Double use of infrastructure space with the worldwide unique solar folding roof HORIZON
For the first time, the HORIZON folding solar roof enables the dual use of industrial space for solar power production, thanks to its unique lightweight construction and folding mechanism. These areas cannot be developed by conventional fixed solar systems and form the enormous market potential of the solar folding roof.
Why solar power?
Since the dawn of the industrial age, mankind has needed more and more energy. This energy is mainly obtained from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil or gas. Burning these raw materials not only releases energy but also emits large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), which drives climate change. At the same time, our forest areas, which could store the CO2, are shrinking more and more due to the growing world population.
To stop climate change from progressing, fossil fuels must be replaced by renewable energies. Solar energy is one of the most important sustainable carbon-free energy solutions because it is inexhaustible, free of charge and could theoretically cover all of humanity’s energy needs.
Dual-use of infrastructure areas thanks to unique lightweight design with the HORIZON folding solar roof
Dual-use of infrastructure areas thanks to unique lightweight design
With the HORIZON folding solar roof, dhp technology AG has developed a completely new application for photovoltaics: the world’s first dual-use of industrial utility areas and sealed ground surfaces for solar power production.
Why solar power?
Since the dawn of the industrial age, humans have needed more and more energy. This energy is mainly obtained from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil or gas. Burning these raw materials not only releases energy, but also emits large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), which drives climate change. At the same time, our forest areas, which could store the CO2, are shrinking more and more due to the growing world population.
To stop climate change from progressing, fossil fuels must be replaced by renewable energies. Solar energy is one of the most important sustainable carbon-free energy solutions, because it is inexhaustible, free of charge and could theoretically cover all of humanity’s energy needs.
Folding solar roof with supporting structure and central protection unit made of local wood (© dhp technology)In Switzerland, photovoltaic systems now make a significant contribution to the electricity supply. According to the Swiss Solar Energy Association Swisssolar, 84,000 photovoltaic systems are now in operation on Swiss soil. The share of solar power in Swiss electricity consumption was 3.4 percent in 2018.
The potential is therefore far from exhausted. Through the further expansion of solar energy, CO2 emissions can be decisively reduced, climate change slowed down and further damage to the environment averted….
HORIZON can be easily dismantled and reassembled elsewhere and is safe and durable thanks to Swiss engineering. If the folding solar roof is no longer needed, dismantling and material separation is simple and efficient thanks to its modular design.
HORIZON conserves space and soil in populated areas, enables large decentralised solar power plants where the electricity is needed and provides shade for people, goods and infrastructure.
Where is HORIZON used?
Since the basins of the wastewater treatment plants must be freely accessible in the meantime, the plants cannot be roofed over with conventional photovoltaic systems.
Due to its folding mechanism, the solar folding roof allows free access at all times and, due to its lightweight construction, leaves all traffic routes free for sewage treatment operations and logistics. At the same time, the roof produces electricity for the operation of the plant. Self-sufficiency can thus be increased by 50% on average. This leads to an enormous reduction in operating costs.
The shadows cast by the roof reduce the formation of algae, which in turn leads to lower cleaning costs, and the comfort of the staff is considerably improved, especially in the summer months when the basins are being renovated.
HORIZON can also be installed over large parking areas and logistics areas, helping to make these sealed surfaces more economically viable. With conventional photovoltaic solutions, these areas cannot be covered because vehicles cannot manoeuvre more freely under the systems. The folding solar roof solves these problems by providing large distances between supports and an enormous height above the ground. This makes it possible for practically all types of vehicles – even articulated lorries – to park and manoeuvre under the roof.
In combination with charging infrastructure for electric mobility, this creates a decentralised mobility solution that makes maximum use of existing space and infrastructure.
The solar folding roof can completely cover asphalt surfaces where conventional carport systems have to leave the roadway open. Therefore, the solar folding roof directly addresses the problem of heat islands in cities by blocking solar radiation and producing electricity during the day, and retracting the solar folding roof at night, allowing the ground surfaces to radiate against the sky. Large cities in Europe are already interested in this solution.
The company behind the solution
dhp technology is a start-up in the energy sector. The company was founded in April 2015 in Grüsch, Graubünden, by Andreas Hügli and Gian Andri Diem.
A team of already 16 employees develops, produces and sells the solar folding roof at the company’s location in Zizers near Landquart. The mechanical, electrical and environmental engineers also work with external partners in Switzerland and abroad, as well as with research institutes.
dhp produces the solar folding roof groups and drive systems highly automated on 2’500m2 in Graubünden. In 2018, dhp obtained a broad-based shareholder base as part of a Series A financing and can also count on the support of a guarantee from the Technology Fund (Federal Office for the Environment). This has laid a strong foundation for market entry and initial growth. The market also recognises the folding solar roof, and a further four projects on wastewater treatment plants and the first project on a parking area in Appenzell have been sold for 2019.
The application of the folding solar roof over wastewater treatment infrastructure has already received several awards in Switzerland (2016 Prix Eco and Certificate of Recognition Zurich Climate Prize, 2018 Medaille d’Eau and Innovation Prize from industry associations VSA and Infrawatt, 2019 Watt d’Or in the category Renewable Energies). But the European Commission is also enthusiastic about the folding solar roof. The potential for increasing self-supply of electricity via European wastewater treatment infrastructure is enormous. To this end, it is promoting the market entry of the folding solar roof in the 6 most important EU markets over the next 2 years.
Nominated solution: Solarfaltdach HORIZON
Company: dhp Technology AG
Further information: www.dhp-technology.ch