16 October, 2008

Almost Integrated Solar. (Missed It By THAT Much...)

Solar installation, anyone?  I have suggested that integrating solar power collection with building materials is a good way to get more acceptance and uptake of such technology.  It's good to see, then, that there are companies dealing with this problem.  I like this in general but I have two or three quibbles with it.

First, it's coloured.  That has to decrease the efficiency to some degree, not a bad thing if you manufacture the panels and sell a few more because of it I guess, but possibly not the most efficient...

Secondly - aww, come ON!  It may match the colour of the tiles but it immediately made me think "gingerbread house!" when I saw the picture.  Colour matching does not always equal aesthetics.

Lastly - and my main objection, I have to admit - is that it's NOT integrated with the building material, it's still mounted on top of the roof tiles.  It doesn't seem as secure to me attached to the roofing material as it would be if it WAS the roofing material.

I still believe that when you make the solar material collect solar electric power and also hot water, nd then make it a drop-in replacement for existing roofing material, it becomes much more likely to be accepted.  (I suggested making the panels similar in profile to corrugated iron as that's an Aussie icon, but making a panel look like patches of common roof tiles would also achieve the same functions.)

Come on solar energy industry, get a clue, do it right!

As with all my ideas, feel free to shower me with appreciation using my TEdADYNE Systems Paypal link if you find the idea useful or want to help me push it to public awareness...

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