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Published on May 4th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer

6

Solé Power Tile to be CEC-Approved For California Roofs

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May 4th, 2010 by
 

SRS Energy’s unique thinfilm solar tile, the Solé Power Tile has just passed a key milestone. SRS Energy has obtained an ETL listing report certifying the Solé Power Tile has passed the testing associated with the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) UL 1703 standard. Passing this is the prerequisite for any solar photovoltaics to be approved by the State of California as eligible for CSI rebates from utilities. The second step is factory inspection.

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In June, the factory will be inspected, and then the Solé Power Tile will likely be included on the CEC approved module listing on July 1st. At that point California solar estimators will have the data they need to design systems using the state’s calculator including ratings of expected performance and SRS Energy will be able to start taking orders for California roofs.

Thin film is always more inefficient – but usually cheaper – but these thin film tiles are even more so – with only about 5% efficiency – and are more expensive per watt, so this would make this a very expensive roof that is barely a power producer. R&D also needs to continue to solve major durability questions like long-term fire resistance, shape-changing in the summer heat, de-lamination, discoloration and brittleness from UV radiation, and long-term fire resistance.

Abby Feinstein from SRS Energy tells me that while roofing giant Petersen-Dean is looking at working with home builders to use the solar tile in housing developments, smaller roofing companies are also being trained to install and retrofit existing homes.

Dan’s Roofing, LaRocque Better Roofs, and Scudder Roofing are among the California tile roofing contractors being trained using the solar powered tiles for both new roofs, or retrofitting existing clay tile roofs.

SRS Energy is partnering with California-based US Tile, the largest clay tile company in the US, to produce matching blue tiles so the entire roof can have a consistent look, while only the tiles that need to produce power will be solar Solé Power tiles.

However, the solar tiles can also be retrofit onto roofs previously installed with the traditional clay tile, to upgrade the roof to solar power, because the solar tiles are the exact same size and shape as the old-fashioned clay tiles that US Tile makes.

Ironically, that is because the company’s clay tiles, that we see on so many California roofs, have been produced in the same low-tech clay tile production method (creating the same size and shape) for decades. US Tile’s low tech production-line is what enables the easy upgrade to high tech power-producing roofs in California.

Image: SRS Energy

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • Lawrence

    Love the way this looks, and would like to find out more about it. Where can we purchase this, and how much is the system?

    • Bob_Wallace

      I don’t see any signs on the web of this company being in business.

  • http://leed-eg.com fayez ideas

    we are looking for solar paint and how we could order

    the products

  • SomeGuy

    In the last sentence of paragraph 3 you use the same phrase twice. Take your time proof reading.

  • http://ecdfan.blogspot.com ECD Fan

    A search on ETL’s web site indicates that SRS Energy HAS NOT obtained any UL 1703 certification:

    http://etlwhidirectory.etlsemko.com/WebClients/ITS/DLP/products.nsf/$$Search?OpenForm

    It appears that Ms. Abby Feinstein has struck again!

    • http://cleantechnica.com/author/susan Susan Kraemer

      ECD fan,
      Abbigail from the company told me that the factory inspection completes the UL certification process, only after the factory inspection would you expect the certification to show up on the underwriters site. She also said that you seem to be going after any company that uses Electronic Conversion Devices.

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