Strategically Green - Solar’s New Look
By: Elizabeth Sherrod, managing editor and research director, NAIOP
SRS Energy installed their first commercial embedded solar tile system at Zwahlen’s Ice Cream Shop outside Philadelphia, Pa.
The idea for integrated solar roofing tiles was inked on a cocktail napkin at 30,000 feet over a decade ago. During that plane ride, a vision for seamless solar roofing was born.
SRS Energy (formerly Solar Roofing Systems Inc.) was incorporated in 1997 in Philadelphia, Pa. At that time, the idea of embedding photo voltaics into roofing products was cost prohibitive, but persistence paid off when the concept’s potential was reevaluated years later. Since 2005, steady progress has been made in the building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing market.
SRS Energy is working in concert with roofing manufacturers to develop a collection of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing products. CEO Marty Low states that the solar roofing tiles are designed to integrate with existing roofing systems in both form and function and feature light-weight polymer technology (think car bumpers) engineered for roofing applications. Building owners can now go solar without compromising roof aesthetics.
The Solé Power Tile™, SRS Energy’s introductory product to the U.S. market, is a curved solar tile which functions as a durable roofing product with electrical-generation capabilities. According to the manufacturer, the flexible photovoltaic technology encapsulated within a Solé Power Tile has the ability to outperform conventional panel technology in diffuse and low-light conditions as well as elevated temperatures, commonly found on the roof. The company is launching the product into a California test market toward the latter half of 2010 with a nationwide roll-out to follow. Additional solar roofing profiles (styles and colors) are currently under development for both the domestic and international markets.
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