The longevity of solar installations is directly dependent on the quality of the materials used to build them. Today, renewable energy producers expect their solar investments to have a productive lifetime of 25-years or longer. When it comes to selecting materials for the support structures for PV panels, factors such as low maintenance costs and ensuring the structural stability of the installation drive material choices. For the past ten years there has been a standout choice – Magnelis® from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products.
This unique coating has been widely adopted and proven in the field. Today, Magnelis®also comes with a variety of third-party certifications. France’s Scientific and Technical Centre for Building (CSTB) has recently renewed its certification.
In the decade since Magnelis® was introduced, there have been significant improvements to the range. These include heavier coatings which are extending the geographic range of solar projects to more aggressive environments while offering longer lifetimes. The heavier coatings are also allowing Magnelis® to be used for foundation poles which are rammed into the soil, replacing post-galvanized material.
“Magnelis® is a pre-coated steel solution which has significant advantages over galvanised and post-galvanised material,” explains Jérôme Guth, Solar Segment Manager for ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products. “The coating process is controlled online and is fully traceable. Magnelis® can be formed, perforated, and assembled using standard tools. Magnelis® avoids post-galvanizing operations, and reduces raw material and energy use, labour, and storage and transportation costs. Magnelis® also exhibits a self-healing effect when exposed to the atmosphere”, bringing cut edge protection to a new level. “The corrosion protection products in Magnelis® progressively migrate to the edges of holes or scratches to maintain corrosion protection,” notes Jérôme Guth.
Magnelis® is applied to a wide range of steel substrates, including ArcelorMittal’s S550GD-HyPer® steel grade. This grade is increasing used by structural engineers to optimise the design of solar structures and increase the loads they can bear.
Solar mounting structures can now have a lower carbon footprint when using steel substrates produced via the XCarb® recycled and renewably produced route. Once the substrate is produced, it is coated with Magnelis®.
XCarb® recycled and renewably produced steels are created in an electric arc furnace (EAF) using minimum 75% of scrap and 100-percent renewable electricity, resulting in a product with 70-percent less carbon than steel produced using conventional blast furnace technology. That’s a major saving and enhances the credentials of renewable energy.
Alusín Solar, a Spanish company which supplies structures for solar panels, recently signed an agreement to purchase ArcelorMittal’s XCarb® recycled and renewably produced steel with a Magnelis® coating. A key factor in Alusín Solar’s decision to purchase Magnelis® has been the development of a tailored made 15-year ArcelorMittal guarantee for foundation poles rammed in soil.
From left to right: Pablo Avello, COO Finishing for ArcelorMittal Asturias Cluster, shaking hands with Javier Fernández-Font Pérez, General Manager Alusín-Solar
From September 2023, ArcelorMittal’s plant in Aviles (Spain) will be able to produce Magnelis® in thicknesses of up to 3.5 mm on its recently revamped Galvanising Line 1. This increases the availability of Magnelis® in the south of Europe and brings the total number of lines producing Magnelis® across Europe to five.
Magnelis® in heavier coating weights can be used in soils and concrete. Magnelis® ZM620 (indicative coating thickness of 50 μm per side) is already available in thicknesses up to 4.0 mm. “Magnelis® ZM800 (indicative coating thickness of 65 μm per side) is also available for testing in thicknesses up to 3.0 mm,” notes Jérôme Guth. “We are actively looking for partners who would like to implement our thicker coatings, up to ZM800 on request, in their future solar projects. You will achieve longer lifetimes for your solar installations, backed by an ArcelorMittal guarantee. Get in touch with your regular ArcelorMittal contact person to take part.”
Magnelis® is the preferred material for the structural components of solar fields.
The specific composition of Magnelis® assures an improved corrosion protection in soils.
Magnelis® is the only metallic coating product certified for use in a C5 environment.
Jérôme Guth, Solar Segment Manager for ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products
ArcelorMittal will be at Intersolar from 14-16 June 2023 in Munich (Germany). Visit the ArcelorMittal team at booth A6.537 where we will highlight our latest Magnelis® innovations.
Profil du Futur, Maxshot.PL/Shutterstock.com, ArcelorMittal