MSR Innovations, a leading supplier of residential solar roofing, is bringing a new solar roofing product, SolTrak, to the North American marketplace. MSR Innovations recently completed the installation of a 20-kW photovoltaic (PV) solar system at the Magnolia Gardens seniors residence in Langley, British Columbia. This project helps demonstrate the viability of SolTrak, which incorporates PV solar power generation directly into the construction of a new roof.
“While the demand for sustainable energy alternatives is growing significantly around the world, our SolTrak modular solar roofing system is a great fit for the residential housing market,” said Jim Thompson, CEO of MSR Innovations. “SolTrak is the first true solar roofing system — not merely solar panels installed on top of a separate roofing product, but a complete roofing system that is designed to incorporate solar cells seamlessly into its construction.”
SolTrak incorporates two unique innovations: polymer roofing tiles that have solar cells integrated directly into the tiles and a proprietary track mounting system that is easily installed, allowing the tiles to be snapped into place, without any tools. This innovative Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) system is produced using high-volume, tight specification manufacturing methods derived from the automotive industry, resulting in a durable, watertight, high-performance solar roof.
In addition to the benefits of solar energy, SolTrak is one of the most environmentally friendly roof systems available, resulting in substantially lower GHG emissions. Tiles can be easily replaced, so the solar system can be expanded or repaired with little effort. Adding additional solar power is simple and low cost.
“MSR Innovation’s SolTrak modular solar roofing system provides homebuilders with an innovative and sustainable way to install solar generation into roofs,” said Tim Roddick, Founder and CTO, MSR Innovations. “SolTrak is a cost-effective, long lasting roofing system, with the simple option of adding solar power. By reducing the cost and improving the aesthetics, SolTrak solves the biggest barriers to using solar technology in homes and provides a higher performance, longer-lasting, sustainable roof.”
SolTrak was recently granted UL1703 Certification providing the necessary reassurance for homebuilders and homeowners that SolTrak generates electricity safely for residential use. Additionally, Class C fire testing has been successfully completed and Class A fire testing is imminent.
The US Patent Office granted MSR Innovations a comprehensive patent for its SolTrak modular solar roofing system in August 2012. A matching Japanese patent was awarded several months later. The company expects to receive similar patents from other countries in the coming months.
Financial support for the solar project at Magnolia Gardens was provided by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), the Innovative Clean Energy Fund of British Columbia (ICE Fund), and Century Group, the owners of Magnolia Gardens.
“This is a tremendous step forward for MSR, and demonstrates the power of cleantech,” said Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC. “Innovations like the SolTrak system are making a name for cleantech innovation here in Canada and around the world, where the cleantech global market could grow to as much as $3 trillion by 2020. We warmly congratulate MSR on reaching this important milestone.”
— Solar Builder magazine