Gorgeous Swedish Glass Tile Roof Makes Simple Solar Energy
The best green building innovation in Sweden, and winner of this year’s Nordbygg Gold Medal – these SolTech Energy tiles are engineered to turn the entire roof space into a solar heat farm, renewably harvesting the heat needed for the home heating system from sunshine.
The way it works is that the tiles use the heated air trapped under the glass. The hot air is fed through a conversion device that transforms it to a heated liquid. That can then be sent in pipes of hot liquid to connect to the home heating system, whether that is a heated air or hot water-based heating system.
Each square meter can generate between 300 and 500 kWh (in BTU equivalent) of heat per year, say the inventors. So a roof of about 20 sq meters – or 200 sq feet – would make about 8,000 kWh a year that a home would need to stay toasty through cold but sunny winters. For aesthetics sake, you would want to do the entire roof in the same glass tile, in which case you will easily use that much space.
While it will work most effectively on portions of the roof that face south, south-east or south-west, the north-facing portion of the roof can be sealed separately underneath so it will not lose heat for lack of sun.
These glass roof tiles are engineered for super strength and break resistance and have a longer life span than conventional roof tiles in clay or concrete, since the glass is UV resistant and is much more resistant to erosion.
In snowy climates like Sweden there is the added benefit that it helps shed snow because the heated glass is shiny and smooth, so snow slides off easily, so the roof can keep warming in the sun.