Government incentives and lower infrastructure costs are driving the boom in solar energy across Eastern Europe. Magnelis®, from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products, is increasing the attractiveness of solar for investors as it extends the lifespan of solar farms. Two of Poland’s largest manufacturers of photovoltaic support systems are Energy5 and Corab. Both use Magnelis® to create long-lasting solar farms which will generate clean energy for decades to come. In solar farm applications, ArcelorMittal offers long-term guarantees on Magnelis® of up to 25 years. This ensures that new solar farms will provide an adequate return on the investment over their lifetime. Both Corab and Energy5 are using the advantages of Magnelis® to move beyond Poland and explore opportunities in nearby countries, and even further afield.
The boom in solar relies on the exceptional anti-corrosion and self-healing properties of Magnelis® and long guarantees (Copyright: Energy5)
For Energy5, the Magnelis® success story began in 2016 when the company’s senior leadership met ArcelorMittal’s commercial and technical teams to share their vision for Magnelis® in solar structures. “We had tested Magnelis® at the Institute of Precision Mechanics in Warsaw (Poland),” explains Piotr Żbikowski, President of the Energy5 Management Board. “But a meeting with ArcelorMittal confirmed the outstanding corrosion resistance of Magnelis®. We knew it would be a game changer.”
Around the same time, Corab learnt about Magnelis® through its close relationship with ArcelorMittal Downstream Solutions Poland. “At Corab, we decided to utilise Magnelis® for its strength, exceptional anti-corrosion properties, self-healing on cut edges, and long guarantees,” says Henryk Biały, CEO of Corab. “Magnelis® is now the backbone of our installations and one of our main competitive advantages.”
Magnelis® is the backbone of Corab’s installations and one of the company’s main competitive advantages (Copyright: Corab)
The experience of both companies proves that the market requirements for durable structures and increasingly higher guarantees keep on growing. Therefore they look at more advanced, high strength, steels with even more durable metallic coatings.
Henryk Biały believes that Magnelis® has completely changed the solar industry in Eastern Europe. “Thanks to Magnelis®, solar systems have become lighter, stronger, and more resistant to mechanical and chemical damage. Traditional galvanised products have much lower corrosion resistance. To achieve a similar level of performance to Magnelis®, the zinc coating would have to be very thick, making the structure much heavier.”
The exceptional features of Magnelis® have enabled Corab’s photovoltaic systems to become more competitive on the international market. The company has now installed systems in 18 European countries, with a total capacity of more than 500 megawatts (MW) in the first half of 2020.
Corab has a specialised staff of nearly 250 people (Copyright: Corab)
In 2020, Energy5 provided Magnelis® support structures for the largest photovoltaic plant connected in Poland to date. “This solar farm will have the capacity to produce approximately 50 MW of energy,” notes Piotr Żbikowski. “We are completing other complex solar projects, including an investment in Hungary. This project involves the construction of a photovoltaic power plant across four locations. When completed, it will have a total capacity of 80 MW.”
Both Energy5 and Corab rely on support and new product development from ArcelorMittal to get the most out of Magnelis®. “We worked with ArcelorMittal to ensure the properties of Magnelis® are not affected during production,” says Henryk Biały. “As our designs meet their recommendations, ArcelorMittal can guarantee the corrosion protection of the Magnelis® we process.”
“We set new trends by constantly looking for innovative solutions that will allow us to deliver the safest photovoltaic mounting systems on the market,” says Piotr Żbikowski. “Energy5 is one of the first customers to test innovations in Magnelis® on different steels. Once these solutions are fully commercialised, we will be able to meet the growing demand from the market for solar structures with optimised structures and even better durability.”
Magnelis® enables Energy5 to offer long guarantees – vital to ensure payback on the cost of solar installations (Copyright: Energy5)
Corab has specialised in the production of steel and aluminium products and traded in electronic parts for nearly three decades. This experience has made the company a leader in the manufacture of solar energy systems in Europe and beyond. Production takes place in a modern plant which uses automatic processes, supervised by a specialised staff of nearly 250 people. Corab’s systems have passed numerous laboratory and strength tests which confirm their quality and safety. Systems bear the CE mark, confirming they comply with European standards.
More info: corab.eu
Henryk Biały, CEO of Corab (Copyright: Corab)
Copyright images: Energy5 and Corab