A Swiss renewable tech startup is currently working on new-generation solar panel arrays that are expected to change the game when it comes to more widely available solar power options.
Referred to as The Horizon, the new technology is the brainchild of DHP Technology and a milestone in achieving its long-term goal of building solar panel arrays onto existing structures.
Unlike conventional solar arrays, The Horizon is a retractable, foldable solar panel array that was designed with the country’s heavy snowfall in mind. During severe snowstorms or days when the snow falls heavier than usual, the array’s panels can fold in on themselves like the gills on an accordion, then stretch out into a flattened expanse once the weather clears.
The device is an effective exercise in both property conservation as well as economic efficiency, as it uses around 50% less in terms of materials than conventional solar panel systems.
As of press time, DHP Technology hopes to install its first accordion system by 2026.
What Makes The Horizon Unique?
The solar array’s panels and its innovative retraction mechanism is supported by a series of lightweight ropes. Likewise, this innovative approach to solar power generation is the first of its kind not to use glass in its panels, making it lighter to transport, easier to assemble, and more efficient to operate.
From the ground up, the system has a maximum height of around 19.6 feet and was designed specifically for parking garages as it was crafted to allow vehicular movement below, regardless of vehicular size and height.
That said, the panels also protect the asphalt below and, come summer, also double as a shady cover to keep vehicles underneath cool.
According to a statement from DHP Technology, the company plans to install around 45 of such accordion systems along the country’s highways, thus improving its network of electric vehicle charging stations. At the same time, it is expected that The Horizon arrays will have the capacity to power up to 7,800 homes with an average use of 4,500kw/h per annum.