Finland: One Solar Roof – Three Partners
The new Ruukki Classic Solar Thermal Roof from Finland was shown twice this summer: First at the Intersolar Europe in Munich, Germany, at the booth of Finnish company Savo-Solar in June and then at the Finnish Housing Fair in Hyvinkää, Finland, in August. Three rather different companies have been involved in manufacturing, selling and distributing this roof-integrated solar solution. Finnish company Savo-Solar, which specialises in the production of solar collectors based on aluminium absorber sheets, manufactures the collector modules, which are then integrated into steel roof solutions of the Finnish Rautaruukki Corporation (Ruukki), a company known for its steel constructions. The last step in the sales chain is Pohjolan Design-Talo, a Finnish supply company of prefabricated houses, which was also responsible for the demonstration house at the Hyvinkää housing fair.
Ruukki started its solar thermal cooperation with Savo-Solar in March 2013. “Ruukki Classic Solar Thermal Roof is the first commercial solar product we offer and Pohjolan Design-Talo is an independent distribution, sales and marketing partner for us in this segment,” confirms Matti Perttula, Director of Residential Roofing Products at Ruukki.
The Savo-Solar collectors, which include a direct-flow MPE aluminium absorber from Hydro HyLife alloy with a typical width of 50 cm, are a good match for the pattern of the so-called standing seam steel roofs from Ruukki (see the photo above). The collectors can be produced in all possible lengths up to 2.5 m. The glazed collector panels are integrated into the steel roof by cutting a hole into the roof top panels and the collectors are mounted onto the wooden substructure of the roof. Their orientation is vertical, forming an almost even surface together with the roof. The pipes on the backside of the panels lead into the attic of the house. The company uses special trims or flashings for the finishing. “The collector blends almost seamlessly with the roof itself,” Perttula points out.
The housing company explains Pohjolan Design-Talo´s clients search for energy-efficient building designs in a press release from March 2013. “The solar thermal system on the roof is a big step on our way to a zero-energy building,” says Saku Sipola, Managing Director of Pohjolan Design-Talo.
Ruukki sells steel and steel constructions across 30 different countries worldwide. Net sales in 2012 totalled EUR 2.8 billion. With its 9,000 employees, the company offers steel solutions for “better living, working and moving conditions”.
Savo-Solar was founded in 2011 to commercialise a new selective coating in a piece-flow vacuum oven, in which one can also coat profiles and formed panels. Today, the company has 20 staff and reached a turnover of around EUR 400,000 in 2012. The Clean Energy Fund Finland holds a 30 % share in the company.
Pohjolan Design-Talo is one of the leading producers of turnkey wood-framed houses on the Finnish market. The company has 167 staff and reached net sales of EUR 76 million in 2012. The history of the company shows the link to Ruukki, since the steel corporation held 100 % of Pohjolan Design-Talo until 2011. It was the investment group CapMan which supported the management buyout in 2011 and made Pohjolan Design-Talo an independent company again.