BIPVco to install pilot solar roof system for SABMiller brewery in Nigeria

by BPVA on 03 October 2016

BIPVco to install pilot solar roof system for SABMiller brewery in Nigeria

BIPVco Ltd, one of the UK’s leading specialist manufacturers of solar integrated roofs for the industrial, commercial and residential sectors, announces today that it has reached an agreement with global brewer SABMiller plc to install a 2 kWp pilot “built-in” photovoltaic system at one of SABMiller’s breweries in Nigeria.

The collaboration between the two companies was facilitated by Swansea University’s SPECIFIC program whereby a consortium of strategic partners comprising academic and industrial entities is bringing sustainable building solutions to the market.

Commenting on the announcement, Thomas Brewer, Process Engineering Manager at SABMiller said: “We are delighted to be associated with this pioneering manufacturing company that has taken the technology of integrating solar photovoltaic cells onto roofing substrates into a new paradigm. The BIPVco advantages to SABMiller as a property owner were very clear from the outset – to be able to turn our roofs and industrial sites into power producing buildings using elegant, lightweight, efficient and cost effective technology, with no negative impact on the building’s structure or aesthetics. This is in line with the SABMiller sustainability strategy, Prosper, and will contribute towards our commitment to reduce carbon emissions across the value chain.”

Buildings are significant emitters of carbon dioxide and the roofing area offers a massive opportunity to turn buildings into power stations that generate more energy than they use. 

18 sheets of Colourcoat Urban steel made by Tata at the Shotton Steel works site in North Wales have been functionalised with solar photovoltaic cells so that the roof itself has the renewable technology generation embedded and is able to generate clean energy for the next 40 years.

This technology has been made possible by the inclusion of highly efficient thin film solar cells that are as efficient as the Polycrystalline equivalent, but are lightweight, flexible and durable due to the cells’ unique design.

The cells are made by creating a thin layer of photo sensitive Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) deposits onto a stainless steel substrate. The stainless steel increases the cell’s strength and because of the multiple cell interconnections there isn’t any soldering between the cells. This further increases the cells suitability to be attached directly to steel and aluminium roofing materials.

Justin Canning, CCO at BIPVco, said: “As an underpinning of the confidence we have in our own product, it is great to be able to work with companies like SABMiller whose vision and focus on developing sustainable solutions is key to the proliferation of technologies that can unlock the potential that roofs around the world offer for energy generation using clean renewable technology.”