Product Briefing Outline: Bosch Rexroth has developed a slide-in system for installing frameless thin-film solar modules made by Bosch Solar Energy. The ideally matched combination between support and photovoltaic module is claimed to enables thin-film PV modules to be installed twice as fast as they would with conventional mounting systems.
Problem: A key cost of medium- to large-scale PV projects is the installation time and the material cost of frames and mounts than can significantly contribute to the overall BOS. Innovative developments in reducing installation times and material costs are required.
Solution: Speed is assured due to the reliable, easy-to-use slide-in technology, which relies on tracks instead of the usual clamps. The photovoltaic modules are simply inserted into the guide pieces and fastened instantly. The system cuts installation time in half to 15 seconds per module, meaning around twice as many modules can be installed using Rexroth slide-in technology as they would using a conventional, four-point clamping system in the same amount of time. As installation brackets and clamps are no longer required, material costs are also reduced by about 40%.
Applications: Currently for Bosch Solar Energy's micromorph thin-film solar modules but in the near future, it should also be available for framed modules and, consequently, for crystalline applications, and smaller rooftop systems.
Platform: The system is built on a base frame, which features variable table lengths, bracket spacing and insert depth. Together with the slide-in track, the frame forms a complete unit, which securely encloses solar modules on a permanent basis. The module structure is also perfectly matched to the system. With their hardened front glass, Bosch Solar Energy's micromorph thin-film solar modules can withstand mechanical loads up to 2,400 Pascal in this mounting system. This corresponds to 350 kilograms of weight acting on the module.
Availability: April 2010 onwards.