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Innovation for industry | Energies | Energy storage | Photovoltaic solar power

Heliup, ultralight roof-mounted photovoltaic panels

Published on 15 December 2022
​Rooftops that generate revenue and secure electricity rates for 20 years.

Heliup has designed ultralight, easy-to-install solar photovoltaic panels designed for the structural limitations of metal-frame buildings. The panels can meet 15% to 100% of a building’s electricity requirements.

Heliup panels on a roof are glued to a waterproofing membrane.

The roofs of many industrial and commercial buildings are not compatible with conventional solar photovoltaic panels, which, with their supporting structures, weigh 15 kg/m2. A Heliup innovation reduces PV panel weight by more than 60% without sacrificing profitability. The electricity generated can be used by the building or fed back into the grid for income.

The reduced weight is made possible by ultra-thin glass that provides both mechanical and physicochemical protection for the PV cells. This innovation is protected by three CEA patents for which Heliup holds exclusive licenses. The panels are being certified, and 1:1 tests will take place in 2023.  

The startup will bring the product to market in the second half of 2023, targeting large construction and energy companies. It will continue to work with the CEA on R&D to optimize its panels, evaluate their performance, validate new materials, and conduct panel lifecycle analyses.

Key figure: 5 kg/m2

Heliup roof-mounted photovoltaic panels weigh 5 kg/m2, compared to 15 kg/m2 for conventional panels including the mounting structure

Key markets:

  • Industrial and commercial buildings
  • Warehouses
  • Retail
  • Agricultural buildings


  • Lightweight, high-strength glass capable of protecting photovoltaic cells
  • Innovative roofing systems for flat and sloped roofs

Year founded: 2022

Originating institute: CEA-Liten