A small terrace house in the inner Sydney suburb of Glebe is hosting what is believed to be the world’s first building integrated solar system that generates electricity as well as heat.
bluescope bipvcThe array combines thin-film solar PV and solar thermal technologies into a steel sheet roofing product produced by Australian steel manufacturer Bluescope, with assistance from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
The top layer of the roofing product (pictured) generates electricity in the same way as solar PV modules – although it uses thin film technology for less weight and thickness – while heat is trapped and distributed between the two layers for use in water and space heating.
The BIPVT installation is being hailed as a product that could one day be sold on Australian rooftops, although Bluescope is quick to point out that won’t be anytime soon. It has, however, said in the past that it feels it will be a cost competitive product for homes and businesses. But more work needs to be done in understanding supply chains and manufacturing costs before it is launched on the market.
Still, ARENA, which is facing closure from Tony Abbott’s ultra conservative government, was happy to promote the product, and the result of a $2.3 million grant for the $5 million project.
“Today we are witnessing an exciting new technology solution moving from the lab to be prototyped on everyday Australian rooftops for the first time,”ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said in a statement.
Courtesy of Renew Economy – Read the full article online now.