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Vallourec supports Vertsun in agrophotovoltaics

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Energy Global,

Vallourec has provided Vertsun, a French company specialised in photovoltaics, with tubular solutions for the construction of agricultural PV hangars. The Group is, for the very first time, delivering tubes for the solar industry. In this sector, where welded tubes and open profiles predominate, Vallourec’s MSH structural hollow sections, combined with its Preon® box design tool, have made the difference.

The first solar PV agricultural hangar is currently under construction. Another 20 will follow shortly and many more are already planned in the longer term. This is considered as a real first step in this fast-growing market, as this kind of structure is being increasingly used for sport centre buildings and industrial applications.

A one-of-a kind project

Vertsun’s core business is to design and propose competitive photovoltaic installations, including agricultural hangars that will be used to store vehicles or crops, in locations with diverse climatic conditions. These farm buildings need to have as much free inner space as possible to facilitate their use and ensure optimal storage capacity. Vallourec came up with a creative design that helped save space. It is also highly adaptable to local weather constraints (e.g. wind or snow) and offers a model that can be easily replicated to local specifications to ensure business sustainability.

High degree of adaptability

Hot finished MSH structural hollow sections were the obvious alternative to the welded tubes usually used. Their capabilities in terms of robustness, load capacity, and weldability fully meet Vertsun’s requirements.

The resulting safety and reliability of the new structure with fewer pillars and a minimal ground footprint, were key for this achievement.

But the most decisive factor was the flexibility offered by Vallourec’s Preon® box digital tool which enables fast, adaptive, and modular design. The combined use of both solutions saves design and construction time, thus reducing costs.

What next?

While demand is already high, the market is expected to continuously grow worldwide in view of the effects of global warming. These include the increasing need to protect crops from weather hazards together with government regulations fostering this type of development in order to meet their environmental commitments.

Apart from the agricultural sector, other applications are being considered: among these, Vallourec can list solar PV roofs for industrial storage buildings, for sports halls (e.g. tennis courts) and even car parks.

The Group is ready to tap the potential of this market and to develop this type of facility in many countries, starting with those where it already operates.

“This project has taught us that we can think outside the box and use our creativity to find opportunities for growth by leveraging the already recognised intrinsic properties of our products, and by combining our know-how and expertise for customer-oriented service” said Jean-Marc Scemama, VP Strategy, Marketing & Development Industry.

Low-carbon energies

Vallourec has chosen to integrate climate change into its strategy and to play an active role in energy transition by actively backing its customers. Solar energy, along with geothermal, hydrogen, CCUS and offshore wind, is one of the growth opportunities identified by the Group. Building on its expertise in tubular solutions, it is currently developing a portfolio of innovative solutions bringing added value to customers.



For more news and technical articles from the global renewable industry read our latest issue of Energy Global magazine.

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The Summer issue of Energy Global provides in-depth technical articles covering technological advancements and future outlooks in the renewables sector, from companies including Sulzer, Power Ledger, JinkoSolar, Trelleborg Applied Technologies, Clir Renewables, and many more. The issue covers a spectrum of clean energies, from wind to hydrogen to solar to biofuels.

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