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SolTech’s glass roof tiles heat homes with solar energy

SolTech Energy, a Swedish company which produces solutions for clean solar power, has developed a unique home heating system contained within roofing tiles made of transparent glass.

In 2009, the SolTech Energy System won a gold medal for the year’s “Hottest New Material” for its glass tiles by North Building Fair, Nordbygg.
“The winning entry combines an attractive design with essential functions for clean and sustainable energy. It is an innovative product that is well in time,“ said jury chairman Bengt Toolanen.
Why did the product win an award? For starters, the tiles are made from ordinary glass and weigh approximately the same as those made of clay. Secondly, the system doesn’t heat up water or vacuum pipes, but clean air. The tiles are installed on top of a black nylon canvas, under which air slots are mounted. Black absorbs heat from the sun and the air starts to circulate. The hot air is then used to heat water, which is connected to the home’s heating system via an accumulator. The beauty of the system is that it cuts energy costs throughout the year, during dark winter days as well as at night, due to its capacity to store heat in the isolating layers of air under the canvas.
In an initial research phase the company collaborated with the Swedish glass mill Orrefors to develop the tiles. Today they are industrially produced in Portugal, but built on the same Swedish design.
The SolTech Energy System generates about 350 kWh heat per square meter (10 square ft), depending on climate, angle of the roof and cardinal direction.

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