SOL-50 Mounting System Test Winner

The promise

The manufacturer promises that SOL-50 will enable modules to be installed very quickly and safely. The testers are eager to see whether SEN can deliver on this promise. After all, more than two gigawatts of power have been installed with the system in the last twelve years, and SEN has constantly further developed the components. With the current version, the two installers Dietmar Stelljes and Christoph Jeniche now want to place eight modules on a tiled roof and face the clock and the critical eyes of the testers. The two service employees are a bit nervous. They do not do such a test every day. Hence the testers do not want to put them under torture for long. Let's go. The stopwatch is running and the two mechanics are determined to go to the practice roof. Immediately they begin to cover the tiles in the places where the roof hooks will be placed a little later. After one minute and 14 seconds the tiles are covered and stacked on a platform truck. Stelljes grabs it and carts the bricks in front of the door. There is a cut-off grinder ready with which the assembler grinds the bricks individually. That goes very quickly. Three minutes have passed and Jeniche has already screwed the first roof hook to one of the rafters inside. Another minute and a half later Stelljes brings the machined tiles back into the hall, and Jeniche has now added more roof hooks.

With the SOL-50, SEN offers an assembly system in which the modules are not clamped but inserted. This is why the design of the underframe differs from most systems on the market. When the nine roof hooks are all set and the processed tiles are covered again, Jeniche and Stelljes first install vertical profiles, where horizontal profiles are screwed onto the roof hooks in other superstructures.

Legal support

The stopwatch display shows 6:37 as the first profile sits on the right outside. Continue to the middle profile. This is screwed on at 8:29. Ten minutes are up when the two installers take the first horizontal profile and place it on the vertical profiles at the lower end of the practice roof, drill and screw it together. Previously, installer Stelljes had cut the three horizontal profiles to the correct length with a cross-cut saw. Then an adjustable angle template comes into play as a distance meter. The utensil is adjustable, depending on the dimensions of the modules and thus the mounting frame. This allows the height of the second horizontal profile to be quickly determined. It will later serve as a holder for both the lower and upper module rows. At 12:58 all three horizontal profiles are fixed. Now the fitters lay the cable nets over the vertical and between the horizontal profiles. The nets later take up the cables to prevent them rubbing on the roof or hanging in the wet. 13 minutes and 17 seconds have passed. At 13:50, Jeniche and Stelljes apply an adhesive to the upper and lower horizontal profiles to fix the end panels.

Exciting intermediate time

The installers had to cut profiles, they did not work with prefabricated sheet metal bricks, but milled nine bricks. In addition, they laid cable nets and installed the end panels. Does the system have a chance of a good interim? The moment is approaching when the first module will find its place on the profile. This is an important time to make an initial prediction about the overall time required for assembly. So the testers are eagerly awaiting this moment. Meanwhile 15 minutes have passed. The profiles sit firmly on the roof. Jeniche grabs a suction lifter and places it on one of the modules next to the pitched roof. Get to work, and after 15:27 the module sits on the roof. A good result. So far everything has gone smoothly, no stuttering in the processes. In spite of the initial nervousness of the two players, they have so far done well in the stressful testing situation and made no mistakes due to the excitement. The module is simply inserted at the bottom and the upper rail later only prevents it from slipping out, the generators lie free in the profiles practically without mechanical tension due to rigid clamps. Even with large temperature fluctuations and varying expansion of the module and frame materials, they are hardly subjected to any mechanical stress later on. "In all these years, none of our systems has been mechanically damaged," says Andy Satzer, SEN sales manager. Now it's all happening quickly. At 16:04, the second module is already above the first. An insertion system is indeed more expensive than one with clamps. But it also has some tangible advantages. For example, the modules do not need anti-slip devices, and the modules are easier and therefore quicker to assemble. When they are inserted at the bottom, they immediately have the necessary support and can then be moved horizontally as required. Jeniche also installs a module lock between each module for theft protection and wind suction protection.

One blow at a time

The stopwatch shows 17:57. Now the upper module row is complete. It goes into the final. Only three modules of the lower layer are missing. They are added every 15 seconds. Jeniche and Stelljes already have the eighth module in their hands and let it float over the last free surface on the roof. The display shows 18:52, Jeniche aligns it one last time and places it in the right place. It goes to the final work. The end caps of the horizontal and vertical profiles are mounted and the module locks are locked. The editor's thumb has lowered - but only to the stopwatch button. It stands at 20 minutes, 30 seconds and 38 hundredths of a second. Everything looks very good from a distance. The system looks very homogeneous. The curved black profile covers complete this impression. Now follows another precise visual and tactile inspection by the expert Gordon Karg of the DGS. Don't forget a screw? Nowhere in the fast a step omitted or shortened inadmissibly? He goes through his notes again, which he made during the assembly. Result: Everything is fine. "We did it perfectly," says Dietmar Stelljes happily. The initial excitement has vanished. Both installers and the entire SEN crew seem relaxed and satisfied. And the electric car for the return trip of the testers has recharged the sun in the meantime.