Area Industrie Ceramiche makes a red clay roof tile that the Italian company claims is very resistant to weather and capable of absorbing less water and heat. But that's just the original tile. If you go with the "tegolasolare" version, you'll end up with a roof integrated solar solution that's so handsome others may not realize it's wired to generate energy.
Tegolasolare is made with four solar cells on a ceramic roof tile. The solar tile installs like a non-solar tile, while the panels are connected to create a photovoltaic field.
One can cover the entire roof or a portion, giving flexibility to avoid shade and other problem areas. Also, if a tile goes out, it can be replaced without affecting the rest of the system. Tiles are 18 inches (46 centimeters) square.
Wiring leads to an inverter, where DC is transformed and fed into the power grid. A 430 square-foot (40 m2) roof of monocrystalline tiles produces, according to Area Industrie Ceramiche, about 3 kW of power.
Photos: Area Industrie Ceramiche; noticed at Gizmodo.
Article tags: alternative energy