Science

Published on January 30th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi

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The Latest Roofing Technologies

Roofs have stayed more or less the same for decades, with little to no advancements in their functionality or look, aside from some colour and material additions. All that is about to change though with these latest roofing technologies that are coming into the market. With a demand for greener options, more natural light, customization and better quality, the industry has adapted and provided. Here are the latest roofing technologies we’re seeing in 2018.

Solar Panel Shingles

Just a few years ago a solar roof was either completely out of the question, or astronomically expensive. Now, with the demand for green energy and conservation higher than ever, it’s never been easier to get a solar roof. Your options in solar energy have expanded as well, with different types of technology and aesthetics available.

  1. Solar Shingles
    Dow Chemical has a line of solar-integrated rooftop shingles available that are sleek and look like shingles, rather than clunky slats on your roof.  These shingles are plastic-coated Powerhouse shingles, and they can convert 13% of the sun’s energy into electricity.
    Most thin-film solar cells have a conversion rate of only 11%. The shingles do come at higher cost, at around $10,000 for 250 shingles which would cover around 1,000 square feet. Promising to pay for themselves within a decade, this product is a leader in solar shingle roofing.
  2. Power Tiles
    SRS Energy launched a product called Solé Power Tiles, that promised to make installation a breeze, a great perk for roofing contractors, and a money-saver for you. These tiles are designed to mimic the shape of classic southern style homes in the Spanish colonial aesthetic.
    Similar to interlocking mission-style clay or cement shingles, these solar tiles can be easily integrated into roofs with a similar existing aesthetic. With flexibility of similar design, homeowners can choose how many existing tiles to replace with solar ones, allowing them to make the change gradually over time, rather than all at once.
  3. Glass Solar Heat Shingles
    Sweden-based SolTech Energy has created a glass tile that brings the best of both worlds together. These translucent mission tiles give the illusion of a roof tiled with ice, shimmering and stunning. These glass tiles capture heat from the sun, and then use it to warm air beneath the tiles.
    This warm air is then used to heat water and warm the house in the wintertime. Depending on weather conditions and the angle of the roof, these tiles are said to be able to produce 350 kWh of heat per square meter.
  4. Solar Roof Systems
    SunTegra has created a new roof technology that is actually part of the roof, rather than just sitting on top of it, like most shingles. Beating out Elon Musk’s plan to do just this, SunTegra’s Solar Roof Systems is the first of its kind.

Improvements in Shingle Quality and Additional Variety for Homeowners

While roofing and shingles haven’t had much of an overhaul in the last 30 years or so, there have been some improvements that allow for a better overall experience. Instead of multi-layer laminated shingles being made offline, they are now able to produce laminated roofing products online. This means that laminated shingles are now available in a much more elaborately designed way, with enhanced colours and blends.

Your new roof can be given an upscale look of natural slate tiles or genuine cedar shakes. The introduction of computer-controlled systems allows the products to achieve a better weight, dimension and appearance. This is a great win for both manufacturers and homeowners as the better shingles increase speed and efficiency during installation, and are produced at a more affordable cost.

Affordable Green Roofing Options

With the demand for green options growing, the industry has responded with recycled shingles made from rubber, plastic or wood-fiber, and there are also some companies making shingles from general home waste substances. It may seem precarious but these shingles have warranties for up to 50 years!

Smart Opening Skylights

VELUX Canada Inc. is a world leader in making skylights, and they excel because of their unique innovation and technology. Their newest innovation is solar powered skylights, that come with a “Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylight”. These skylights are full solar energy driven, and are weather-sensor compatible to open in appropriate weather, and close when rain is detected. They work in partial sunlight and can be installed in areas with any type of weather.

The advancements in roofing technologies are all heading in a similar direction – green energy. With the demand rising higher than ever before, manufacturers are responding and providing sleeker than ever, and actually affordable solutions.

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About the Author

I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.



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