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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions > Solar Energy

Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) by T.Clear and SolarPower Restoration Systems

Solar energy roofing products for the building and solar industries

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Creating architectural building surfaces that simultaneously protects the building envelope and produce clean renewable energy from the sun is an ongoing quest for the solar and building industries.

Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)

T.Clear's Protected Roof Membrane system provides an environment-friendly and sustainable roof system.

Solar module and building integration has changed very little over the years, rack and glass module installation remains the most common method. Even with the emerging flexible thin-film PV modules, solar application methods have been limited. The recent development of non-glass crystalline modules such as the ones manufactured by SBM Solar Inc has created new options for combining solar with the building envelope.

New advanced solar-to-building attachment and application techniques based on SolarSeal Technologies™ with non-glass crystalline or thin film photovoltaics and then combined with traditional building and roofing products, forms a new class of solar building products. These new innovative system combinations help accelerate the introduction and deployment of Building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems according to Michael Gumm, president of SolarPower Restoration Systems Inc. and its subsidiary SolarSeal Technologies Inc.

Breaking away from traditional glass crystalline module construction, SBM Solar Inc has developed a non-glass crystalline solar module using engineered metal-polymer-metal composite, or honeycomb panel substrates with high efficiency crystalline silicon cells and a new advanced polymer top surface. According to Dr. Osbert Cheung, PhD., president of SBM Solar Inc. by combining SBM’s top surface polymer with a closed corrugated or honeycombed composite panel they create a very rigid, lightweight and cooler operating photovoltaic module compared to traditional glass surfaced crystalline modules.

"The roofing industry’s well-known T.Clear Lightguard® and Heavyguard® Protected Membrane Roof insulation panels are combined with a new composite panel photovoltaic module design,” says Michael Gumm, CEO of SolarPower Restoration Systems.

"The photovoltaic module consists of an engineered metal-polymer composite panel and high efficiency crystalline silicon cells with a new advanced polymer top surface film.”

Placing the insulation roof panels over the roof system protects the roof membrane by maintaining a nearly constant temperature, reducing the harmful effects of freeze-thaw cycling, exposure to harsh UV, reducing heating and cooling cost and extending the service life of the protected roof membrane system.

The non-glass PV module is laminated directly to the T.Clear LightGuard and HeavyGuard panels. The PV module utilizes a corrugated polymer center core for back surface cooling with a low reflective solar transparent polymer top surface, creating a more energy efficient PV module when compared to traditional glass modules.

The new T.Clear Solar LG Lightguard and Solar HG Heavyguard Protected Membrane Roof insulation panels provide the advantages of the standard T.Clear PMR system while generating renewable energy from the sun.

Avoid Accelerated Heat Aging from Thermal Loading

“Solar PV modules get hot and by placing the T.Clear insulation panels over the roof surface, we avoid accelerated heat aging to the roof membrane from thermal loading caused by the excessive heat generated by the PV modules,” says Gumm. “T.Clear SOLAR PMR is a natural cool roof system and synchronizes the service life of the roof system with the photovoltaics.”

The T.Clear SOLAR PMR System uses standard construction and trade practices well known in the roofing industry, and can be easily disassembled, redeployed and recycled to new site locations. This recycle feature allows the T.Clear Solar PMR system to be used as a transportable, ground mounted, re-deployable solar power system that can be utilized by government agencies and corporations for power emergencies or remote locations and military bases.

Building Owners can Convert Existing PMR Roof to a New Solar Roof

Building owners can easily convert the millions of square feet of existing T.Clear PMR roof installations to a new solar roof using the new T.Clear “PV Field Module” engineered solar composite panel without modifying the existing roof system or disrupting the facility’s normal operations. The T.Clear “PV Field Module” is bonded by the solar roofing contractor to the existing standard T.Clear PMR insulated panel using a fast setting advanced panel adhesive and sealant.

About SolarPower Restoration Systems, Inc.

SolarPower Restoration Systems provides ideas, technologies and tools to create new solar energy products for the building and solar industries with SolarSeal Technologies™.

SolarSeal Technologies™ (patents pending) combine everyday building products and materials with crystalline and thin film photovoltaics (PV), creating a new class of photovoltaic (PV) and PV/solar-thermal building surfaces known as Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), creating new sustainable, environmentally friendly and energy efficient building surfaces without sacrificing comfort, aesthetics or economy.

About T.Clear Corporation

T.Clear Corporation, a subsidiary of Fin-Pan Inc., was established in 1990 to manufacture and market the trade name LIGHTGUARD Protected Membrane Roof Insulation. T. Clear Corp. and Fin-Pan have created a family of building products that now includes HEAVYGUARD®, COOLGUARD®, PROGUARD, THERMADRY®, THERMACAV®, ProTEC® Concrete Structural Insulated Panel Systems, Util-A-Crete®, and ProTEC™ Concrete Backer Board.

T. Clear Corp. and Fin Pan, Inc. combine their expertise in insulated concrete composite building products with the latest solar and solar-thermal technologies, creating new T.Clear solar roofing and building products that are energy efficient and produce solar power from the sun.

For more information, please contact:

T. Clear Corp
3255 Symmes Road
Hamilton, Ohio 45015
Phone: 800-544-7398
Fax: 513-870-9606

SolarPower Restoration Systems, Inc

SolarSeal Technologies, Inc.
343 Soquel Ave suite 320
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Phone: 831-621-7389

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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