These gorgeous Solé Power Tiles are designed to capture and convert sunlight into cost-saving electricity without compromising aesthetics. They incorporate UNI-SOLAR thinfilm flexible solar cells shaped into exaggerated traditional clay tile shapes.
The flexible “triple-junction” solar cells absorb a comparatively broader range of the sun’s rays than conventional modules, allowing them to generate electricity for a longer period of time each day. They “wake up earlier and stay up later”, than other solar cell devices.
They are actually pretty effective, too:–
The tiles are rated at 1 KW per 200 sq. feet, which is about 1/3 the typical American home’s kwh requirement using about a living-room-size space on a roof.
Most houses would have the space to fully power themselves using these solar tiles.
1 KW per 200 sq ft is fairly comparable to Uni Solar’s regular thinfilm, which is designed to just peel and stick on flat metal roofing, — utilizing the benefits of selecting optimal South facing slopes.
But that leads to the question – Does this take into consideration that tile roofs are generally a wildly mismatched assortment of angles on all the gables; every solar estimator’s worst nightmare.
These PV tiles will inevitably face both sun friendly and unfriendly directions:
Look at the pictures: what percent of these arrays are actually South facing? The North facing arrays will only generate about 70% — and the East/West arrays will only supply about 85% of what perfectly aligned Southern exposures can do.
On the other hand, there is a lot to be said for having a uniform color to the entire roof, regardless of how little electricity some of these tiles will generate. And on the typical home there is enough roofspace that they can easily generate the 400 to 800 kwh per month that the average home needs.
SRS Energy will be launching Solé Power Tile at the American Institute of Architects 2009 National Convention and Design Exposition to be held in San Francisco April 30. So next time you have to replace a roof — you can just install your own personal electric power station up there, disguised as your scrumptious new tile roof.
By Susan Kraemer