Greenbuddies Tips – July 2022

Greenbuddies complete 2.1 MWp rooftop project in Belgium ahead of schedule

Our Greenbuddies team has finished work on a 2.1 MWp rooftop project in the Wallonia Region in Belgium. Situated on top of the headquarters of a logistics company, a total of 4684 PV modules were installed, along with 13 inverters and app. 50 km of DC cables.

We have again proven to be the “Unstoppables” as our team was able to work around encountered problems, as the crane could be moved only from a certain date. Rather than waiting for this day to come, we mobilized a higher quantity of workers to distribute the lifted material around the roof. This way, the project was able to be finished and handed over 20 days before the planned deadline, thus adding another green energy source to the Belgian market.

Newly finished rooftop project in Wallonia, Belgium

Photovoltaic façade systems – a means of integrating green energy into the building’s structure

The demand for photovoltaic installations is growing, a well known fact we keep repeating each month. This is mainly due to rising energy prices, which are forcing consumers to look for alternatives in order to save money. The interest in rooftop and ground-mounted solar power installations is huge and growing. It is not surprising that the search for various uses of photovoltaics is growing as well. One of these solutions is a façade or wall-mounted photovoltaic power plant, a type of installation which has been used increasingly in recent years. It is an ideal solution for buildings that do not have a suitable roof or as an addition to an existing roof installation.

Façade systems are usually installed on south-facing walls. They can be mounted parallel to the wall or with a slight tilt. Façade systems generally produce less energy than rooftop and ground-mounted installations. Due to this, it usually does not make sense to mount the modules on a walls other than the south-facing ones. In general, wall-mounted solar panels produce more electricity in the winter months than in the summer. This is because the sun is lower in the sky during this time, so more direct sunlight hits the wall-mounted panels.

Illustrative picture, Source:

The naturally steep slope of wall-mounted solar panels requires special hardware to install and secure. They are more difficult to fix than ground-mounted or roof-mounted solar panels. The mounting system can be attached directly with anchors drilled into the wall, or the installation can use support columns that are erected against the wall and to which the panels are then attached. As façade systems fight gravity to remain upright, strong securing is essential to prevent displacement, damage and life-threatening accidents.

In terms of cleaning and maintenance, this system is easier to maintain than conventional ground and rooftop power plants. The accumulation of dirt, snow and other items is almost never a problem because rain washes away any debris and gravity prevents the accumulation of leaves and other debris, which contributes to easier cleaning. Wall-mounted modules are also more visible and do not require climbing on high roofs to assess their condition. Climbing onto the roof is a burdensome and often a risky task for many power plant owners. Wall-mounted panels provide the advantage of easier visual access to keep track of any cleaning or maintenance needed.

Illustrative pictures, Source:

Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is another and more challenging and expensive option in terms of installation. This is a solar energy system that is seamlessly integrated into the building’s outer shell and is usually part of construction elements such as façades, roofs or windows. The BIPV system serves a dual purpose, being an integral part of the building that not only converts solar energy into electricity, but also provides other necessary functions such as thermal insulation or noise protection. These systems can be installed during the construction of a new building or installed as part of the refurbishment of an existing building when the usual components need to be replaced.

Greenbuddies Consulting team of experts provides complete support for PV projects

In the context of the dynamic development of solar projects in the Czech Republic, it has been proven crucial to be able to work on customer projects not only during the actual implementation but ideally already in the so-called pre-construction phase.

At Greenbuddies Consulting, we offer a complete solution – from the initial study or processing of an application for connection to the distribution network to the preparation of project documentation, applications for subsidies or negotiations with the relevant authorities. We also help customers better understand the time, financial, technical and organisational parameters of their project.

A preliminary administrative and technical site assessment enables customers to verify whether a solar project is feasible at a given location in terms of obtaining the relevant permits, connecting to the grid and whether the project makes technical sense. The PV framework design is a way to determine the expected performance and architecture of a future PV project without having to commission an extensive design for planning permission at this stage. The subsidy opportunity analysis will answer customers’ questions about currently announced subsidy programs and their suitability for the customer’s project and outline an approximate timeline for the necessary steps.

A frequently used service is the calculation of investment and operating costs related to the implementation of the PV project.

Then, in the project gets a green light, Greenbuddies can prepare complete project documentation for the construction permit or, if necessary, the implementing documentation. We also provide customers with the necessary applications for grid connection, building permits or subsidies.

We offer these consulting services for the entire Czech Republic, both for ground-mounted PV installations and for rooftop projects on large commercial and industrial buildings.