German startup offers modular PV system for parking lots

UV Energy has developed a PV system that can be used in parking lots and on other surfaces. It claims that the arrays can be deployed within time frames of three to six weeks.

From pv magazine Germany

German startup United Virtual Energy (UV Energy) has developed what it claims is a quick-to-install, cost-effective turnkey PV carport solution.

“We looked at the market, spoke to companies, consulted industry experts and developed a concept on how to overcome the hurdles that still prevent many companies from operating solar power plants on their premises,” said UV Energy CEO Felix Gerhardt. “We primarily looked at the aspects of financing, project management as well as hardware and software.”

UV Energy said that the systems – from the first inquiry to grid connection – can be deployed in time frames of between three and six weeks. “This usually takes 27 to 47 weeks at the moment,” said Gehardt.

The modular PV system is self-balancing and is secured by ground screws to protect against snow and wind loads, without the need for extensive foundation work. The manufacturer claims that it can be adapted to any parking space size.

Construction can reportedly be done quickly and partially automated, thanks to the small number of parts that are involved and the simplicity of the structure, which is based on two supports.

UV Energy has not provided any specific details about the price. It said that according to self-assessments, due to the “strong efficiency and effectiveness advantages … they are the lowest in the industry,” even though the hardware is “made in Germany.”

UV Energy offers users and property owners a “system model” to purchase the systems. According to the company, comparable solutions from competitors cost two to three times as much. Alternatively, there is also the “utility model,” in which the startup covers the investment costs for the system and installation, while the customer purchases the solar power via a power purchase agreement (PPA) at a fixed price.

The company’s in-house software, UV 360° Operations Platform, is central to every project when planning and using the PV systems. This allows the systems to be planned, managed and monitored, according to UV Energy. The software automates the entire project process using AI from planning, sales and production to logistics, assembly, and invoicing.

“Our software only requires information about the location, which it automatically links with geographical and meteorological data and satellite images,” said Gerhardt. “Unless the customer requests otherwise, it is then determined autonomously how much area can be covered and what it will generate.”

UV Energy has already built a prototype installation. Now, the startup is concerned about expanding the organization and the supply chain for large-volume series production, sales, and installation for the next phase. It is also working with building authorities to simplify and accelerate approval processes for photovoltaic carports.

In addition, UV Energy plans to launch a financing round in the current year. The early investors include Dormakaba CEO Till Reuter and Walter Döring, the former Minister of Economics for the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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