Foldable solar carport extends, retracts in response to weather

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Dhp Technology, a foldable PV system supplier, plans to deploy its Horizon foldable PV systems at 45 motorway rest areas in Switzerland. It will install 35 MW of capacity in cooperation with the ABCD-Horizon consortium, which includes Swiss energy company Aventron, BG Consulting Engineers, and Cargo Sous Terrain.

Dhp Technology said its systems will use proprietary technology to retract and extend solar panels based on weather conditions, so they can be retracted based on hail storm forecasts.

“Thanks to the lightweight construction and the patented folding mechanism, wide distances between supports and great heights of up to 6 meters above the ground are possible,” the company said. “This keeps the traffic routes free for large vehicles and goods.”

The structure houses lightweight, glass-free solar panels with folding capabilities, interconnected by cables and built with stainless steel and special plastic, with a rust-resistant coating. The company said the modules maintain performance consistency and experience no mechanical stress during extension and retraction, matching conventional panel performance.

The 45 arrays will primarily supply electricity to EV charging stations, while excess power will be sold to Averton and three other Swiss energy suppliers: Primeo Energie, Stadtwerke Winterthur, and Energie Wasser Bern. Construction will start in early 2024, with all projects to be finalized by 2027, according to the consortium.

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