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Glass roof tiles let a little sunshine in to cut heating bills


October 15, 2010

Soltech Energy glass tiles help cut energy bills

Soltech Energy glass tiles help cut energy bills

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Swedish company, Soltech Energy, recently received the gold medal for this year’s hottest new material at the Nordbygg 2010 trade fair in Stockholm, Sweden. The award was fitting because it was for the company’s home heating system that features roof tiles made out of glass. The tiles, which are made from ordinary glass, weigh about the same as the clay roof tiles they replace but allow the sun to heat air that is then used to heat the house and cut energy bills.

Thankfully, although the tiles themselves are transparent, they are backed by a special black absorption fabric so sticky beaks won’t be able to sit on the roof and watch what’s going on inside. This fabric absorbs the sun’s rays, which heats the air underneath, with the air formed into columns by beams within the roof to ensure it is heated sufficiently.

The most common way to connect the system to a house’s existing heating system would be to a water based heating system via an accumulation tank but the system is also designed to be integrated with both air and water based systems, such as a ground source heat pump, air heat pump, pellet boiler or electric boiler – the only requirement is some form of central heating system.

This setup allows the system to heat the house during winter and transfer the heat absorbed in summer to a ground heating system through a heat convector and a fluid based system to help achieve a cooling effect.

Depending on factors such as climate, roof angle and house direction, the system should generate around 350 kWh heat per square meter (10.76 square ft).

If your roof isn’t suited to tiles, Soltech Energy also offers glass wall panels that can be tailored to individual houses and benefit from the lower angle of the incoming rays of sunlight during the winter.

Via inhabitat

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

WHAT??? Those glass tiles are something what is normaly sold for hundred years at least in czech republic. I got them on our house from about 1915!

We use them to bring sun under the roof

Tomáš Kapler

Even if around for a long time appears to be a good idea.


that glass would also be a hell of a lot stronger than clay or concrete roof tiles. wonder if you can get the an Australia?

Denis Klanac

Making glass roof tiles, but coating them with a black inner liner is totally moronic---it does away with the tiles biggest potential selling point, which is providing plentiful illumination to dim attic spaces.

And don't be misled by the supposed "heat-absorbing" quality of the liner. It only absorbs what has gotten through the tile in the first place. Without the liner, the heat would be absorbed by whatever the sunlight illuminated within the house, which would actually provide more heat inside (on the greenhouse principle) than the liner does.

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