ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | March 2024

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40-year lifetime for PV installations a reality

Magnelis® ZM800 enables Solarport to offer longer expected lifetimes for their PV installations.

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Since its founding in 2015, Solarport has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of structural components for solar farms in the United Kingdom. During 2023, the company began to utilise Magnelis® ZM800 from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products in the manufacture of components for ground-mounted solar arrays. The heavier coating – 65 µm on each side of an S450GD-HyPer® substrate – enables Solarport to offer expected lifetimes of up to 40 years to solar farm operators. That is a crucial differentiator as investors become more aware of corrosion resistance. Although Magnelis® ZM800 only became commercially available in 2023, Solarport has already deployed it in several solar farms across the UK.

Magnelis® ZM800 allows Solarport to offer expected lifetimes of up to 40 years.

Solarport has already deployed Magnelis® ZM800 at several solar farms in the UK.

The UK government wants to achieve 70 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity by 2030.

The Solarport team discovered Magnelis® ZM800 on a visit to ArcelorMittal’s mill in Bremen (Germany) with representatives from their local steel service centre, Davro Steel. “We were so impressed; we placed our first order for ZM800 before we even left the mill,” notes Liam Tattershall, Managing Director at Solarport. “That material went straight into a new solar farm.”

Liam Tattershall, Managing Director at Solarport

Greg Anthony, Managing Director of Davro Steel

The company had already used Magnelis® in its components following a recommendation from Davro Steel. “We did several training sessions with the Solarport team to make them aware of the properties of this continuously hot dip coated steel,” says Greg Anthony, Managing Director of Davro Steel. “We also developed a calculator which allows Solarport to use geotechnical data from each site to adjust material selection.”

Sophisticated corrosion protection

“Magnelis® is a much more sophisticated corrosion protection solution than batch hot dip galvanisation (which offers max. 55 µm per side on 3.0 mm steel according to ISO 1461),” explains Liam Tattershall. “While the Magnelis® grades with lighter coating weights can meet the 25- and 35-year lifetimes required by customers, we needed something that could last even longer. With its 65 µm coating on each side, Magnelis® ZM800 allows us to offer lifetimes of up to 40 years."

With its own manufacturing facilities in the UK, Solarport can produce up to two gigawatts of capacity annually.

Scratches that occur during handling or storage remain corrosion free thanks to the cut-edge protection offered by Magnelis®.

ZM800 becomes default standard

Following discussions with Davro Steel and ArcelorMittal, Solarport has plans to utilise Magnelis® ZM800 for most of its components. “We know that Magnelis® ZM800 will meet the requirements of many more sites and soils, so it makes sense to standardise our offer on this coating,” says Liam Tattershall. “That will provide us, and our customers, with a lot of confidence.”

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