Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Jul 06

Solar Power Tiles for your Rooftop

Posted in Energy Inventions | Photovoltaic Cells | Solar Power

Solar Power Tiles Just imagine your neighborhood mason fitting your roof tiles and these same tiles producing dependable solar energy for your house or office – you no longer need to hire scientists and alternative energy nerds for a simple roof job, and the cost is no longer a bottleneck. A technology catches on when it is easier to implement and efficient to use. With Solé tiles, constructing roofs that produce solar energy without becoming cumbersome and expensive eye-sores is soon going to become a reality.

For billions of years the sun has been spewing out gargantuan amounts of energy and if we can use even a miniscule portion of it, pollution-free and inexpensive power can be provided to every single home and industry for as long as we live. Consequently, many energy companies and scientists are strenuously working towards a model that can produce cheap energy in the least intrusive manner. Solé tiles are definitely a step in that direction.

They look just as normal rooftop tiles and they can be fitted with least fuss and you don’t even feel the difference in terms of how your roof looks. Their light-weight performance polymer construction results in easy handling and construction. By using 20%-25% of the roof area the tiles can generate 860 kilowatt hours per square (or per 100 square feet) annually in an area with “5.8 peak sun hours” per day.

The Solé tiles came into existence when SRS Energy hired Bresslergroup as the designers of the first curved building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing product. Bresslergroup is a Philedelphia-based product design company that has collaborated with clients like Black and Decker, Motorola, Becton Dickinson and Honeywell.

Peter Bressler, the principal of Bresslergroup, has been enamored with the idea of producing solar panels that can become an integral part of the roofing system. So he came up with the idea of condensing a massive solar panel into a modular system that can easily be used as a design element, rather than some extra contrivance about to destroy the look of the establishment.

So when SRS Energy hired Bresslergroup, instead of the typical, uninspiring silicon crystalline wafers, they created a polymeric material that allowed them to make the curve of the tile, and this produced the shape of the regular tile. For the panels they used extremely flexible triple-junction non-crystalline amorphous silicon cells made by Michigan-based UNI-SOLAR, known as a “thin film” technology.

The Solé tiles can be seamlessly integrated with the terra-cotta tiles on your roof. It’s like, the solar panel themselves become your roof, instead of you installing them on your roof. SRS Energy hopes that Solé tiles will become part of the architecture and building of residences and commercial properties.

  • geeta

    Sounds great. Are these tiles available in India? Compared to the cost of other roofs what would these tiles cost?


  • Rickie

    According to PVinsights, solar module price dropped to US $1.7 – $2.1 in July. This price will save a lot of cost in the future. We foresee more and more rooftop solar system installation in the coming two years.

  • Om Rajbhandari

    For long, I have been thinking if roof tiles should be replace with something to produce solar power, it would be wonderful.

    I have a house with about 1000 sq. ft of roof towards Sun. I need about 500 k hour of power to run TV, Refregerator and light for month. If idea works, it will benefit me very much.

    Do you have any idea when such tiles would be available in Nepal?


  • Justan Olfrend

    “Do the power stations want power from your homes? No, but they can definitely use the user trends information and make power available accordingly.”

    I would suggest YES… a truly smart grid would optimize the excess energy generated by homes with solar (which many more should have in the Sunbelt) and communicate to those power stations to redirect it in a “smart” fashion to serve areas that are outside of the sunbelt… smart meters are great but unless they actually serve a greater purpose than just lowering my home bill then it is not much of an improvement for the nation as a whole… a company like GE and their competitors can upgrade the infrastructure but these two computing competitors would better serve the nation working together to create a “brain” that can manage the grid in a truly “smart” fashion… a glorified meter reader that communicates with a central processor(s) is more in line with our national need… just sayin’

  • Justan Olfrend

    Think bigger… companies working together can accomplish much more for our nation in this time of need than any of them can individually.

  • justwatching

    I don’t know where people get the under $2.50 /watt for photovoltiacs but just try and get them under $7.00/watt+ installation hardware.

  • Justan Olfrend

    Now if they could just tie this into a truly smart grid we would be going places… nice start though.

  • Charlotte Wolff

    I’m glad the technology is increasing. I also want the dependability and availability to increase and the cost to decrease. When it becomes a part of mainstream use sustainable energy will benefit people and the planet, now too often it benefits mostly the businesses.

  • Brian Hudson

    I lived in Israel for ten years and there you have a “dude shemesh” which is a water tank on your roof that uses solar energy to give you hot water. They need this here!

  • John Boston

    We could use a “dude shemesh” here in Oklahoma. In the summer, we’d have to cool the water down before using it!

  • russ

    @John Boston – my hot water is 90 degrees C plus – from solar panels – turned off the electric connection on 1 April and will turn it back on in November – just as backup.

    When I was working in Qatar we used the hot water heater as a cooler – the cold water from the pipes was too hot to use but with the power to the heater off it acted as a badly needed cooler.

  • Seyed Ghozati

    I was involved with such a solar rooftile project in University of NSW in Sydney for 5 years during my Ph.D. study. I know things you don’t know about photovoltaic rooftiles. That project was under Mitsubishi financial support. The fact is it is not easy to have a high efficiency rooftile and with low efficiency you’re throwing your money away.

  • Andy

    Could someone tell me if these tiles are available in Canada. If these tiles are available in Canada who are the certified installers? Please tell me if they work in colder climates or are they only for California and Florida climates.


  • richeypaul1

    Wow, these solar tiles sound like a really good idea. They could save a lot of time and money and be just as efficient. I think that everyone should have the switch. It would really help the environment.

  • stephan

    the solar tiles are a great idea in terms of sustainability. as the tiles can be used as both the roof and solar panels.
    Are your tiles available in australia and if yes how much do they cost?

  • Carlsongs

    I like this idea. I live in California and I get lots of sun year round. I pay on average $90.00 a month in electric bills. Could you install the tiles on my home and let me pay you the $90.00 a month until they are paid for?

  • Carlsongs

    I like this idea. I live in California and I get lots of sun year round. I pay on average $90.00 a month in electric bills. Could you install the tiles on my home and let me pay you the $90.00 a month until they are paid for?

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