Swiss manufacturer 3S Swiss Solar Solutions installs its in-roof PV systems using rubber gaskets from KLINGER Gysi. These reliably waterproof the solar roofs.
In-roof photovoltaic (PV) systems are not just about good looks. While clearly aesthetically pleasing, they also save tiles as well as a lot of work when the roof needs repairs, as there is no on-roof system that must be removed. Popular with architects, this type of solar power system forms part of the core business of Swiss PV manufacturer 3S Swiss Solar Solutions. Since it was founded, the company has covered around 16,000 solar roofs, with invaluable support from KLINGER Gysi.
KLINGER Gysi has already supplied 3S with almost 1.5 million rubber gaskets.
Swiss quality: Above just-in-time
KLINGER Gysi has been supplying rubber gaskets for the installation of 3S panels on roof structures since 2009. Its long-standing cooperation with 3S is founded on mutual trust and regard: “Without a doubt, our business relationship can be described as atypical. Buyers tend to be price-driven and seek out suppliers who can deliver quickly and cheaply. 3S takes a different approach, in which availability is key,” says Reto Wermelinger, Head of Sealing Technology at KLINGER Gysi. The company still operates stock warehousing, which other competitors have long abandoned.
“While everyone else now produces just-in-time, we were able to bridge bottlenecks with our warehouse stock during the pandemic. That was our big opportunity and the reason for being able to deliver at a higher price as a Swiss supplier.”
Reto Wermelinger, Head of Sealing Technology at KLINGER Gysi
Reliability is a further key element in this cooperation. 3S Swiss Solar Solutions’ Purchasing Manager, Jonas Franceschina, must be able to rely on the rubber gaskets keeping wind and water at bay so that the in-roof PV systems remain operational for up to 40 years. The solar roofs have even passed the hailstorm test when Switzerland was hit by severe hail two years ago.
“Our systems must comply with stringent requirements regarding tightness, as they also fulfill the function of a roof surface. Even heavy rain and high winds must not cause water to enter the building.”
As Purchasing Manager of 3S Swiss Solar Solutions, Jonas Franceschina puts his trust in the reliable KLINGER Gysi gaskets.
Although this put quite a few cheap modules from China out of action, it has not curtailed the solar boom in Switzerland. Following a referendum, photovoltaics and other renewables will receive sizable government funding in the near future, providing an additional boost for the cooperation between KLINGER and 3S. The solar roof manufacturer even plans to commission a new plant capable of producing a new panel every 30 seconds. Jonas says, “This sets us up for the flood of orders we expect to receive.”
… that the standard length of rubber gaskets is 825 mm? To cut them into shorter sections where required, KLINGER Gysi collaborates with a workshop for the disabled.
… that the rubber gaskets for 3S are made of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM)? This synthetic rubber is sourced in Italy and is used in many different applications. But what’s special about the KLINGER Gysi rubber gaskets is their shape: Requiring special tools that are unique to KLINGER for their production, they are a perfect match for the molded rails made of GRP (glass fiber-reinforced plastic), with which the PV panels from 3S are underlaid.
… that the solar boom in Switzerland is gaining pace? Last year alone, 3S was able to grow its sales by 100 percent. While the company had 42 staff four years ago, it currently employs 130 people.
… that 3S produces and also holds stock locally? This placed the company in the exceptional position of being able to supply customers with PV panels even at the peak of the solar boom in September to November 2022.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
How do in-roof PV systems differ from on-roof systems?
With in-roof PV systems, the PV modules are mounted on a frame that is fitted directly to the roof truss. This removes the need for roof tiles. This type of solar installation allows a great deal of flexibility in the architectural design of new buildings and has many advantages when a building needs renovation.
How long do in-roof PV systems last?
3S designs its solar roofs to last up to 40 years. The PV panels are endurance tested and are designed to withstand hail and high snow loads of up to 1.5 meters, which are not uncommon in the Alpine region.
How waterproof is an in-roof PV system?
KLINGLER Gysi’s rubber gaskets can be used to make in-roof PV systems wind- and weatherproof. In combination with the roof’s substrate, they also provide waterproofing. The ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) gaskets can be cut to any size, allowing them to also be used with custom PV panel designs.