Lightweight Solar Panels Can Be Used On Flat Roofs

Beamreach Solar has introduced Sprint, a lightweight photovoltaic solar panel system for flat commercial roofs.

Beamreach Solar has introduced Sprint, a lightweight photovoltaic solar panel system for flat commercial roofs.

Beamreach Solar has introduced Sprint, a lightweight photovoltaic solar panel system for flat commercial roofs. Sprint can be installed on nearly all commercial roofs that cannot currently support heavy conventional solar systems, dramatically expanding the commercial solar power market. Featuring maximum power capacities ranging from 290 to 320 watts, Sprint integrates racking into the panel for quicker installation that requires no tools and no grounding. Sprint’s design also reduces the distance required between panel rows, enabling up to 30 percent more panels to be installed on a roof, increasing the solar system’s overall energy output. Sprint panels have been tested to support test loads up to 5,400 Pascals and withstand wind speeds of 115 mph. Sprint also comes with a 25-year linear output warranty and 10-year product warranty.

MiaSolé and GTech Global Partner to Sell FLEX Modules in Northern California

GTech Global and MiaSolé have entered into a sales representative agreement. GTech Global will sell MiaSolé FLEX modules in Northern California. GTech Global “GTG” and its associates have more than 35 years of business experience in developing and implementing energy-efficient building solutions. Their group has focused their expertise on energy management and conservation. A broad range of experience has qualified GTG to be a developer of energy management programs. They are excited to partner with MiaSolé and the opportunity to help serve the thin-film solar market.

GTech Global will sell MiaSolé FLEX modules, efficient thin-film lightweight flexible modules with an efficiency rating of more than 16 percent. MiaSolé FLEX modules bond directly to the roof surface with a simple peel-and-stick adhesive. The low-profile FLEX module provides superior wind resistance and a seismic advantage over traditional rack-and-panel systems where their higher profile and method of attachment increases the likelihood of damage in an earthquake, making FLEX modules the ideal solar solution for the Northern California market. This adhesive approach also eliminates the need for racking and reduces labor and logistics cost to provide a 20 percent lower BOS cost than traditional glass solar systems.

The FLEX-02 Series module is available in two formats. The FLEX-02W module is 39.3 by 102.3 inches and is rated at 360 watts, and designed for low-slope commercial single-ply roof systems. The FLEX-02N module is 14.6 by 102.3 inches and is rated at 120 watts, and designed specifically for standing-seam metal roofs. The FLEX-02 Series module is IEC 61646 & IEC 61730 and UL 1703 certified.

The FLEX-02 module provides GTech Global customers other significant benefits. The low weight of the module (less than 0.7 pound per square foot) allows installation on roofs that cannot support the weight of traditional glass solar panels. Because the FLEX-02 panels adhere directly to the roof surface, there are no penetrations, eliminating the worry of leakage and damage to valuable contents within the building. The FLEX-02 also is aesthetically pleasing, blending into metal and TPO roofs and preserving the original look of the roof.

Projects: Office and Warehouse

BMC ISSAQUAH, ISSAQUAH, WASH.

Because of the steep slope of this roof, the Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal crew installed 60-mil Sureweld HS (High Slope) TPO.

Because of the steep slope of this roof, the Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal crew installed 60-mil Sureweld HS (High Slope) TPO.

Team

Roofing Contractor: Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal, Kent, Wash.
Project Foreman: Rudy Sanchez

Roof Materials

Because of the steep slope of this roof, the Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal crew installed 60-mil Sureweld HS (High Slope) TPO. HS TPO contains more fire-retardant chemicals in the membrane to help decrease the spread of fire. In addition, 1/4-inch Securock Glass-Mat Roof Board was installed, which gave the building a Class A fire rating while helping protect against moisture and mold.

TPO Manufacturer: Carlisle Syntec Systems
Roof Board Manufacturer: USG

Roof Report

BMC Issaquah manufactures doors and high-end cabinetry. The industrial building features a 525-square barrel roof that was very wet and experienced dry rot. The crew replaced nearly 150 sheets of plywood throughout the project.

The main challenge during installation was safety because of the extreme slope. The barrel roof is nearly 60-feet tall from the bottom to the top of the barrel, making installation on the edges difficult because crewmembers had to hot-air weld rolled product on a nearly vertical surface. The HS TPO added another level of difficulty while welding along the edges.

The project was completed on May 1, 2015.

PHOTO: Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal

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Metal Roof and Walls Help Home Reach Lofty Design Goals

When Ilhan Eser and his wife Kamer decided to build their new home in Woodland, Calif., they had some ambitious criteria in mind. They wanted the home to not only be energy efficient, but to produce enough energy to be self-sustaining. They also desired a home with great aesthetics that fit in with the beautiful countryside and minimized impact on the environment.

Ilhan and Kamer Eser decided to design and build their own home on 80 acres of land in the California countryside. Their goal was to have a LEED-certifiable house powered by solar energy and protected by a highly insulated metal wall and roof system.

Ilhan and Kamer Eser decided to design and build their own home on 80 acres of land in the California countryside. Their goal was to have a LEED-certifiable house powered by solar energy and protected by a highly insulated metal wall and roof system.


As the CEO of Morin, a Kingspan Group company, Eser had another key design goal: to showcase his company’s metal roof and wall systems. “We wanted to do something that was good for the environment and the country,” Eser recalls. “So we said, let’s do a LEED-certifiable, net-zero house that will be a house of the future, if you will, using our company’s products. Our company is all about being environmental and being green and being sustainable, so that was the starting point.”

The result is a home that provides more than enough energy to meet its own needs with solar panels. It also captures graywater (gently used household wastewater) to use for irrigation and features a cutting-edge geothermal heating and cooling system that does not burn fossil fuels. All the household systems can be operated with a smartphone. “I believe in the future every house will be built like this, with your energy on top of your roof, basically,” Eser notes.

The metal roofing and wall systems are made of durable, highly recyclable materials and provide a high level of insulation to help keep energy costs down. The roof design features stunning angles, including an inverted “butterfly” roof over the great room to bring in the maximum amount of natural light.

As he began the project, Eser soon realized that he was breaking new ground in more ways than one. He found most residential architects and general contractors were unfamiliar with metal framing, roofs and walls, so he decided to tackle the design himself. He also served as his own general contractor, tapping into his 30 years of experience in commercial and industrial applications.

“I decided to look at it as if it were a light commercial building, and then I started finding people,” he says. “It was an interesting experience. I designed the house myself—although my wife had the overriding power, as always. She had to approve whatever I did, and when we had an argument, you probably can imagine who won.”

The Project Takes Wing

When it came time to discuss installing the roof and wall systems, Eser called Rua and Son Mechanical Inc., headquartered in Lincoln, Calif. According to President Louie Rua, the company focuses on metal roofing and wall panels—and that’s all they’ve done for the last 25 years. “We are very specialized in what we do,” Rua says. “We’re certified installers for most if not all of the metal roofing systems out there, and we also do our own custom fabrication. It’s become a niche market, so we travel around quite a bit.”

The roof of the Eser residence features unconventional angles, including a large section over the great room with an inverted butterfly design that required an internal gutter system.

The roof of the Eser residence features unconventional angles, including a large section over the great room with an inverted butterfly design that required an internal gutter system.

The company has made a name for itself by excelling on high-end, intricate and cutting-edge metal projects that transcend typical warehouse applications. “We’ve found that when we go outside the box and take on the real difficult projects, the ones that are a little bit intimidating for other companies, that’s where we excel,” Rua says. “We’ve been doing it so long, and our team has a wealth of experience. When the trickier jobs come around, we are well equipped to handle them.”

This project was right up the company’s alley. “Ilhan was pretty adamant he wanted us to do it,” Rua recalls. “This was his personal house, so it was quite a compliment. I took on the challenge, and we took it very seriously. We worked through what it would cost, how long it would take, all the dynamics. His design team did all the preliminary design and then our team got in there and played with it a little bit and made a few tweaks. We put a lot of thought into those details.”

Rua admits the high-profile nature of the client and the complexity of the project were daunting. “Any job when you first jump into it and see it’s outside the box can be intimidating,” Rua says. “But then as you get familiar with it and start breaking it down and working through it, it gets easier. One of my lead superintendents, Fernando Huizar, was knee-deep in it, and he and Ilhan really hit it off, which is important. The relationship with our clients is our first priority, and on every job we strive to meet and exceed their expectations. It couldn’t have gone any smoother.”

Rua and Son Mechanical installed the double-layered roof and wall systems, which consisted of insulated metal panels (IMPs) and aluminum finish systems. The 7,500 square feet of exterior walls are made up of 4-inch-thick IMPs, topped with concealed-fastener panels. The mechanically seamed roof incorporates 8,000 square feet of 6-inch IMPs. The custom finish is Kameleon Dusty Rose, which changes color from green to yellow to silver to bronze to brown, depending on the amount of sunlight hit-ting it and angle from which it is viewed.

PHOTOS: CHIP ALLEN ARCHITECTURAL IMAGES

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Solar PV Tiles Fit Alongside Standard Roof Tiles

The Intecto integrated solar PV tile from Romag is specially designed to fit seamlessly alongside standard residential and commercial roof tiles and is available in a range of colours to match existing roof coverings.

The Intecto integrated solar PV tile from Romag is specially designed to fit seamlessly alongside standard residential and commercial roof tiles and is available in a range of colours to match existing roof coverings.

A new concept in building integrated PV products from solar manufacturer Romag means property aesthetics, building design and visual appearance need not be compromised by rooftop solar Installations.

The Intecto integrated solar PV tile is specially designed to fit seamlessly alongside standard residential and commercial roof tiles and is available in a range of colours to match existing roof coverings.

The system has been specifically developed to enable architects, house builders and roofing contractors to provide an effective rooftop PV solution with a conventional appearance and without any compromise in solar power production.

Installed directly and securely onto wood roofing battens using a guaranteed fixing system, the frameless Intecto units sit flush with conventional interlocking concrete, clay and terracotta tiles and can be used to provide a whole roof PV solution if required.

The lightweight tiles reduce roof loading, eliminating the need for any roof reinforcement, and contribute to higher Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM ratings.

The special roof integrated tiles have been developed to meet design and aesthetic considerations, and can be used to meet specific planning conditions. They are also appropriate for use in heritage and green-belt areas, where the requirement is for rooftop solar PV systems that maintain the integrity of individual buildings and their local environment.

The Intecto roof tiles incorporate the same high-quality PV cells used in Romag’s existing range of PV products, enabling the system to provide the same weatherproofing and protection measures provided by traditional tiles, but with the added benefit of renewable energy generation.

Available in black, grey and terracotta colours, the new range is fully IEC and MCS certified and complies with other international and European building industry regulations and roofing performance standards.

Flisom Receives Investment from Tata Group for Thin-film Solar Module Production Plant

Flisom, a Swiss company developing innovative technologies for manufacturing of flexible thin-film CIGS solar modules (copper-indium-gallium-(di)selenide), has received an additional investment of CHF 10 million following an earlier investment of CHF 42.5 million in 2013 for the pilot production plant with an annual capacity of 15MW in Niederhasli-Zurich in Switzerland. During the last years, Flisom improved the design of roll-to-roll manufacturing machines for processing and scaled them up from 50-centimeter-wide to 1-meter-wide rolls—an unprecedented scale of manufacturing capability for continuous processing of cost-efficient, high-performance monolithically interconnected flexible CIGS solar modules on plastic foil.

This fourth round of funding comes from Flisom’s existing strategic investor, the Tata group, a global enterprise headquartered in India. “We are very pleased with this further investment from the Tata group coming on the eve of the inauguration of Flisom’s 15 MW capacity pilot production plant, and we thank the Tata group and existing investors for their continued support,” says Ayodhya Nath Tiwari, chairman of Flisom Co.

“We appreciate the systematic approach towards innovation and the continuous hard work of Flisom’s team in developing a unique manufacturing plant, while partnering with Empa with several efficiency-related records for flexible solar cells,” says K.R.S. Jamwal, executive director, Tata Industries. He adds, “This investment marks Tata group’s interest in next-generation technology for the solar photovoltaic industry.”

“With the investment received in 2013, Flisom refurbished an old manufacturing building of 4,500-square-meter ground area in Niederhasli, in the outskirts of Zurich, to install all the needed machines for solar module manufacturing on 1-meter-wide rolls. At the same time, Flisom continued technology development on 50-centimeter-wide rolls at its Dübendorf plant, located on the campus of Empa,” says Flisom’s COO, Sudheer Kumar.

The CEO of Flisom, Ulfert Rühle says: “After the successful installation of machines and other factory infrastructure in Niederhasli, the next step is to transfer the process know-how on these high-tech machines using specifically customized designs. Some of the machines are based on many years of development by experts, innovative proprietary designs and complex engineering making Flisom’s machines unique for achieving cost and performance efficiency targets for a breakthrough manufacturing”.

“The 15MW plant will serve as a proven blueprint for establishing larger production plants having a production capacity greater than 100 MW as well as low capital and operating expenditures. Flisom has been working steadily towards lowering the costs of manufacturing of flexible solar modules,” adds CEO Rühle.

Flisom’s high-performance, lightweight, and robust products and systems could lower the price of solar electricity thanks to low material usage, economic production technology, and reduced storage, transportation and installation costs. Markets addressable by Flisom’s flexible solar module manufacturing technology include utility scale solar farms, building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), building applied photovoltaics (BAPV), transportation and portable power.

Ayodhya N. Tiwari, founder of the ETHZ spin-off company Flisom and the head of the Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics, Empa-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technologies, believes that the high-efficiency flexible and lightweight CIGS thin-film solar cells have great potential to provide low-cost installed solar systems, bringing many beneficial features together in a very unique manner. In addition to the economic benefits, CIGS thin-film solar modules, known for faster energy payback than the mainstream Si wafer technology, will significantly contribute to CO2 reduction. Future norms and regulations are expected to enforce application of carbon footprint reducing technologies. Therefore, the broad range of applications of flexible lightweight CIGS modules, especially in buildings, will open up untapped markets worth several billion euros while advantageously reducing carbon footprint. This goal is achievable with highly efficient, long-term performance stable, low-cost solar modules produced in a low-capex production plant.

Empa and Flisom have been cooperating for a number of years to develop a unique industrial-scale production platform for CIGS thin-film solar modules. “Scale-up for large-area solar modules and adapting these complex innovative processes for industrial manufacturability is quite a challenge and requires close collaboration between research labs and industrial partners for transferring research excellence to industrial usability,” says Pierangelo Groening, head of the Department of Advanced Materials and Surfaces and member of Empa’s Board of Directors. ”For industrial partners such as Flisom, we provide support on different topics to enable industrial development of novel and innovative concepts, which often require sophisticated analytical tools and skilled experts.” Empa CEO Gian-Luca Bona adds: “We are pleased that Empa’s innovations in the field of renewable energy, especially in photovoltaics, are being transferred to industry for the benefits of a more sustainable society with a growing energy demand. This example perfectly illustrates Empa’s role as a bridge between research and practical applications.”

“Flisom is thankful to Empa for very valuable and sustained research and development support over several years. Flisom also thanks Swiss federal and European funding agencies for their continuous support. Besides the technological progress, the number of employees during the last two years have gone up to more than 55 now, and of course more employment opportunities for technically skilled persons are open for the production plant in Niederhasli,” says Flisom CEO Ulfert Rühle.

Thin-film PV Provides Greater than 16 Percent Cell Efficiency

MiaSolé has made available its second-generation FLEX Series Modules.

MiaSolé has made available its second-generation FLEX Series Modules.

MiaSolé has made available its second-generation FLEX Series Modules. The CIGS-based flexible thin-film PV modules provide greater than 16 percent cell efficiency for many types of roof applications. FLEX-02W module is 39 by 102 inches, rated at 360 watts and designed for low-slope commercial single-ply roof systems. FLEX-02N module is 14.6 by 102 inches, rated at 120W and designed for standing-seam metal roofs. Both modules bond to the roof surface with a simple peel-and-stick adhesive, which eliminates the need for racking and reduces labor and logistics costs. The FLEX-02 Series modules are IEC 61646, IEC 61730 and UL 1703 certified.

Upgraded Solar Roofing System Combines Greater Efficiency with Easy Wiring

The lightweight, durable panels are resistant to wind uplift and can be integrated into an existing roof or with the installation of a new roof that combines solar panels and asphalt shingles or flat concrete tiles.

The lightweight, durable panels are resistant to wind uplift and can be integrated into an existing roof or with the installation of a new roof that combines solar panels and asphalt shingles or flat concrete tiles.

Now featuring 60-watt monocrystalline integrated photovoltaic panels, CertainTeed Corp.’s Apollo II solar roofing system combines greater efficiency and aesthetics with its trademark easy wiring installation. The lightweight, durable panels are resistant to wind uplift and can be integrated into an existing roof or with the installation of a new roof that combines solar panels and asphalt shingles or flat concrete tiles.

“The solar industry continues to evolve and the demand for more efficient, affordable residential electricity-generating roofing systems is growing exponentially,” says Mark Stancroff, director, CertainTeed Solar. “The newly enhanced Apollo II is not only more efficient but also comes with one of the most robust warranties in the industry—with CertainTeed warrantying the Apollo II system itself and its installation by a CertainTeed certified installer.”

Like its predecessor, the newly enhanced Apollo II fully integrates with roofing shingles for a clean, seam-less appearance. Each slim, 12-pound module features 14 high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells. Its low-profile design does not require structural reinforcement or evaluation, and the sleek black frame, cells and backsheet visually blend with surrounding shingles. The product also features an open space under the modules to allow for easier electrical wiring. Water channels and raised fastener locations further improve water-proofing of the solar roofing system.

Each slim, 12-pound module features 14 high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells. Its low-profile design does not require structural reinforcement or evaluation, and the sleek black frame, cells and backsheet visually blend with surrounding shingles.

Each slim, 12-pound module features 14 high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells. Its low-profile design does not require structural reinforcement or evaluation, and the sleek black frame, cells and backsheet visually blend with surrounding shingles.

Also available with the same powerful characteristics, Apollo Tile II offers an integrated system designed for flat, concrete tiles. It weighs 13 pounds and features a natural brown frame, black cells and black backsheet for curb appeal.

The Apollo II and Apollo Tile II systems are available nationwide and are offered in pre-engineered kits containing all components necessary for installation. Apollo II systems are Class A fire-rated and meet UL 790, UL 1703 and IEC 61215 requirements. Apollo II is also rated for wind resistance up to 110 mph and loads up to 250 pounds per square foot. In addition, the product is backed by a warranty for electricity output and installation workmanship, carrying a 25-year limited power warranty and 10-year limited product warranty.

Apollo II qualifies for a 30 percent federal tax credit and may be eligible for state rebates and incentives listed at Dsireusa.org. Additional incentives may also be available through local utility providers.

PHOTOS: CertainTeed Corp.

Next Generation Solar Roofing System

CertainTeed Corp.'s Apollo II next generation solar roofing system

CertainTeed Corp.’s Apollo II next generation solar roofing system

CertainTeed Corp. has introduced its Apollo II next generation solar roofing system featuring integrated photovoltaic (PV) panels that combine greater efficiency and improved aesthetics with easier wiring installation. Featuring 54-watt monocrystalline panels, Apollo II is lightweight, durable, resistant to wind uplift, and can easily be integrated into an existing roof or with the installation of a new roof that combines solar panels and asphalt shingles.

Like its predecessor, Apollo II fully integrates with roofing shingles for a clean, seamless appearance not found with rack-mounted systems. Each slim, 12-pound module features 14 high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells. Its low profile design does not require structural reinforcement or evaluation, and the sleek black frame, cells and backsheet visually blend with surrounding shingles. The enhanced product also features an open space under the modules to allow for easier electrical wiring. New water channels and raised fastener locations further improve roof deck integrity.

The Apollo II system is offered in pre-engineered kits containing all components necessary for installation. Modules are Class A fire rated and meet UL 790 requirements. Apollo II is also rated for wind resistance up to 110 mph and loads up to 250 lbs per square foot. In addition, the product is backed by the industry’s only warranty for both electricity output and installation workmanship. Apollo II qualifies for a 30 percent federal tax credit and may be eligible for state rebates and incentives. Additional incentives may also be available through local utility providers.

CertainTeed offers a powerful portfolio of photovoltaic roofing systems, including, Solstice rack-mounted, high-performance monocrystalline panels featuring one of the best ratios of energy per area and PowerMax premium class, copper-indium-selenium (CIS) thin film rack mounted panels for residential and commercial applications. Designed to meet the demands of sustainable construction and replacement roofing, these products leverage next generation technology to generate unrivaled performance without compromising aesthetics.