Solar sandwich made with thin film & thermal

How about a solar sandwich on your roof? No, we’re not talking about a roof-mounted solar oven – we’re talking about a new combination of three green technologies [PDF] brought together by Englert.

The Englert Solar Sandwich, which combines the company’s standing seam metal roof system with thin-film solar photovoltaic panels and a solar thermal system, is said to reduce a home’s energy bill by 20 to 80 percent.

The top layer of the “sandwich” is formed by Englert’s SunNet thin film, solar laminates (BIPV), made from lightweight, unbreakable, self-adhesive materials that attach directly to the standing seam roof panel.

These thin-film laminates are noted for their ability to produce electricity even in cloudy, low-light conditions, as well as for their ability to accommodate curved roof surfaces.

The second layer is formed by an Englert standing seam roof metal roof, the platform and centerpiece of the system.  

The roof’s ULTRA-Cool coatings meet Energy Star and LEED requirements for reflectivity and emissivity, reflecting heat away from the building, reducing the heat island effect in cities while cutting cooling costs at home, and extending the life expectancy of the roof due to less expansion and contraction. (These standing seam metal roofs are said to last at least twice as long as other roofing materials.)

The third layer of the sandwich is a solar thermal system installed under the standing seam roof that absorbs energy into a concealed collection system; this energy is then transferred to the building as heat (via radiant, in-floor heating) and hot water. 

This thermal system also cools the roof, making the BIPV solar electricity system more efficient. More information is available online from Englert.

Susan DeFreitas, EarthTechling