Environment

Stafier's solar roof tiles appear wafier thin

Stafier's solar roof tiles app...
Stafier's PV roof tile system recesses into the roof
Stafier's PV roof tile system recesses into the roof
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Stafier's PV roof tile system recesses into the roof
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Stafier's PV roof tile system recesses into the roof
A single panel is four tiles in size and can generate up to 55 W of electrical power
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A single panel is four tiles in size and can generate up to 55 W of electrical power

If aesthetic concerns are keeping you from buying some solar panels to stick on your roof, Stafier's expansion into photovoltaics may be of interest. As phrases go "support system" is about as exciting as sniffing cardboard, but though that is what this is, the upshot is that the solar panels are more or less flush to the surrounding tiles, keeping your roof's even apperance.

Though they appear to be extremely thin PV panels, they are in fact set into the roof, replacing the tiles that were there. The Dutch company claims the system works with more or less any sort of roof, and uses aluminum sheets to create a seal between your solar panels and ordinary tiles. A panel the size of four tiles can generate up to 55 W of electrical power.

A single panel is four tiles in size and can generate up to 55 W of electrical power
A single panel is four tiles in size and can generate up to 55 W of electrical power

According to Red Dot, which recently gave Stafier a design award for the product, the system has been tested under rainstorm conditions in a wind tunnel and found to be weatherproof (you'd hope, wouldn't you?). A ventilation system built into the rear of the tile helps keep them cool, as though PV panels like light, heat actually compromises their efficiency.

Sources: Stafier, Red Dot, via Inhabitat

10 comments
The Skud
Neat! Now if they can bring out a version shaped like steel roofing sheets, they will sell many, many more.
BigGoofyGuy
I also think it could be a great way to keep the design of ones house and still have solar panels. I think it would be really good for new construction where one can design the roof to accomodate it. I give it two green thumbs up. :)
Bruce H. Anderson
More connection points means more potential points of failure. My biggest concern (besides hail) is how well the roof detail will hold up over time.
Don Duncan
So the new selling point for these solar panels is: Ours look better, not cost less, not more efficient, but fit flush on the roof. When did aerodynamics become important?
Would ventilation be necessary if they used an IR reflective coating? Or turned the IR into electricity?
I'll wait for solar to have a payback time of 5 years. That's all I care about.
WhyEyeWine
If heat is such a factor, why are the damned things always so black?
Dr D
The issue is NOT design or aerodynamics it is WEIGHT. The number one reason besides cost for not doing solar panels is that the conventional "panels" are HUGELY heavy and often need an architect to do a full weight analysis prior to installation. Here in hurricane zones the added weight is enough to disallow the use and we are the PERFECT area to have solar (I live in Orlando) but for the weight issues. These new tiles could easily be a game changer except I can't find them here in the USA yet.
Stephen N Russell
Mass produce if doable & cut weight so not to effect roof.
Cecil Hutchins
How well do they hold up to leaves, limbs, cats and squirrels? If I need to go up on the roof to fetch a Frisbee, can I without them being damaged? Just keeping it real.
Sheryl Hamlin
Looks promising. Wonder how they compare to Dow Solar tiles. Aesthetics are a huge issue in my mind and I will definitely buy something like this for my next roof.
Bill M
Oh my, I never thought it was possible. Had I known I would have held back on my purchase. I'll just have to readjust my roof (like that's gonna be easy). Aesthetics aside, does anyone know how these fare in terms of heat compared to conventional PV panels?