29.07.2020 | Powerful solar farm for the Car House in Altishofen

Solar power for Galliker Transport AG

The largest car port solar plant in Central Switzerland is located on the Car House belonging to Galliker Transport AG in Altishofen. The special feature: Solar panels on the building roof and façade produce renewable power – covering the annual consumption of about 400 households.

The Car House in Altishofen has about 5,400 parking spaces. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles that Galliker Transport AG stores and transports for its customers are parked there. With a view to promoting renewable energy, the transport company wanted to make use of the car park roof in two ways: To protect new vehicles from rain, snow and hail and as its own power plant.“Façade elements are needed to completely protect the cars on the top floor from the weather," says Thomas Müller, Head of Infrastructure Management at Galliker Transport AG. "Using these elements as an energy source aligns with our strategy." As a result, CKW installed an integrated photovoltaic system comprising over 6500 panels. Made to measure modules were mounted to the roof and the façade. This is already the third facility that CKW has installed for Galliker Transport.

Ready for the future

The photovoltaic plant is about the size of 1.5 football fields and produces approx. 1800 MWH per year. This corresponds to the annual consumption of 400 households. The transport company uses the generated power for the Car House and its other properties. Surplus power is fed into the CKW grid.

“The customer’s mounting requirements for the photovoltaic elements were a challenge. The elements could only be attached to the steel structure with a clamp system," says Patrick Küng, Head of Solar Technology at CKW. "Corrosion of the structure can be reduced to a minimum without bore holes." In addition, the whole construction is water tight – so that new vehicles can start their journey with no damages.

The different mounting types 

Solar plants are installed on or integrated in buildings. There are three different types:

Integrated solar plant: This type of solar plant replaces the façade or roof cladding (tiles). Solar modules are also frequently used as railings.

Flat roof system: Systems on flat roofs also belong to the mounted solar plant category. The plant is mounted onto the roof at the optimal angle for solar radiation.

Mounted solar plant: This type of solar plant is mounted onto an existing roof. A fixed connection to the building is necessary

Swiss solar market

In 2019, the photovoltaic market in Switzerland has grown by twenty percent or 332 megawatts. An area the size of about 310 football pitches has been covered with new installations. In total, the installed solar panels with a capacity of 2.5 gigawatts cover 3.8 percent of the electricity demand.The share of solar power production in Switzerland's electricity consumption thus rose slightly by 0.4 percentage points in 2019 compared with the previous year. In order to achieve the federal government's energy targets by 2050, 20 times the currently installed solar capacity would have to be added according to the industry.There was a trend towards larger installations in 2019. The average installation was 22.5 kilowatts (kW) in size, compared with 19.4 kW in the previous year. There was a 39 percent increase in installations on industrial and commercial buildings.

40 percent increase for batteries

In terms of battery storage in the country, newly installed storage capacity increased by almost 40 percent. The average storage capacity was 13.5 kilowatt hours compared with 9.1 in the previous year. Around 15 percent of newly installed photovoltaic systems on single-family homes were combined with a battery storage system.There was a slump in solar thermal energy. According to Swissolar, sales of collector systems for the use of solar heat slumped by 34 percent to 39,000 square metres. The industry association cited the dominance of heat pumps in new buildings as the reason. In 2019, 24,000 heat pumps were installed, nine percent more than in the previous year. Their combination with a photovoltaic system is technically simpler than the combination with a solar thermal system.

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