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Who installs Soprasolar® products?
Any waterproofing contractor trained in advance and certified by SOPREMA will be able to install the solar cells. However, the connection of the cells to the inverters, as well as the supply of these inverters, will be the job of an applicator specialised in photovoltaic systems approved by SOPREMA SAS, under the responsibility of the waterproofing contractor.
What maintenance is involved?
A half-yearly inspection is obligatory, in order to check the waterproofing, the state of the cells and the electrical connections. Any objects that cover up the cells must be removed, for example after a storm check that no items like sheets of cardboard, plastic, etc. have landed on the cells.
Depending on the rigid modules selected and installed with Soprasolar® fix, modules with frames will need to be cleaned at least once a quarter.
Do the cells need to be cleaned?
The PTFE coating on the cells makes them self-cleaning. It is not necessary to clean the cells. However, if the installation is located next to an item liable to soil the cells abnormally, such as an item emitting a lot of dust, the cells will need to be cleaned. To do so, water and a rubber squeegee can be used.
Can Soprasolar® be laid over existing waterproofing?
Yes, but on certain conditions: a special study will be done by SOPREMA. Furthermore, the criteria for retaining and preparing old waterproofing are set out in standard NF P 84-208 (DTU 43.5).
The slope must be at least 3% minimum (2% for a concrete substrate) and 100 % maximum.
Module warranty: how can we tell that a module is defective and how is it replaced?
An optional checking system, managed by a piece of software, allows you to check that each branch* of the system is working properly. This then facilitates the intervention of a qualified electrician. If a cell is defective, it will be replaced by the waterproofing contractor. Assistance can be obtained from the Technical Sales Centre * a branch represents a certain number of cells connected in series.
How is the installation connected up and who does it?
The waterproofing contractor installs the solar cells. The photovoltaic applicator, a subcontractor of the waterproofing contractor, is in charge of connecting the cells to each other, supplying and installing the inverters and connecting them to the cells, and may take charge of preparing the administrative file for the connection to the distribution grid (EDF).
What electrician?
The waterproofing contractor must entrust the electrical connection (supply and connection of the inverters included) to a company specialised in photovoltaic systems and benefiting from the QualiPV label.
At what price is the energy produced bought and for how long?
The purchase price is:
  • 0.58 €/kWh for renovation projects on buildings whose main use is health sector, or educational and for new build or renovation work on residential buildings
  • 0.44 €/kWh for renovation projects on buildings with other uses (commercial, logistics, industrial, offices, etc.)
  • 0.37 €/kWh for new build projects which are not main residences.
If the system is considered as building-integrated (>250kWp or on a new building) or semi-integrated, it is eligible for the 0.37 €/kWh rate on 01/09/2010) and according to the DIDEME circular dated 17 April 2007, photovoltaic waterproofing systems are counted as building-integrated.
The Order of 14 January 2010 confirms that photovoltaic waterproofing systems, whether monobloc or assembled in-situ, are considered as building-integrated.
How much energy will the installation produce?
The amount of energy produced by the installation will depend on certain factors: the peaking capacity*, that is to say the cells placed on the roof, the slope and orientation of the roof in relation to the South and the geographical location of the installation (solar radiation is higher in the South of France than in the North, for example). On average, a power of 1 kWp produces about 1000 kWh a year in France.
What is peaking capacity?
Peaking capacity: number of Watts delivered by a cell in standardised conditions (in particular under solar radiation of 1000 W/m², corresponding to maximum sunlight in summer). It is expressed in kWp (Kilowatt-peak).
How much surface area does the system need?
Soprasolar® duo and Soprasolar® mono: 1 kWp = 20 to 27 m² of effective roof surface (surface free of obstacles such as skylights, chimneys, etc.).
Soprasolar® fix : 1 kWp = 16 m² of solar modules
On what slope can the systems be installed?
Soprasolar® duo and Soprasolar® mono: the minimum slope is 3% (2% on a concrete substrate). The maximum slope is 100%.
Soprasolar® fix: the minimum slope is 3% (1% on a concrete substrate). The maximum slope is 20%.
Why is a minimum slope obligatory?
This slope is required so as to guarantee the correct operation of the modules whilst avoiding water stagnation.
How does it work?
The direct current produced by the photovoltaic modules is transformed into alternating current by the inverter before being injected into the utility grid. Two meters are required: one to meter the electric energy produced by the photovoltaic installation and sold to the energy company (EDF) at a higher rate than the rate at which power is purchased, the other to meter the power bought (classic electricity meter).
How can we forecast the energy production per year?
If the peaking capacity, roof slope and orientation, geographical location, inverter(s) used parameters are known, a special piece of software is able to simulate annual energy production.
How can we control the energy production per year?
The meters installed after the inverters record the energy production. The installation can be checked using a piece of software supplied by the inverter manufacturer. Optional weather sensors can be placed on the roof.