Technology

Mar 1, 2015

Heating Your Home

SolTech Energy, a Swedish company selling solutions for clean solar power, has developed a unique home heating system contained within roofing tiles made out of transparent glass. The attractive house-warming tiles give roofs a beautiful, icy appearance quite unlike anything else ever seen before.

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In 2009, the SolTech Energy System was selected by a jury and nominated among nine as the year's "Hottest New Material." Based on the people voting, the company's glass tiles were awarded with a gold medal from the North Building Fair, Nordbygg. "The winning entry combines an attractive design with essential functions for clean and sustainable energy. It is an innovative product that is well in time," said the chairman of the jury, PhD. Bengt Toolanen.

What makes the system so special and award worthy? For starters, the tiles are made from ordinary glass and have about the same weight as those made of clay. Secondly, the system doesn't heat up water or vacuum pipes, but clean air. The tiles are installed on top of a black nylon canvas, under which air slots are mounted. The black colour absorbs heat from the sun and the air starts to circulate. The hot air is then used to heat up water, which is connected to the house's heating system via an accumulator. The beauty of the system is that it cuts energy costs throughout the year, during dark winter days as well as night time, due to its capacity to store heat in the isolating layers of air under the canvas.

In an initial research phase the company collaborated with the Swedish glass mill Orrefors to develop the tiles. Today they are industrially produced in Portugal, but built on the same Swedish design.

The SolTech Energy System generates about 350 kWh heat per square meter (10 square ft), depending on climate, angle of the roof and cardinal direction.

The SolTech Power

This system is developed to generate electricity by use of solar PV cells. The SolTech Power can easily be installed in parallell with the Sigma or Alfa systems.

The system is designed for integration  with the building's existing energy solution, regardless of principal heat source. The most common solutions are to connect our thermal systems to a water borne heating system via an accumulation tank and SolTech Power to an Inverter to generate 230V AC.

In northern Europe countries, the greatest amount of energy is naturally generated during the summer but during spring and autumn a considerable amount of energy is also produced. A major advantage of the SolTech System is that it does not need bright sunshine to work, which means that it also generates energy on a day with slight overcast. The best effect is achieved on the roof if it is facing south, but southwest and southeast means only small losses.

The optimal slope of the roof in northern Europe is around 45 degrees, but a good effect is achieved already at 22 degrees inclination. If you have less than that, a SolTech wall solution is recommended. The optimal slope depends on the latitude of the house, the closer to the Equator you get, the lesser the slope is required.

If you do not need to replace the roof, we easily and neatly integrate the energy-efficient roof as part of your existing roof. You get a sleek and smooth transition between the traditional roof and energy efficient roof.

Solar Energy – The Long Term Solution

The Sun is our only sustainable primary energy source. Despite that, we only use a fraction of the energy the Sun gives us.

The energy sources we mainly rely on today are either fossil fuel, hydro-power or nuclear power. Fossil fuels and nuclear power do not represent a long-term or environmentally sustainable solution and are considered finite resources.

A solar energy system, on the other hand, offers homeowners not only environmental but economical benefits too, in a world with globally rising electricity prices – a trend not likely to be broken in the foreseeable future!

As the annual amount of sun is constant those who invest in the right solar energy system can secure their future energy costs. You know exactly how many kWh your system generates at a kWh price you know in advance. Furthermore, you are making an active environmental choice as solar energy is the most long-lasting and long-term sustainable energy source available.

A system installation for solar energy like the unique SECT system has a long lifetime and as a rule few parts that can break.

Techo Solar

It is part of the SolTech System solutions. The system is primarily designed for Mediterranean and Arabic countries like Spain and Saudi Arabia with roof structures of concrete.

On the simplest level, the Solar Roof is essentially a roof tile that is designed to use the suns energy to generate hot water within any home or building.

However, its uses are far more wide ranging in that it can be used to cover both open and closed spaces, offering the dual function of protecting from the elements as well as utilizing solar radiation to heat water for multiple uses, varying from the basic daily domestic hot water requirement of any home, to actually providing the hot water needed in heated pools and water-based central heating systems.

At a glance, the system consists of heavy duty transparent glass tiles encasing an insulated solar insulation system that combine to both convert solar energy as well as providing additional insulation within any building.

The tiles are fully integrated into the buildings structure and provide an aesthetic and modern feel to any edifice, contrasting widely with the ugly and fractured finish projected by alternate solar technologies, particularly conventional Solar Panels. This means that solar roof can be used to substitute for any roof, to cover or shade any open space, to cover sports courts or swimming pools and even to provide terraced cover for open spaces in domestic gardens, restaurants, golf clubs, hotels and numerous other outdoor areas.

Importantly, and again in total contrast to traditional Solar Panel technologies, the solar roof´s capacity for simple and aesthetic integration means that it capitalizes on the utilization of existing building facades, rather than rendering useless alternate-use areas such as back gardens and terraces. In fact, one of the real advantages of the systems that by essentially re-using existing spaces, it opens the door to solar heating systems that would previously have been closed due to the excess space requirements of traditional solar panel technologies.

The solar roof has also been essentially designed as a plug-and-play-system. This means that not only is the system designed with architectonic and aesthetic integration in mind, but technically, the system can be integrated with nearly all existing central, pool and domestic water heating systems.

Before now, the significant technological advances in solar energy systems have not addressed the realities of everyday living in modern homes. Utilization of space, durability, disposable income concerns, and aesthetics have all come a poor second to the technologies involved.

The solar roof however is the first solar energy system that has been designed to address these common and real concerns with the result being the first Solar Energy System that can be seamlessly and aesthetically integrated into any modern home or building.

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