Power Producing Roof Revamps Australian Homes

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Today ARENA joined BlueScope Steel and Parliamentary Secretary Bob Baldwin at a Sydney home to officially ‘flick the switch’ at Australia’s first integrated photovoltaic thermal roofing system.

A clever new renewable energy solution combining COLORBOND® pre-painted steel sheet roofing with cutting-edge, thin-film solar panels is set to provide Australian homes with a streamlined, aesthetically pleasing rooftop energy system that captures the sun’s energy as both electricity and heat.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht joined Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Bob Baldwin, to launch the new technology at a home in Sydney today.

The $5 million landmark project was undertaken by the Australian-based global building market supplier BlueScope, with $2.3 million support from ARENA.

“Today we are witnessing an exciting new technology solution moving from the lab to be prototyped on everyday Australian rooftops for the first time,” Mr Frischknecht said. “The old corrugated steel roof on this house in Glebe has been completely replaced with the first integrated photovoltaic (PV) thermal system in Australia, generating reliable renewable energy for the residents. A tile roof in the Illawarra region has also been replaced with the integrated PV system, demonstrating its versatility. In addition to PV panels, an innovative thermal duct system warms and cools air to supplement air conditioning in the homes. These first installations are an important step as the technology moves towards commercialisation and cost competitiveness with conventional rooftop PV.”

Mr Frischknecht said the company had specifically designed the roofing system for Australia’s climate and building environments to ensure the PV systems were durable and robust.

“This new integrated PV system has been designed to provide a low cost system for Australian residential, commercial and industrial rooftops,” Mr Frischknecht said. “It has the potential to reduce installation and energy costs as well as reduce peak energy demands placed on the grid.”

BlueScope is trying to reduce system costs through improved PV modules and roofing designs, reduced packaging and transport, improved building energy efficiency and easy, low-cost installation.
 

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