Germany-based plastics processor Ensinger and chemical company BASF entered into a partnership with Goldbeck Solar to develop a modular mounting system for flat-roof solar installations in which the load-bearing elements are made of a BASF plastic for the first time.
According to the companies, the mounting system will allow PV arrays to be installed on flat roofs more easily and more quickly. It will use a lightweight material called Ultramid, which is part of BASF's polyamide product line. The entire substructure, comprising support elements made of plastic and stamped metal parts, was recently introduced to the market by Goldbeck Solar under the brand name Sunolution.
The plastic Ultramid is optimal for use in outdoor applications because it has a very low tendency to creep, even at high temperatures, and because it exhibits extraordinary toughness and stiffness all the way down to temperatures of -30 degrees C, the companies add. The highly fiberglass-reinforced polyamide is also UV-resistant and weather-resistant.