solar roof with heat and power

An open letter to Elon Musk:

We appreciate your commitment to solar power, as chairman of Solar City. Making photovoltaic cells available on a wide scale is an important mission, and these panels work for many homeowners. Improving panel efficiency through your Silevo acquisition is good news, since consumers could install fewer of them. We wish you (and others) much success.

New heat and power roof: The top solar layer, seen here, generates electricity. Then heated air gets trapped between layers for heating purposes. (Renew Economy, Australia)

New Heat and Power Roof: The top solar layer, seen here, generates electricity. Then heated air gets trapped between layers for heating purposes. (Renew Economy, Australia)

What are your plans? Combining solar collection and heating elements is now possible. Australians just replaced an old metal roof with the first building integrated photovoltaic thermal (BIPVT) system, on a Sydney-area house. It creates air flow which heats water or air as well. This $5 million project was funded by a government grant and BlueScope, a steel manufacturer.

What happens next? Investment leading to manufacturing the BIPVT roof lies ahead. While in test phases, this technology may also need support to reach consumers. It’s already undergone five years of feasibility, pilot and material studies from research universities. (See results from “steel BIPVT” search.)

Should we fast-track? Maybe you can help cheer-lead, assess and lead the demand for this next-gen roof — even with others in the solar industry. We are not experts, and look forward to hearing what you think!

Sincerely,

Tiny House Joy

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