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Project name:

Metal sheet solar cladding system for building roof and façade applications

Status: Idea
Creation date: 23-11-2022

Project objectives:


At this point in time, due to the rigorous nature of existing solar panel installation structures, there are quite a few rooftops or façades where it is not possible to install solar panels (approximately 20-30% of cases). Consequently, Solarvest is not able to serve this part of the market. As a result, we are looking for novel solutions that allow for solar panel installation in more difficult and challenging circumstances. The main problems we currently face are:

  1. The total weight of the installation as well as solar panels cannot be carried by the roof or façade
  2. For certain rooftops or façades, due to the structure of the rooftop or façade, it is very difficult to do the installation, leading to longer installation times and potentially, hazardous situations for the staff doing the installation
  3. The current installation method can lead to water leaking
  4. The current installation method does not allow for pre-determined universal structures or cable routing and is unable to overcome sharing effects which could cause hot spot hazards. This could also mean potential lower energy yield generation and therefore reliability concerns.
  5. If we simplify the installation structure, the overall cost of installation goes down, potentially increasing the ROI and therefore the likelihood that more companies decide to install solar panels.

Currently, solar panels are typically installed as follows:

A corrugated metal sheet is first built on top of the roofs or façades. This requires specific design engineering and installation labour. Next, a mounting structure, brackets and clamps are installed before the solar panel is fixed to the entire structure. Subsequently, the Inverters are installed, trunking and cabling works then follow, tapping into a termination point. In the final stage, testing & commissioning of the system will be done, which results in a redundancy in design and labour for the same surface.

We are not interested in Conventional Solar Panels which pair up with “water-proofing mounting structures” to build Integrated PV systems. Similarly, we are not interested in solutions for lighter solar panels.

We are specifically looking for novel and more lightweight mounting structures.


Solarvest will be evaluating the solution providers on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, we will be looking at the following requirements and criteria:

Technical requirements:

  • Weight: The conventional solar system is approximately. 16kg/sqm. The total combined weight therefore stands at approximately 23kg/sqm. The expected solution should be a single layer metal sheet solar cladding system, with a weight that is lower compared to conventional solutions
  • Ease of operation: single man installment within 1 hour (assuming a system of 2-3 Kwp)
  • A modular design
  • A single layer metal sheet solar cladding system
  • A way to allow for universal structure & cabling methods
  • The ability to reduce sun shading effect
  • A software surveillance monitoring system
  • The ability to meet all regulatory test specifications. More specifically the Global TUV Product Certification under test specifications IEC 61215 and IEC 61730 and pass additional Fire Test Class A (normal solar panel only Class C)

Performance Criteria:

  • A target reduction of installation cost of approximately 10%
  • A target reduction of logistics and transportation cost (due to a smaller mounting structure) of approximately 25%
  • A target cost price for the mounting structure itself to be at least at par and ideally lower compared to the current conventional structure.


Specific solutions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on the aforementioned technical and performance criteria. Generally speaking, below are some benchmark cost indicators:

The conventional metal sheet roof or façade is approximately *SGD 60/sqm* inclusive of materials & workmanship. We estimate the conventional solar system to approximately cost SGD204 per sqm.

The novel solution should therefore be an approximate. Based on these cost estimations, we would be looking at SGD264/sqm or lower to be adopted readily into the market.


The entire project should complete within 24 months.

Phase 1: PoC or Pilot (2-4 months)

Phase 2: Meeting system cost per watt objectives and local compliance. Specific timeline and commercial roll-out plan to be jointly defined on a case-by-case basis.


  1. A S$30,000 Paid Pilot budget to conduct joint testing
  2. A S$100,000 showcase project once the product can fulfill the commercial requirement
  3. Access to a pilot-site and knowledge sharing to help validate the project.


  1. A S$15,000 Pilot and deployment support for pilot project/showcase
  2. A S$20,000 showcase project once the product can fulfill the commercial requirement


For the solution provider we are looking to work with SME’s or start-ups with successful product technologies development and project implementation track record in the solar or semi-con industry. We are looking for solutions with TRL level of 7 and above with a potential to implement the solution globally. In case of joint foreground IP development, ownership will be jointly discussed on a case-by-case basis


Contact / source: Enterprise Singapore Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge - Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge 2022 (


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