Standing Seam BIPV with a Quick Payback


We keep hearing about thin film solar innovation and building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), but it may be hard to image how this technology will play a part in the future of our buildings.  But I think CENTRIA Services Group has a product that could certainly change that: EnergyPeak.  They’ve combined the flexibility of laminate photovoltaics (LPV) with strong, durable standing seam roof panels to create a rooftop solar option with a fast payback.  I mean, just look at the diagram and check out its immediately recognizable benefits:

  • You obviate the need for racking systems.
  • The flexible solar laminate is flush with the standing seam roof panels and unobtrusive.
  • The integrated design eliminates the need to tear into your roof with mounts, racks, and other equipment.
  • The solar is mounted on a standing seam roof, which has been a popular roofing option.

The solar laminates used in EnergyPeak are from Uni-Solar.  They are encapsulated in UV stabilized polymers partially made with ETFE, a high light transmissive polymer.  Uni-Solar PVLs are glassless, shadow and high heat tolerant, and come with power ratings from 64-136W.  Using Uni-Solar PVLs, CENTRIA markets the EnergyPeak system to have the following benefits:

  1. ROI of 10 years or less
  2. 20-year warranty
  3. Product delivery from reputable standing seam roof manufacturer
  4. A complete, standardized solar roof system with everything
  5. Roof panel integrated photovoltaics

All in all, I really like this product.  Standing seam roof products have been popular because they’re durable, weathertight, lightweight, and easy to install and maintain.  We’ll keep you updated as case studies are posted to the EnergyPeak website.

Rendering credits: EnergyPeak.

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  • Sea Wolf

    Looks smart. But of course if you have a gabled roof with two pitches and one faces north, you’re not going to want a pv-integrated roof on that side, just the standing seam, so now you have a two-tone roof, which isn’t bad but not quite as visually seamless as the concept suggests.

    • Preston

      Sure, but if you put solar of any kind on a roof, it won’t be seamless in terms of color. Even integrated sunslates or eagle roof tiles, etc., have a color thing. But this is certainly a good option: nothing sticking up or out on your roof. I like it.

  • selophane

    The laminate solar roofing systems always have the flaw that when you have to repair the roof underneath the entire system has to be replaced. How modular is this system? If i have to change out a defective standing seam panel, can i replace the same bit of PV roofing, do I need a whole new segment, or a whole new roof?

    • John Foreman

      Hey guys,

      I’m John Foreman, the Solar Engineer at EnergyPeak.

      To Sea Wolf – Yes we do not recommend N/NE/NW facing arrays (for North America) unless the slope is less than 3:12 or 18 degrees. As we approach “flat-plate” azimuth matters less and less.

      Preston – Thanks.

      Seolphane – No individual BIPV laminates (per metal roof panel) can be both repaired or replaced (depending upon the incurred damage to the laminate). In either case, the laminates can be removed and the paint / finish / metal roof will still be perfectly in tact.

      P.S. I’ve done all kinds of PV power-systems modeling of various semiconductor materials, accelerated exposure/weather testing of BIPV, was previously a Patent examiner in semiconductor/laser arts, and before that a Materials Science and Engineering student focusing on Electronic/Photonic materials.

      • John Foreman

        Seolphane, that should read… “No, each individual BIPV laminate can defenetely be individually repaired/replaced without disturbing the metal roof or it’s finish.”

        Also, We are soon to release a mecahnical BIPV attachment method (read thin-film PV not-adhered to the flat center-pan of the standing seam) for billions of sq.ft. of existing / retrofit space – using S-5! + matching roof flash + thin films. Still, lightweight, no heavy panels, no penetrations into your roof.

        Still we offer lower integration with –> professional metal roofing + electrical labor = no 3rd party, costly $, PV installers.

  • Anonymous

    I am curious, I have a 3 year old Fabral Standing Seam roof I installedon my home. I am interested in the possibility of installing this type of solar film on an existing roof ?

  • LenMinNJ

    2/3/2011: Their web site is dead

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