The solar modules from Hong Kong-based SunMan have no protective glass layer. Instead, they utilize patented composite materials, which means they are only around two millimeters thick. This has enabled the company to considerably reduce the weight of their panels. Where conventional modules weigh 15 to 20 kg per square meter, the panels marketed under the product name eArche weigh only around 3.5 to 5 kg per square meter. This means they can also be used on roofs that are unable to support glass modules for statics-related reasons, which is predominantly the case for many company buildings.
According to SunMan, with a conversion efficiency of approximately 18% the crystalline silicon cells used allow the eArche modules to offer the same performance as conventional solar modules and are more efficient than thin-film modules. They offer not only weight-related advantages, but are also easier to install, thanks to their adhesive technology. In February 2019, eArche modules were installed on the roof of Waldkirch’s municipal hall, near Freiburg im Breisgau, where they generate 190 kW of power.