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The story behind the first pre-assembled solar carport in the world
Entrepreneurship / 4 March 2024
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Member of FS Entrepreneurship Centre
Ole is a co-founder of Yumoso and a member of Frankfurt School Entrepreneurship Centre (FSEC). His academic background spans both economics and civil engineering, providing a broad foundation of knowledge. His experience in the construction industry and project development during his studies paved the way for him to co-found Yumoso alongside Florian Deissler.

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Yumoso embarked on a mission to create the world’s first pre-assembled solar carport, addressing the growing need for large solar surfaces in the ongoing energy transition. Recognising untapped potential, our team identified parking areas, in addition to rooftops and open spaces, as valuable sources for photovoltaic (PV) energy in the pursuit of a greener future.

Untapped potential in parking areas: A dual advantage

A solar carport offers a dual advantage, providing vehicle shelter while generating on-site solar power. Recognising this, European countries, including Germany, mandate large solar carport installations by parking operators. Meeting this demand requires a scalable, resource-efficient construction system to overcome skilled labour shortages and production construction inefficiencies.

Innovation in design: The foldable solar carport

Out of this observation, Yumoso designed a carport that could be almost fully assembled in a production facility and equipped with photovoltaic (PV) modules. The real challenge is transporting the structure to the installation site and assembling it.

To address this, an innovative system was developed, dividing the roof into segments that fold and, therefore, reducing its size and making it portable. The flexible mechanism that was needed to fold a 1.3-ton roof to be robust and manually operable was a significant engineering challenge.

Over the course of a year, Yumoso’s small team of engineers precisely designed, calculated and patented the folding mechanism. This pioneering process of segmenting and folding the roof opened the possibility of pre-assembling the carport, leading to substantial efficiency gains in production.

Partnerships and implementation: Collaborating with Frankfurt School

In the summer of 2023, discussions with Frankfurt School marked the beginning of the implementation of the system. Thanks to the openness and trust extended by Karolina Kristic and Frankfurt School, positive feedback was received promptly, allowing preparations for construction to start.

The initial hurdle involved obtaining construction approval for such a prestigious and historic location like Frankfurt School properties. Working collaboratively with partners, we engaged in multiple discussions with building authorities and the heritage office to underline the innovative nature of the project, ultimately securing official approval.

Trial assembly and preparations for the final build

The groundwork began in November 2023, focusing on the cable route from the carport to Frankfurt School building, including drilling under the access road to avoid road disruption. Precise measurements were taken to set the carport foundations, opting for an advanced screw foundation with minimal impact on the parking area. The four foundations were executed within just 2 hours, showcasing the efficiency of the chosen method.

During November, a trial assembly in the production facility was conducted to test the folding system and make final adjustments. Around the Christmas holidays, preparations for the final assembly were made and scheduled for late January 2024 in both the production facility and Frankfurt School grounds.

From production to on-site construction

Working closely with partners at the production facility, Yumoso’s team assembled the steel structure, connected the photovoltaic modules and installed wiring and rain protection.

The roof was then folded and positioned on rollers for transportation to the construction site. On-site, the carport was lifted using chain hoists onto the positioned supports, with extra attention paid to prevent any damage to the PV modules during the lifting process.

Yumoso’s decision to actively participate in the assembly process proved wise. It helped the entire team to fully understand our product and make immediate improvements for future mass production.

The entire on-site assembly took only a day, a testament to the exceptional work of Yumoso’s team and partners, with all construction processes seamlessly coming together.

This achievement represents a significant step toward scalable, resource-efficient solar solutions and a cleaner, sustainable future.

To learn more about the founders behind YUMOSO and engage with other startups from the portfolio of FS Entrepreneurship Centre, make sure to check the following link.

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