This 3 in 1 Roof boosts solar cell efficiency with new approach to surface temperature management

Slate solar 3 in one roof

Black or blue silicone solar cells have average efficiency ratings of around 22 percent in test settings, often with a range of 15 to 17 percent in real-world conditions during a course of the day. The creators of the new 3 in 1 Roof system think they have a better solution, at least when it comes to mitigating efficiency loses caused by high temperatures.

The 3 in 1 Roof

3 IN 1 ROOF is designed for the roofer by a roofing contractor located in South Florida. After hurricane Wilma, the contractor completed several hundred roofing jobs where he analyzed why traditional tiles failed under such extreme weather conditions and corrected those flaws in his design of the 3 IN 1 ROOF product.

3 IN 1 ROOF install much, much faster than traditional tiles so roofers earn more annual profits without increasing personnel. 3 IN 1 ROOF will not break or crack under foot because its underside patented wedge shape design eliminates potential fractures when too much pressure is applied. Also every horizontal and vertical row installs perfectly straight without chalking lines.

How it reduces temperature

For every 20 degrees, the surface temperature of a traditional roof rises above 120 degrees, the solar functionality decreases by 5 percent. Therefore when common roof products are at their hottest, a solar panel’s efficiency is at its lowest. Plus, asphalt, concrete and metal takes many hours to heat up, and the same amount of time to cool down or even longer if the attic is poorly ventilated.

RELATED: Silicon heterojunction solar cell technology moves beyond the lab

The secret sauce of the 3 in 1 Roof system is two amalgamates. The 3 IN 1 ROOF embodiment is comprised of heat-resistant closed cell foam, and it’s coated with a durable Geopolymer that increases in temperature only about 12 degrees above ambient. As the ambient rises and falls, so does the surface temperature of the 3 in 1 Roof and at near simultaneous frequencies. Therefore, unless summer temperatures exceed over 110 degrees Fahrenheit, the 3 in 1 Roof system’s solar module will always yield maximum efficiency.

Through in-house testing, the company shows that the 3 in 1 Roof system is “as efficient” as solar panels between the morning and afternoon hours. But after 3 p.m., the difference in performance is dramatic. On an 88 to 90 degree day, test data reveals beyond mid-afternoon about 23% more energy is generated by the 3 IN 1 ROOF, because traditional roofing has collected and amassed so much heat from the sun, it reaches surface temperatures well over 150 degrees. When one takes into account around 4-5 hours of advanced power creation, it mathematically boosts the 3 IN 1 ROOF system’s over all efficiency rating to 17 to 19 percent.

3 in 1 Roof features a highly UV resistant topcoat that keeps its surface temperature slightly above ambient temperatures. Also our durable foam embodiment prevents heat transference prolonging substrate life expectancy by approximately 300%, while it keeps attics cool saving up to 38% on BTU consumption. That means reduced monthly kilowatt needs lending lower fuel bills and most important, a lesser amount of solar cells needed to power the house, allowing consumers to reduce before they produce

In addition, its SPF-like foam character blocks all solar gains from entering into the attic area, lending day-long cool substrates, decking and garrets, virtually eliminating heat flowback.

What is heat flowback and why eliminate it?

Solar gains into an attic causes all sorts of humidity issues fundamentally negative to any structure, including but not limited to; dry-rot, condensation, mold and everything that’s related to moisture plus heat. Flowback is when attics get so hot, they’re virtually structural incubators. Hot air prevents the wood decking it contacts from cooling down while the traditional roofing cools over night, thus prolonging the roof’s ability to equalize ambient temperature.

All these dilemmas are not only problematic with traditional roofing systems, they’re also drawbacks for each and every integrated solar tile and integrated solar shingles system, but not for the 3 in 1.

— Solar Builder magazine

Fraunhofer Center vouches for AE Solar’s hot-spot free solar module design

Hot-spots remain an issue for various module types and present long-term issues for owners of older PV systems. The term hot-spot refers to the excessive heating in an area of a solar panel — a raise in temperature that may result from a drop in the output of electric current in one or more cells of a string. The drop in output occurs from shading, dirt, dust, snow, and manufacturing defects.

But the R&D team at AE Solar has solved the problem with a true hot-spot free module. The Hot-Spot Free Modules developed by AE Solar use bypass diodes to eliminate the development of hot-spots and thus the damages and risks associated.

The temperature of Hot-Spot cells within AE Smart Hot-Sport Free Modules does not exceed 85°C. This temperature management eliminates material hazard, the safety of the module and its surroundings. Available from 260W to 350W range, the AE Smart Hot-Spot Free Modules offer up to 30% more power output compared to standard PV Modules thanks to their improved efficiency. The module was tested by Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics and the results showed the highest efficiency at real conditions with resistance to shading.

RELATED: Modules and integration: Four reasons why AC, smart modules are on the rise

This added efficiency translates into less modules needed and less space required for installation. Space Saving for PV plants by using Smart Modules compared to standard “non-smart” modules Temperature of cells does not exceed operating temperature of PV modules. No reduction of PV module stability and no fire risk from hot-spots.

In a standard module, the impact of shading on a single cell affects a whole string, while an AE SOLAR SMART
MODULE with HOT-SPOT FREE technology loses the output of only one single cell during the shading.

The video above explains the concept in more detail.

— Solar Builder magazine

Panasonic Premium Solar Installer program adds two more companies — let’s meet them

Panasonic solar solutions

The Panasonic Residential Solar Business Premium Installer program keeps on growing, with Sunlux and Solaroo Energy recently promoted to Premium level.

In January 2015, Sunlux founders had a radical idea – solar energy should be just as easy as traditional electricity. Their strategy of putting customers and employees first paid off quickly, resulting in the company growing from nothing to 12 employees and $2.2 million in sales in just one year. After its first full year in business, Sunlux moved its headquarters into a brand-new building in Ontario, CA, allowing them to become fully integrated with sales, design, engineering and installation under one roof.

“We are honored to be selected as Panasonic’s Premium Installer,” said Josip Benko, CEO, Sunlux. “This partnership allows us to continue providing world class products and excellent customer service, which is what we are known for.”

RELATED: Strength in numbers: How solar installers can build business through third-party programs

Further expanding the Panasonic Premium Installer program in U.S. west region, the Solaroo Energy team brings in a combined 60 years in the construction and solar industries. Solaroo Energy deploys its educated sales team, award-winning management team and engineers to provide customers in Utah, Idaho and Colorado with exactly what they need as they make the move to solar technology.

“We appreciate the recognition from Panasonic and their commitment to Solaroo and our continued growth in the solar industry. Panasonic has proven their commitment to the U.S. solar industry, enabling our team to deliver high-quality panels and an industry-leading warranty to Solaroo customers in all our markets,” said Kelly Curtis, CEO, Solaroo Energy. “Customers making long-term investments like solar deserve companies like Panasonic and Solaroo who have a long-term approach to doing business.”

Launched in the U.S. in 2016, the Panasonic Solar Premium Installer program provides value-added benefits and business opportunities to over 125 partners who meet Panasonic’s high standard of excellence.

“We are delighted to name both Sunlux and Solaroo Energy as the newest members of the Panasonic Premium Installer family, as both companies boast years of excellent customer service in the California, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado markets.” said David Lopez, business development and regional sales manager, Solar Division, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. “We look forward to working together to grow and enhance our installer program offerings, and to help drive the U.S. solar market forward.”

The Panasonic Solar Installer program is comprised of “Authorized” and “Premium” Installers, and Premium installers are involved in continuous efforts with Panasonic to promote the HIT brand. These installers receive leads generated from Panasonic’s website, where they are promoted as a Premium Panasonic Installer. In addition, Premium Installers are the beneficiaries of cooperative marketing funds provided by Panasonic and are also provided access to Panasonic’s robust Installer Portal that offers additional benefits such as a library of tailored marketing materials and training programs designed to help installers enhance communication with consumers, and ultimately grow their businesses.

— Solar Builder magazine

CertainTeed, Solar Energy International partner on for solar installer training


CertainTeed, a leading North American brand of building materials, is expanding its partnership with Solar Energy International (SEI), a leading provider of professional training for the solar industry workforce. Starting now, two of SEI’s courses can be used to satisfy training requirements needed to participate in CertainTeed’s Solar Installer Program.

“We offer a wide array of technical solar training at our campus, and we’re pleased that CertainTeed is including our courses in their certification program,” said Chris Turek, director of marketing and alumni relations for SEI. “This partnership allows us to educate a broader audience of current and future solar installers on the critical knowledge and skills of the occupation.”

SEI’s PV101: Solar Training – Solar Electric Design and Installation course—which serves as a gateway into a career in the solar industry by teaching new solar installers the fundamentals of photovoltaic (PV) systems, components, system architectures and applications—can be used to attain Credentialed Solar Installer status in the CertainTeed Solar Installer Program.

RELATED: Strength in numbers: How solar installers can build business through third-party programs

SEI’s PV201: Solar Training – Solar Electric Lab Week—which provides solar installers with hands-on experience installing multiple PV systems—can be used to attain CertainTeed’s Master Solar Installer status in the CertainTeed Solar Installer Program.

In addition, SEI is offering a $50 discount on each course to current CertainTeed solar installers, as well as those who take these courses to complete requirements for their credentialing. Learn more here.

“Education and training are at the forefront of CertainTeed’s ongoing commitment to quality, and SEI has a reputation for providing world-class training,” said Chris Fisher, manager of solar product development and marketing for CertainTeed. “We encourage both prospective and current solar installers to take advantage of learning opportunities, which will allow them to be successful, knowledgeable and maintain the highest standards in installation quality.”

— Solar Builder magazine

NASA building topped with 120-kW solar system, featuring Mission Solar Energy panels

Mission Solar Energy

A roof top PV system featuring Mission Solar Energy panels was installed atop one of NASA’s newest buildings at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Over the years, NASA has made an effort to replace and revitalize many of the pre-Apollo era facilities at Marshall Space Flight Center. These new buildings were designed to be more technologically advanced and create a smaller footprint.

“We are pleased that NASA has chosen to incorporate solar in its new building construction plans at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Our team is proud to design, engineer and assemble our solar panels in the U.S. and deploying our products to projects like this gives us great pride,” said Jae Yang, President & CEO of Mission Solar Energy.

Hannah Solar Government Services (HSGS) headquartered in Charleston, SC, was selected by Madison Electric in 2017 to design, engineer and install NASA’s 120 kilowatt (kW) solar array, which is identical to the solar array HSGS installed for NASA in 2013. This solar array contains more than 370 Mission Solar Energy MSE MONO 72 solar panels, a high-power solar module ideal for commercial and industrial applications.

“We are veterans proud to continue serving our country and proud to continue providing solar energy generation for NASA,” said Retired COL Dave McNeil, President & CEO of Hannah Solar Government Solutions.

— Solar Builder magazine