GAF Energy, a division of roofing giant GAF, developed new solar shingles that are so easy to install no special equipment or knowledge is required, a TechCrunch report reveals.
The new accessible home renewable energy option provides serious competition for Tesla, who revealed their own new tiles with 22 percent more energy capacity last month.
Solar shingles have traditionally been difficult to install, as they replace traditional shingles to act as roofing material and solar cells at the same time. Tesla’s solar roofs, for example, require a special team to carry out what is essentially a whole roof replacement that has, in the past, taken weeks to complete.
With its new solar shingles, GAF Energy hopes to make installation easier and more flexible. Not only will it allow quicker install times, but it will also allow specific patches of roofing to be replaced with solar shingles, meaning customers won’t only have the option of replacing their entire roof.
Any roofer can install GAF’s new solar shingles
According to GAF Energy president Martin DeBono, the solar shingle is “the only product to integrate solar technology into existing roofing processes and materials to yield a full-fledged solar roof, enabling mainstream deployment of clean energy via traditional roofing channels.”
Ultimately, the company says its new shingles can be installed by any qualified roofer with their everyday equipment. Presented at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the solar roofing technology has won the Best of Innovation in “Smart Cities” award.
Another award-winning solar panel technology also has the potential to make home renewable energy much more accessible, and ubiquitous. In 2020, student Carvey Maigue won the Dyson Sustainability Award for developing a sustainably produced solar panel that harvests energy even on cloudy days.
Solar roofing is still expensive, not accessible to everyone, and recycling solutions need to catch up with the increasing demand. Still, new innovations are gradually bringing the cost down for everyone, providing a much-needed boost for renewable energy initiatives.