traditional glass photovoltaic panels were not an option for us, as they were too heavy for our roof structure which could not support them. We came across SoloPower’s ultra-thin, flexible solar panels which offered us the perfect solution. The main advantage and reason we decided to go the SoloPower route is because their LPV panels are extremely light. Other positive factors were that the LPV panels were not as fragile as glass.”

Oberholzer continued “The installation took about two weeks. Our total roof size is 4500m2, with the size of the section covered with these lightweight photovoltaic panels being an initial 1500m2. We are the first company to use SoloPower in South Africa – and the parent company visited us on three occasions in order to assess and monitor the project, which will be an on-going process by SoloPower. We will be installing the other two thirds our roof with these panels in the future” concluded Oberholzer.

Benefits of LPV Panels

“We are pleased that Cape Composite took a leap of faith with our SoloPower LPV lightweight panels, they will not de disappointed with the durability and performance of the product. SoloPower in the USA intends to fully assess these projects with Dumont Power in order to ensure that the performance of these panels is fully optimised in order to meet customer requirements and expectations” concluded du Plooy.