Visiting PV Module producer Solvis in Croatia

Getting from Issol in Belgium to Solvis in Croatia was quite the trip. It´s very far to go without a flight. It started by a 22 hour busride to Vienna. A long day in other words. Not my favourite part of the eurotrip. 

Renewable sunset on my 22 hour busride

But Vienna was beautiful of course. I spent a few days there, and also went for a trip to Bratisava, as its literally next door. I really liked both cities!

Exploring Vienna
Bratislava City views

On my way to Croatia I also stopped by Slovenia, and liked it so much I ended up staying for 6 days in the capital, Ljubljana! Slovenia really surprised me, and I think it might have been my favourite country in Europe so far! It´s definetly a place I want to go back to, and explore some more! I feel like this whole eurotrip (as I´m travelling so fast) is like a teaser to find out which countries I want to go back to later. 

The incredible beauty of Lake Bled. The colour of the lake was insane.
We hiked up to the castle to get a better view of the island
Bled Castle, up on the hill. So beautiful!
Just look at this colour. The water was super cold so we didn’t swim, but it sure looked tempting!
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia was so amazing! No cars in the entire inside of the city!
We hiked up to the castle in Ljubljana every single evening to watch the sunset from there. We brought wine and snacks and sat there and enjoyed the beautiful city and sunset. I fell in love with Slovenia.

I arrived in Varazdin, Croatia after a short 2-3 hour busride from Slovenia. Petar from Solvis picked me up at my hostel, and took me to their headquarter, just a short trip out of town. 

I was the only guest at my hostel in Varazdin. Not really a touristy city, but that didn’t stop the hostel hosts from making the breakfast in full size. All of this food was for me…

Solvis is a PV module producer, located in Varazdin, in north-east Croatia. They produce standard solar panels, but also do some custom made ones and BIPV projects. In their HQ they have both their office, factory and storage, surrounded by beautiful green fields. Their owner even has a small fenced garden for his dogs to run around in. Lucky for Solvis, their production has increased so much they are growing out of the building and will hopefully move to a second location soon as well. I guess they are doing good!

Waiting for Petar from Solvis outside the hostel, in my Glava Energy Center piquet. Ready to learn!
Welcome to Solvis

We started the day with coffee and a presentation of the company in their “showroom”. Their meeting room was filled with different module types as examples of what they have done for their customers. I love checking out these showrooms. I find it so interesting to see all the different ways one can use a solar panel. All the different sizes, shapes, coatings, colours and frames are all examples of all the possibilities solar PV gives us. I love the extreme diversity and all the potential this type of power production poses to the world. 

A small part of the showroom
A miniature model of their solar palm! I actually saw these ones when I was in Dubai! They are used in parks for people to charge their phones in.
Solar bench for a park. Same function as the palm. Charging your phone.

Peter took me through their factory. This was actually the first factory where I was allowed to take as many photos and videos as I wanted in. This of course made me super excited to finally be able to share the inside of a factory with the blog. All companies I have visited have been happy to show me their factory, but I haven’t been able to share any of the photos or videos publicly. 

Solar Module Factory! These machines are so cool!
Petar showing the full size palm leaf

I´m always so fascinated with the efficiency of the workers in these factories. The Solvis factory was definitely no exception. Everyone knew their exact job, it all went so fast and it was all so precise. Parts of the modules were of course done by machines, but the making of these modules no doubt needed the human touch to be perfect. I imagine it must be really hard work to do this job. Standing up all day, being so focused and precise in all you do. I am always so impressed! When I go to China this fall, I´m actually going to work at one of these factories as a volunteer for a bit, so I´ll get to try it out myself then. 

Solvis uses all the modules that are ”unperfect” on their own buildings. There are something ”wrong” with them, but Petar says they actually work just fine, and produce the same as more perfect-looking modules.

After our factory tour, Peter took me to see the real solar palm, to lunch and then drove me back to my hostel. I of course had to go on some more sightseeing. Varazdin turned out to be a rather pretty city! A lot of the cities in Europe has these amazing old towns with brick stone streets and pretty old buildings, flowers and parks. Sometimes also a castle. Varazdin was no exception! 

The full size palm! Its outside the University Student Home Building in Varazdin.
Another cool little solar gadget. A chair, where you also can charge your phone.
Sightseeing in Varazdin! Here is the castle in the old town
Its a nice little city!

After Croatia I was supposed to go to Ukraine to see Europe´s largest solar park, but unfortunately it didn’t work out, so I went on holiday for like 2 weeks instead! Sad for the solar journey, but the beach really wasn’t so bad either. 

Next stop on the solar journey; Solitek in Lithuania. Stay tuned for the last travel and solar blog of the Eurotrip! 

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