Record-breaking solar roof installation in the Lower Rhine area

Germany's biggest thin-film photovoltaic system mounted on a pitched roof in Moers has now started operating. In future, the more than 11,000 modules are to supply a nominal power output of 837 kilowatts of electricity, enough to cover the needs of 170 households.
Germany's biggest thin-film photovoltaic system on a roof of a former coal-mixing hall in Moers has started operating. Covering a surface area of 9,500 square metres, the modules are to supply a nominal power output of 837 kilowatts. This corresponds to the needs of around 170 households and will save around 630 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Riedel Recycling, which has been using the hall to recycle building materials since 2001, had ordered the new system. The homogeneous solar modules come from First Solar, an American manufacturer that uses cadmium telluride instead of silicon as the semiconductor material. The new system, including the roofing, cost around 3.4 million euros (net). The operators, Norbert and Ludger Riedel, are hoping that this price will be armortised in a mere ten years due to the grid-infeed payment which has been increased to 44 cents per kilowatt hour.

The solar installation has been integrated in an ecological concept that encompasses the entire recycling facility. The waste heat of four central inverters – around 45 kilowatts, which is four per cent of the total output – is transferred to the neighbouring administration building of the Riedels where it is used for air-conditioning. The office building itself is a textbook example of how building materials can be re-used. It is, in fact, a former two-level trade-fair stand of a Japanese computer manufacturer. The Riedel brothers fitted it out with facade cladding, luminaires, doors and windows that they had recovered from perse demolished buildings.
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