The novotegra success story

We developed a highly efficient assembly system.

Because we do market research not in the office, but on the roof: We listened, watched and collaborated. The result is a product that is quick and easy to install.

2005: From prototype to series production

"It was decided that we should launch our own mounting system on the market and I was employed by the company specifically for this purpose at that time..." reports Martin Schäfer.

Up to this point, a mixture of our own and purchased mounting elements (eg. roof hooks for solar thermal) had been marketed under the names ‘tegra’ (1999) and ‘alutegra’ (2002). But there was a clear need to develop our own mounting system, designed specially to meet the needs of the market. Martin first thought about developing an innovative PV roof hook. Usually, these were welded to the base profile. But surely a simpler and more flexible mounting should be possible?

The flash of inspiration came to him one evening in the bathtub:

Curved hooks made of high-strength round steel (like reinforcing steel), which are flexible and can easily be fitted to the base profile in a height-adjustable manner without extra screwing – that's the solution!

After intensive research, based on his professional experience as a civil engineer, a blueprint for the first roof hook was born. A short time later, the first prototype was manufactured in a forge in Stuttgart. In the very same year, the innovation was launched at the internationally renowned InterSolar trade fair in Munich, where it quickly attracted interest, but also sometimes skeptical looks. "That’s not what a roof hook looks like," was the verdict of some of the visitors.


2006: New ways of production

At that time, in the rapid development phase of PV, the turn-in roof hook in connection with the base profile went into series production and subsequently on sale in 2006. The first production facility was located in Bulgaria. There, a semi-automatic bending machine was built using the simplest of means, including material from the neighbouring scrap yard. Later, an inventor from a Swabian backyard company joined as a producer. He bent the hook with the help of a converted hydraulic log splitter. Today, state-of-the-art machines are used for its production all over Germany. The roof hook still exists in its original form.

At the same time, Martin also optimised the shape of the existing ‘alutegra’ C-rail. The novotegra C-rail is still very popular with installers today thanks to its organically round shape and its pleasant haptics. 


2007: Better planning reliability with Solar-Planit

First, Martin developed simple design diagrams to determine the permissible roof hook spacing. He determined the load-bearing capacity of the roof hook for the design diagrams in a specially built test rig. Just one year later, the basis for today's planning tool, Solar-Planit (formerly known as ‘novoplaner’) was created. Here, in close cooperation with the in-house IT department, an environment was developed in which the installation of solar projects can be planned down to the last detail. 

In the same year, mounting systems for tiled roofs, corrugated Eternit and metal seam roofs were also created.


2008/2009: Further development elevation

For elevation, Martin developed a base profile with a screw-in worm. At that time, a model made of cardboard served as the basis for the production of a CAD drawing, which in turn was used to create the first prototype of the product that is still unchanged today. At InterSolar 2009, elevation systems for trapezoidal metal roofs & and flat roofs were presented, in which the innovative screw-in technology was used for the first time.

Through our on-site (free of charge) first installation service, installers are actively supported by our installation experts during their first novotegra installation.


About the person:

 

Born: Mannheim

Studies: Civil Engineering & Promotion about flexible connections

Development of novotegra: since 2005

"The first novotegra prototype was developed by us in 2006 and was handmade in a forge in Stuttgart. Even 15 years later, the product is still unique on the market

 

Martin Schäfer, Inventor of novotegra


2011: Sister company in Italy

  • Number of employees: 27
  • Free novotegra first assemblies: no
  • novotegra trainings in national language: yes
  • Solar-Planit trainings in national language: yes

2012: Sister company in Switzerland

  • Number of employees: 44
  • Free novotegra first assemblies: yes
  • novotegra trainings in national language: yes
  • Solar.Pro.Tool trainings in national language: yes

2016: Sister company in Luxembourg (BeNeLux + France)

  • Number of employees: 93
  • Free novotegra first assemblies: yes
  • novotegra trainings in national language: yes
  • Solar-Planit trainings in national language: yes

 

 


2017: Sister company in Poland

  • Number of employees: 34
  • Free novotegra first assemblies: no
  • novotegra trainings in national language: yes
  • Solar-Planit trainings in national language: yes

2019: Sister company in Spain

  • Number of employees: 17
  • Free novotegra first assemblies: yes
  • novotegra trainings in national language: yes
  • Solar-Planit trainings in national language: yes

 


2021: novotegra GmbH is founded

This is brilliant news! Our 20 years of bundled experience has now been brought together under one roof.

Our philosophy: Market research is not done in our office, but on the roof.

Our developers listen and lend a hand, creating new methods and approaches that are efficient and simple.

​​​​​​​How the story goes on:

To meet the ever-changing requirements, we develop smart solutions and innovations that make life easier in PV mounting. At our in-house test stand  ̶  affectionately called ‘the torture rack’ and in external test environments such as wind tunnels or ovens, we put our products through their paces. Every new product goes through round after round here, so that hazard-free use is guaranteed. After all, safety and stability are our top priorities. Also in the future, we will continue to follow the trends and think innovatively about user-friendly PV mounting.

We also continue to grow: this year we were already pleased to welcome colleagues from our new Czech sister company.


The novotegra success story

How the foundation for today's novotegra mounting system emerged from a small forge in Stuttgart.