Electrical installer epTechnieken from Turnhout has equipped a house in the Belgian town of Weelde with solar panels. The choice fell on 325-watt all-black solar panels from Panasonic because of efficiency, quality, and aesthetics.
"The customer had already had a heat pump system for some time and has an energy consumption of over 12,000 kWh per year, which is roughly equally divided over the day and night tariff. We have been asked to minimize the amount of energy taken from the grid each year," explains Maarten Van Tulder, project leader renewable technologies at epTechnieken.
10,000 kWh of solar energy per year
The solar panels are placed on the sloping roof of the house. "The roof has an orientation of 210 degrees, so the solar panels are placed at 30 degrees West with an inclination of 35 degrees. We expect to produce almost 10,000 kWh of energy on an annual basis. This reduces the amount of energy the customer has to purchase from the energy network each year from 12,000 kWh to just 2,000 kWh. This results in substantial savings on the energy bill".
The panels are connected to an 8.2 kVA Symo inverter from Fronius. Van Tulder: "In Belgium, the power of the inverter determines the level of the prosumer tax, a fee that grid users who generate their own energy pay in order to be able to offset it. The customer pays a fee - depending on his location - per kVA of the inverter".
325 watts HIT® KURO solar panels
The choice fell on the HIT® KURO 325 watt solar panels from Panasonic. "We use a lot of Panasonic's solar panels and have a lot of confidence in them. The quality of the solar panels really appeal to us. Panasonic has a long history of producing solar panels, which gives us confidence.”
"In addition, Panasonic fits well with our organization. We specialize in solar panels, but as an electrical engineering company, we also supply total solutions that include general electricity, heat pumps, ventilation, and lighting. We, therefore, consciously opt for quality instead of quantity. We are responsible for the long term and want to rely on the systems we install today," Van Tulder explains. "Panasonic's solar panels fit perfectly to our basic principles. The panels are not the cheapest, but that pays off in high quality and efficiency".
In this particular project, the HIT® KURO 325 watt all-black solar panels also proved to be the most aesthetically pleasing option. "Coincidentally, the dimensions of the HIT® KURO solar panels fit very well with the dimensions of the roof, the chimney, and especially the skylight. The skylight has almost the same dimensions as the solar panels so that the panels could be placed perfectly around the skylight," says Van Tulder. "This is very exceptional; you rarely see solar panels fit so well on a roof.
The panels are placed on an AElex insert system from AliusSolar. The system consists of a cross frame of aluminum profiles attached to the roof's structural part. "The panels are inserted into these aluminum inlay profiles at the top and bottom. This method ensures an almost seamless connection with no visible clamps or gaps".
"That makes the inlay system aesthetically very attractive and, in my opinion, as attractive as an installation where the solar panels are placed between the roof tiles. The inlay system is financially a lot cheaper and provides ventilation under the solar panels as well. Also in contrast to a recessed system, the fire resistance of the roof tiles still protect the house.”
Extra wooden frames
"Every project brings challenges. For example, this particular house is equipped with Unidek roof panels, which means that there is relatively little wood available mount the roof hooks for the solar panels. To anchor the panels firmly, we screwed extra wooden planks between the battens, which are attached to the roof structure. The inlay system was then mounted on these frames. We also placed some additional roof hooks on the sides for wind stability because the system is quite close to the eaves".
The solar panels have been operational since February 27th. The system is monitored via Fronius.
- Location: Weelde, Belgium
- Inverter: 8.2 kVA Symo inverter from Fronius
- PV Modules: 33 x Panasonic HIT KURO N325KJ01 all-black solar panels
- System output: 10.73 kW
- Configuration: 30 degrees West with an angle of inclination of 35 degrees
- Installation year: 2019
- Installer: epTechnieken