Double-digit growth rates and more than 3 GW supply volume – who would have thought that we would be able to look back so positively on such a year? That is why we would like to thank you most warmly for your confidence in us – and also, sometimes, your patience. Admittedly, our delivery capability has been and continues to be high, particularly for large projects; however, shortages of materials and transport capacity have not left us unscathed.
How will things be in 2022? Predictions are difficult – especially at the moment. Nonetheless, in this newsletter we are daring to look towards market trends in the coming year. And one thing is already certain: In 2022, there will be a number of innovations and improvements in our product portfolio, which we are presenting to you today.
We hope you have a peaceful, relaxing Christmas and a good start to the New Year. We look forward to working with on new shared projects in 2022!
CEO Schletter Group
CTO Schletter Group
CFO Schletter Group
“Frames must be as material-efficient and flexible as possible”
What will 2022 bring for the PV industry and what will that mean for the development of mounting systems? Answers from our chief developer and CTO Dr.-Ing. Cedrik Zapfe in our three-question interview.
Dr. Zapfe, what trends will the PV industry see in the coming year?
The shortage of raw materials and transport capacity will undoubtedly continue to be a predominant theme. As far as products go, the trend is clearly moving towards greater efficiency: Module manufacturers are developing ever larger, more effective PV cells and modules. And as for the market: Even if costs have risen due to the market distortions caused by the pandemic, the growth trend will continue and new players will increasingly play a part in the market. In Europe, for example, we are seeing that not only investors but also, increasingly, major energy suppliers are developing PV projects, especially in the open-area sector.
What does this development mean for mounting systems?
It means primarily that frames must be as material-efficient and flexible as possible. Less material use, a reduced variety of components and maximum compatibility with the latest module formats – these will therefore continue to be the guidelines for our development work. We want to make life as easy as possible for planners and installers and also for wholesalers in terms of warehousing. And we want to make our contribution to keeping lifecycle costs as low as possible – through innovative geometries and continued high quality and durability.
What do you see as the biggest challenge in 2022?
Clearly, this will continue to be the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and consequently the global supply chain problems. After all, this not only means that the construction times of many current projects will be extended but also that new projects may be put on hold. We are pleased that, because of our broadly based supply chain and cool-headed purchasing policy, we have been able to continue to supply our customers well. We will be sticking to this course. Besides, this not only helps us now, but will also help us when the situation normalizes and market demand starts to gain momentum again.
Optimized for large-format modules: the Schletter Tracker
In the coming year, we will be supplying the first PV systems with our modified tracking system. The compact version scores high with less material per kW output and easy mounting.
Fast, simple mounting developed for the latest generation of large-format modules plus an optimized use of material: The modified version of the Schletter tracking system, which we will be launching in 2022, meets all of these criteria.
In this way, we are picking up on current trends in module development. The system has been specially designed for configuration with one large-format and bifacial module per table instead of several modules alongside or on top of each other. Modules up to three square meters in size can be mounted. This saves mounting time and material.
All the other features and construction advantages of our successful Tracker remain the same: Wind-related vibrations along the entire row length – a problem with many tracking systems – are completely eliminated using a self-locking mechanism. The system is thus as stable as a fixed installation and can withstand wind speeds of well over 200 km/h.
Our large tracker will also continue to be available, of course. With its large sail width of up to five meters and row spacings of up to 15 m, it is also particularly suitable for areas that are also used for agricultural purposes.
2022: More power on the roof!
In 2022, there will no longer be anything to stop people changing over to our new ProLine pitched roof system: Firstly, our ProLine system is now “complete”. This means that it will cover all pitched roof applications in the future. Secondly, ProLine is fully compatible with our classic rails and roof hooks. Thanks to the multi-adapter, which will be available from January 2022, “old” and “new” can be combined as required.
The advantages of the new system: Less material usage combined with higher load-bearing capacity and extremely simplified mounting. In future, fitters will only need one tool – a Torx T40 wrench.
Flexible configuration: the FixGrid Pro flat roof system
Fast, simple mounting is also a priority for our FixGrid Pro flat roof system, available from March 2022. Here, for example, the module supports are twisted onto the basic profile without any tools at all.
In addition, the system is extremely flexible: The angle of inclination of the module supports can be adjusted, and the supports can be stacked up as required using height increasing elements that can be twisted in. Instead of different module supports depending on the angle of inclination, module size or type of configuration (upright or horizontal), all variants can now be realized with just a few universally applicable components. The FixGrid Pro is suitable even for modules with an area of over 2.5 square meters.
Andreas Rode is the new CFO of the Schletter Group
Andreas Rode has been the new CFO in charge of our company’s finances since the beginning of November. Working with him, we intend to drive forward our strategic development even further.
Andreas Rode is able to look back on many years of professional experience at management level – in both family-owned companies and the private equity sector. He has already worked for the direct online kitchen sales company Kiveda Holding GmbH (as CEO/CFO), the vehicle component wholesaler Europart Holding GmbH (as CEO) and Apollo Optik GmbH & Co. KG (as CFO/Commercial Director).
In these positions, he has shown that he is able to move companies forward substantially in opening up new markets, ensuring sustainable financing, digitizing processes and introducing ESG (environmental, social, governance) structures.
We are delighted to have found such a high-profile successor to Martin Lipp, who has left us to relocate abroad. In recent years, Martin Lipp has played a decisive role in ensuring that the company has achieved such positive developments. We shall now continue this path with Andreas Rode.
Live and in color (hopefully): Schletter trade fair preview 2022
Intersolar in Munich at the beginning of October was the first major solar industry trade fair to be held in situ and open to the public since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the coming year the event will return to its normal dates in the first half of the year. So you really need to keep the three days from May 11 to 13, 2022 free.
Here is an overview of our planned trade fair and event appearances in the first six months of 2022:
- January 17-19, 2022 – World Future Energy Summit (Abu Dhabi)
- January 19-20, 2022 – Intersolution (Ghent/Belgium)
- January 19-20, 2022 – Eco Power Expo (Warsaw/Poland)
- March 8-10, 2022 – PV Symposium (Bad Staffelstein/Germany)
- March 15-17, 2022 – Solar Solutions International (Amsterdam/Netherlands)
- April 7-9, 2022 – Solarex (Istanbul/Turkey)
- May 11-13, 2022 – Intersolar Europe (Munich/Germany)
References of the month
Germany: Work on one of Europe’s largest solar parks is progressing apace. The energy provider EnBW is building two open-area developments in parallel with a total output of 300 MWp in Brandenburg, Germany.
The pile driving works have now been completed at both sites. While our “FS Duo” mounting system is almost complete in Gottesgabe, a few hundred tables still need to be built in Altrebbin. More than a third of the modules have now been installed in both projects.
We had already supplied five other airports on the Caribbean island with our “FS 2V Duo” twin-post open-area system back in 2019. Since then, the airport company AERODOM has been producing power for its own use on nearby open areas – as it does now in Punta Cana.
Because the plant was built on the site of a former lead and silver mine, it was necessary, because of the cavities below, to use a substructure that was as light as possible. So it was the perfect place for our single-post system.
Figure of the month
… PV output installed on Schletter Group systems in 2021 across the globe! A new record!
Webinar Assembly System:
- 14/12/2021 Registration
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- 25/03/2022 Registration
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Webinar Schletter Configurator:
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For more information, go to: https://schletter-group.com/events