Solar panels have been dividing opinions ever since they began appearing on Britain’s roofs. Home owners and housing developers alike have debated whether the appearance of traditional solar PV panels is worth the financial and environmental advantages they provide. It’s this conflict between appearance and practicality that glass and solar PV specialist Romag has addressed with its new product: the Intecto Integrated PV tile.
Intecto combines solar power generation with aesthetic qualities; the tiles fit flush with surrounding tiles. Available in grey, black and terracotta, they blend seamlessly in the roofscape making Intecto suitable for heritage areas with difficult planning conditions.
The Intecto tile is especially compelling because it is fully certified by the IEC and MCS and it complies completely with other European and international building and roofing regulations / performance standards. Put simply, these tiles are safe and durable enough to replace conventional tiles, making only their increased initial cost a barrier over traditional tiles and mains electricity.
The first housing developer to use Romag’s Intecto Integrated PV tile is Gentoo Homes. Gentoo’s Beechbrooke housing development in South Shields and the end result of the project could prove a useful case study for other interested developers.
Gentoo Homes managing director, Barry Walker, cited his reasons for bringing Romag’s Intecto tile into Gentoo’s Beechbrooke project:
“Our customers have been asking whether solar can be incorporated into our housing designs as they recognise the value of renewable energy and the financial benefits the technology can deliver.”
If potential homeowners value renewable energy, both for its environmental application and financial benefits, then housing developers other than Gentoo Home ought to follow suit.
Another important point to note is that green-belt areas and heritage sites will now be open to solar power installation options where they weren’t before. The aesthetics of green-belt areas and heritage sites are protected by law and local legislation, so this more attractive, subtle solar PV tile could potentially revolutionise green-belt areas, opening up solar power to home owners and developers who were interested but were previously restricted by existing legislation limitations.
The potential influence on wider housing development and renewable energy industries is huge and only time will tell how the industries respond to Romag’s innovative new product. But Gentoo’s Beechbrooke housing development project is a great place to start, and its completion will answer a lot of questions for interested companies around the UK. However, timing is so important in this industry, so developers may want to look into Romag’s Intecto Integrated PV tile in more detail, or give them a call on +44 1207 500 000.