How Vallourec is backing Vertsun in agrophotovoltaics Vallourec provided Vertsun, a French company specialized in photovoltaics, with tubular solutions for the construction of agricultural PV hangars.

11/03/2020 - VAM

How Vallourec is backing Vertsun in agrophotovoltaics

03/11/2020 - Renewables

Vallourec provided Vertsun, a French company specialized 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 our 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 center buildings and industrial applications.  

Interview with David Dornbusch, General Manager of Vertsun

Want to learn more about how Vallourec and Vertsun have collaborated to design competitive agricultural solar buildings?

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.

Blueprint of a warehouse construction with MSH hollow sections

...demanding a 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, we 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 is a promising and profitable market, and we intend to become a full player in it!

Vertsun & Vallourec warehouse
Vallourec & Vertsun warehouse
Jean-Marc Scemama

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 recognized intrinsic properties of our products, and by combining our know-how and expertise for customer-oriented service.

Jean-Marc Scemama VP Strategy, Marketing & Development Industry

Vallourec and 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.