A new, all-Australian designed and made rooftop solar mounting solution has been launched on the local market, in a deal between Victoria-based manufacturer SolPod and global heavyweight, Schletter.
SolPod said on Sunday that it had signed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with the German-based company to market its newly launched multi-function roof mounting system as the Schletter Eco Commercial Tilt (SECT) range.
The SECT aluminium mountain solution is designed to work across the residential, commercial and industrial rooftop solar markets and to cover north-facing tilt, east-west tilt and flush solutions.
According to SolPod, the versatile system uses just three brackets – see below – to support flush mount, single orientation tilt, or back-to-back tilt, all on custom channels that provide earthing and cable management.
The solution also promises easier and safer installation, with a design that allows installers to slide the far side of the module into a C-shaped bracket and then clamp it at the near edge, removing the need to lean across the module.
The company says that removing the lean-over-panel action also stands to reduce a major source of panel damage, which can occur when installers lean on panels and create microcracks that detract from a system’s performance over time.
The partnership with Schletter – which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of solar mounting systems – is a boon for SolPod, which was founded just three years ago by experienced solar executives, and has patents pending on its technology.
As One Step Off The Grid reported last year, the company’s initial focus – in partnership with ERM Power and with the backing of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency – had been on a potentially massive market in re-deployable commercial solar, using its relocatable aluminium racking and mounting system.
It is also good news for Australia’s solar industry, which is a world leader in terms of the sheer volume of installations, but – as a recent global report noted – has a severely under-developed manufacturing and supply chain industry behind that impressive rate of rooftop PV uptake.
“With the launch of the Schletter SECT product range, the Australian solar industry can access locally made solar mounting with the added benefit of Schletter’s sales and support engineers,” said SolPod CEO James Larratt.
“We estimate over 1,200 direct manufacturing jobs could be created by Australian industry switching to locally manufactured rooftop mounting solutions,” Larratt said.
“Our partnership with Solpod on SECT is a wonderful endorsement of Australian innovation and manufacturing and adds real depth to our product portfolio,” added Trevor De Vries, the managing director of Schletter Australia.
Victoria-based solar installer and retailer RACV Solar welcomed the news, too – particularly it’s timing, as the industry gets back to work this week after months of stage 4 lock-down.
“It’s exciting to see our solar industry creating sustainable manufacturing jobs,” said RACV Solar CEO Andy McCarthy.
“We have a wonderful opportunity to rebound out of lockdown with solar powering Australian manufacturing.”