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H2020

SolTile Report Summary

Project ID: 726703

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SolTile (A roof integrated solar tile system to develop cost-effective distributed solar power generation)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2017-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Distributed Rooftop solar needs to become 40% of the equation due to variability, intermittency and since congestion of delivering Renewables from the existing centralized grid. Soltiles offers a highly differentiated, innovative ‘plug and play’ roof integrated photovoltaic (PV) system, enabling the expansion of the renewable fuels as a resource. The flexible roofing tiles target residential and re-roofing markets with installation overcoming issues related to intermittence and variability of renewable energy sources. The tiles are mounted like standard roof tiles in new and existing roofs. The installation is easily carried out by roofers and installation companies using industry best practices, with minimal training and no special tools. Soltiles minimise power generation costs for homeowners and improve aesthetics of properties due to the smart design and the low visual impact. The proprietary technology and encapsulation process used are cost-effective and are made of materials conventionally used and accepted in the construction industry. The Soltiles are more reliable than typical roofing solar systems and they have a longer life expectancy. Soltiles offers to the residential and re-roofing market a solar system that increases the energy efficiency of the building whilst preserving rooftop aesthetics.
The overall objective of Soltiles’ innovation project is to fully commercialise the solar tile technology, following the installation, commissioning and demonstration of the solar tile system in strategic partnership with a solar module manufacturer, Eurotron an equipment manufacturer, and a local roofing installer, ERSO. Soltiles SAS consortium partners are SOLTILES SAS, ERSO, Concurrent Design Inc. (replaced Intertek), Fraunhofer ISE, POWERsonic, Eurotron and VDE.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

• Soltiles SAS consortium partners convened for the first time on November 20, 2016 by telephone conference in order to set priorities and agree on technical details concerning the project implementation. This was also our first Deliverable D5.1 within WP5 Management that was delivered on time, although the report was submitted with delay on the 24/03/2017 in the Grant Management portal. The first Horizon 2020 funds were received by our French bank on 10/10/2016.
• The project website (www.soltiles.fr) was reviewed and found satisfactory for the purpose of project dissemination. As such Deliverable D4.1 was completed on time within the WP4 Exploitation and Dissemination, even if it was reported in the Grant Management portal with delay on 24/03/2017.
• Intertek our testing agency announced in November 2016 that they would not be able to start CAD new design drawings till Mid-January 2017 which would delay the start of the EU design phase. Intertek also announced that because of scheduling and inability to start till Mid-January 2017 that we should potentially consider other alternatives. Concurrent Design with CAD solar electrical engineering experience was mentioned as a replacement for Intertek’s consulting. A Nationally Recognized Testing Lab NRTL-VDE was determined to offer competitive, equivalent IEC certification services an alternative to Intertek. VDE Testing and Certification Institute in Offenbach, Germany, tests roughly 100,000 products from over 10,000 customers worldwide.
• Concurrent Design has a retainer and is to interface with Fraunhofer ISE Institute, Powersonic and Eurotron to verify that designs will pass IEC certification tests.
• Fraunhofer announced in January 2017 that they can commence the materials, lamination and bonding selection and tests. They even created prototypes. They received a retainer October 2016 and commenced the materials, lamination and bonding selection and tests. Fraunhofer is doing the moisture and damp heat tests on several polymer test slabs. Unfortunately one month after they started the project and unknown to them the EU published new rules mandating fire free roofs. Thus a formulation in materials and testing happened which was not noticed till April 2017. A new modules manager is now in charge and they are putting together a new materials package that will pass the IEC fire and UL tests. Fraunhofer was paid 46,400 EU. The event has no negative impact on SolTiles project nor uses additional resources from the project, at the same time leads to a better and market viable product.
• Eurotron our designated encapsulation and subcontract manufacturer also declared to be ready to commence as soon as the pretesting and design phase ends. Eurotron has been paid a 50,000 EU retainer.
• ERSO our Installation Partner informed us March 2017 that they have over 20 residences to install our solar roofing tiles including 5 with residential battery systems to make the Toulouse area homes Net Zero Energy compliant.
• The most important Deliverable D1.1 within WP1 Design and Engineering: Final specifications document of SolTiles was also completed in the reporting period (see drawings attached) and reported on time by 31/03/2017 in the Grant Management system.
• As an additional Deliverable beyond the project plan, on 31/03/2017 we submitted our First Progress Report.
• Within fund raising activities, meetings took place on April 5 in Paris with potential institutional investors, including venture funds of banks - most investors are interested after the prototypes are completed. A Report on Fund Raising Activity was submitted, which was our Deliverable D5.4 within WP5 Management. The report is in the Grant Management portal was submitted with delay on 08/05/2017. (See pictures from our Investor package)
• The Chinese government is dumping standard modules on the market at prices below manufacturing cost. We have requested a support from the French Finance Depart

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Compared to the current technologies, the Soltiles system offers the following competitive advantages:
• Soltiles’ minimum 23% efficiency mono silicon cells will be the highest available in the residential solar roofing market
• Specialised moulding gives the impression of aesthetic slate or terra shingles and eliminates the need for unappealing racking, wires and elevated panels
• Soltiles offers a 25 year product warranty, a significant increase on the current average 10 year
• Projected energy cost savings with the SolTile system gives a return on investment for the new roof within 5 years in contrast to the typical 12-14 year payback on retrofit solar modules. When compared with replacing a roof and adding externally mounted solar panels, the SolTile system costs 40-50% less equipment, less materials, and less labour results in faster and cheaper installation approximately one day.
• Fire free rated building materials using tempered glass.

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