By Valeria Hiraldo
The demand for renewable energy is growing and, above all, it is the consumer who prefers to place elements that provide them at home. The best known are solar panels, but advances in this field give us many new alternatives.
Among all these advances, today we want to highlight one of our favorites: solar tiles. It's simple: a roof that is full, or partially covered with these tiles, meets the energy needs of a family.
Photovoltaic and thermal solar tiles are a solution and alternative to traditional solar panels to take advantage of free and sustainable energy.
There are many varieties but in essence, it is a system that improves the aesthetics of conventional solar panels and that luckily is spreading in Europe. They allow obtaining renewable energy without affecting the aesthetics of the building, thanks to their similarity to conventional tiles, and most importantly: in addition to covering the roof of the house, they produce electricity and can be used to generate heat.
The initial investment is high, but in a very few years, it is more than compensated due to the savings in electricity.
Image of the “tegolasolare” model tile from the Area Industrie Ceramiche company
Solar tiles from the company SolTech Energy
In the images we have shown you some of the solar tiles of the Italian company Plexiglas, but this is not the only company that has improved the well-known solar panels. Various American and European companies have developed models that can be installed on any roof, although today we have made a small selection to show you the variety of models that are being developed.
This is the case of another Italian company called Area Industrie Ceramiche. The model is called "tegolasolare", and this red tile is made of four solar cells and can be installed in a conventional way, connecting the solar panels to create a photovoltaic field.
To give you an idea: an area of 40 m2 covered with these tiles has a capacity to generate 3 KW of energy.
Another novel model is presented by the Swedish company SolTech Energy, which is dedicated to obtaining solar energy. This long-established company won the “Best New Material 2010” award for its unique heating system with transparent glass tiles. These new tiles give a modern look to your roof because they are "glazed" tiles.
But it is not only aesthetic, these tiles are made of common glass and weigh the same as clay tiles. What makes them special is that they do not heat the water, as we are usually used to, but the clean air. They are installed on a black canvas, where the spaces are left for the air. The black color attracts heat and therefore the air that circulates underneath. This air is then used to heat water or directly a room.
The glazed tile system generates around 350 kWh of heat per square meter, depending on the climate.
The well-known leading solar energy company Solarcentury, holds the prestigious Rushlight Award for Solar Power for its solar tiles. For this, he managed to create a system that combines photovoltaic and thermal solar energy in a single tile. Its C21t tile facilitates the production of solar thermal energy thanks to its quick and easy installation, as well as its adaptation with any type of tile.
You no longer have excuses to join sustainability. There are alternatives for all tastes. These solar tiles, along with other resources to obtain renewable energy, can make our homes self-sustaining. Now it only remains for politicians to understand that they are the future ... of the planet.