These days it seems there are plenty of reasons for homeowners to consider the switch to solar power, not the least of which is a pretty attractive tax rebate from the good 'ole federal government. But for those who also take aesthetics into consideration in their home improvement decisions, there has always been the pesky issue of plunking the somewhat bulky panels on top of your roof for all the world to see...until now.
Thanks to the work of SRS Energy, a Philadephia-based company that develops and manufactures premium solar roofing tiles designed to seamlessly integrate with traditional roofing products. (See image above where blue solar tiles have been added to a traditional mission-style tiled roof). Marketed as the Solé Power Tile™, these SRS Energy roofing tiles are designed to capture and convert sunlight into cost-saving electricity without compromising aesthetics. The tiles are offered as an integrated upgrade to a traditional roofing purchase. Added to the protection and curb appeal expected from a premium roofing system, homeowners are able to capitalize on solar electricity as sustainable value
This lightweight, recyclable-plastic tile is the first solar roofing system designed for traditional California architecture. Its tough, molded-plastic body is fused with a sheet of flexible solar chips from Uni Solar that give it its distinctive blue color. And although its noncrystalline silicone cells gather less energy than conventional tilt-up panels with stiff crystalline cells, they react to a broader spectrum of light even on foggy, cloudy days. (Zahid Sardar, SF Chronicle)
Another huge advantage of the Solé Power Tile is that it is far less sensitive to sunlight than traditional solar cells, and thanks to the unique design that allows each tile to connect to its neighbor almost like Legos, homeowners can be confident that the power transfer will continue, even if one tile in the chain becomes damaged or stops working.
(Image Credit: SRS Energy)