Martin Hollan: Solar power is becoming more and more popular

Published: 11. 1. 2024
Author: Karel Černý
Photo: archives of Martin Hollan
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Energy prices are definitely one of the most debated topics in recent years. They are high, and their rise isn’t stopping any time soon. It is a matter of course that many people and businesses alike look for alternative sources, and solar power is the name of the game. If there is anyone who truly knows a lot about it, it’s the CEO of the Slovak company eVOLTIK Martin Hollan.

Is the interest in solar growing among individuals as well as businesses?
Considering the current prices in the energy market, solar is becoming more and more popular mainly with businesses because the prices these businesses are currently paying for electricity are exorbitant. In the last several months, individual interest in solar has been growing as well, seeing as we’ve had a state subsidy program in effect since the spring of 2023 for exactly these kinds of installations.

With rising interest, the number of companies focused on the installation of solar panels has grown exponentially. What are some of the things to look out for when choosing one?
A solar power station is a device that should work for 20–30 years, which is why we recommend that the customer spend enough time picking a good supplier. The company must have experience, well-trained workers, and must work with certified panels and converters. It’s good to not only take a look online at the selected company, but we also recommend an in-person visit. One must pay attention to the company’s outlook as a whole, and also find out if it is insured against possible property damage. There are a lot of companies in the market that employ unqualified workers, which results in property losses, for example as a result of a fire. The warning sign of an unprofessional installation is often a low price.

In the Czech Republic, there can be problems with the subsequent connection to the grid and the selling of excess energy, which a lot of people take into account when buying. Has this been solved in Slovakia, or is the situation similar?
In our company, we try to prevent unapproved requests in distribution companies, that’s why we finish all paperwork before the installation itself, to avoid the provider denying the capacity. In Slovakia, we’ve had the experience that the requested capacities of the solar panels we install have been getting approved so far. When it comes to any excess energy, we have the option of either selling to a company or storing it in virtual batteries. Buying electricity is one of the key activities of all companies in the electricity business. A virtual battery provides our customers with the energy the solar panels produce – that then gets routed to the grid, where it’s stored until such a time as the household requires it.

Do you mostly see orders for roof panels, or do people also want battery storage?
In Slovakia, the majority of installed solar panels come without battery storage, people use a virtual battery. Solar is, first and foremost, for personal consumption in a given place, at a given time. If a client’s power station creates more than they can use, they have the option to use the virtual battery service or physical battery storage. Battery storage currently isn’t a priority. If a customer has a hybrid system installed with battery storage and backed-up circuits, they can use select appliances in the household in the event of a blackout.

Is it possible to gauge the return on the entire investment?
Solar is primarily an investment with a return and a future yield. It is very difficult to calculate the exact returns since the prices are unstable. With the current electricity prices, the return on investment is about 2–3 years for companies and 7–8 years for households. The return period always depends on the price of the commodity.

Do you cover the entire process? That is the evaluation of the project, the recommendation of appropriate panels, installation, covering all administrative requirements...?
We offer turnkey implementation for businesses as well as households, starting with an inspection, all the way to the final launch of the solar power station, all the while using state-of-the-art technologies. The process starts with a personal visit to our client, where we discuss all of their needs and requirements. What follows is an inspection of the property, the size and quality of the roof, the existing wiring. A visualization with a price offer is then created, as is the project documentation. Following an agreement on the visualization and the approval by the appropriate authorities comes the implementation itself, which, depending on the scale and difficulty, takes several days. After it’s finished, the client receives an inspection report.

Do people have to spend decades taking care of the panels, cleaning them, and so on?
Our company has already considered this, and that’s why we use quality frameless panels. As the name itself suggests, no debris gets caught on the frame and the effects of weather result in self-cleaning. If the panels happen to become dirty, we provide immediate cleaning services. We have a remote monitoring system, which helps us keep track of the production, and in the event of decreased output, we inform the customer that the panels might be stained. Once a year, a warranty check is performed, during which the functionality of the panels is assessed not only visually but also using a thermal video camera. A technician can professionally assess all defects, or deficiencies, and recommend cleaning or waterproofing of the panels if needed.

Panels installed by eVOLTIK on a house in Bratislava

eVOLTIK is a young company standing on a solid foundation because it boasts a group of employees and salespeople with many years of experience and skills in the area of solar power. The goal of the company is to be a strong, trustworthy, and responsible partner. The company was established through a separation from another business.
In the span of one year, it achieved great growth in the area of solar installation for businesses. It has dozens of professional installations under its belt and strives to always introduce new, modern, and high-quality materials, and provide the best possible service.
The greatest volume of orders comes from businesses wanting to lower their electricity expenses, and thus contribute to protecting the environment.
The majority of its employees have worked in the field for over a decade, and have great experience and skills, which is reflected in their daily work. Thanks to the active approach of every single employee, the number of the company’s successful projects is increasing.
eVOLTIK works with over fifty active employees, be it sales representatives, construction groups, electricians, inspection technicians, or back office workers.
It works solely with experienced people in a team of professionals who have all the certification and know-how necessary to do their job and give their best for the customer.


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