It is interesting to note the ongoing research and development into integrating photo voltaic cells (solar panels) into the initial build of Australian homes. The ‘add-on’ approach to current solar installation – where, driving around Adelaide suburbs you currently see solar panels mounted on racking systems which are secured to the roof of houses, could well be considered old technology within the next few years. Companies like Stratco are marketing products (in Stratco’s case ‘Solatop‘) that integrate an aesthetically pleasing solar panel system into the roofing structure for new home construction as well as partial integration into existing roof structures.
Many of the larger Chinese solar panel manufacturers are developing integrated solar panels for commercial sized solar systems, suitable for use in large shopping centres, office towers and industrial complexes. One of the latest developments is a type of ‘solar film’ which allows for polymer based solar cells, less than 1mm thick to be fused onto, for example, the windows of high rise buildings, producing potentially 300 to 400 kilo watts of solar power on a 25 storey tower or apartment complex.
As architects increasingly consider energy efficiency measures when designing homes and commercial buildings, integrated solar power systems are likely to become a ‘standard option’ over the next 5 to 10 years.
The time lapse video below shows a ‘Solatop’ installation in action. (We have no affiliation with Stratco)