Designed for applications for which regular solar panels would look inappropriate, Tegolasolare tiles from Area Industrie Ceramiche are composed of red clay and look like traditional roof tiles. A solar panel consisting of four photovoltaic cells is installed on each tile, and then the tile is installed normally. Panels are connected to create a photovoltaic field, which can cover the roof or be as large or small as needed. The company says 100 tiles can produce 1 kW of energy. The photovoltaic panels are interchangeable and can be integrated with the tile in stages. Damaged panels can be replaced if necessary and more efficient panels can be fitted over time. areaindustrie.it
Jennifer Brite is a design journalist and public-health scientist who is currently pursuing a doctorate in public health with a concentration in epidemiology and demography at the City University of New York. For ARCHITECT, she writes about new products and sustainable design.