Solar Thermal Roof Tiles
Credit: SolTech Energy
As solar power becomes more desirable, a larger number of photovoltaic panels will appear on rooftops. However, one of the major stumbling blocks of renewable energy is that it often requires additional equipment and resources beyond those needed to merely enclose a building. Moreover, additional layers of equipment can violate the integrity of the roof membrane if installed incorrectly.
For solar-thermal applications, a new roofing system by Swedish company SolTech Energy offers a novel solution to these challenges. The system replaces conventional ceramic tiles with transparent modules of glass tiles at a similar weight. The glass tiles magnify the sun's heat and greatly increase the temperature of the air encapsulated within the structure of the roof. This hot air is then used to heat water that circulates throughout a building (air-based systems are also an option).
Winner of a gold medal at this year's Nordbygg trade fair in Stockholm, the SolTech roof demonstrates that energy harnessing need not be a separate material investment, but can be cleverly integrated within a single building envelope.